BiggerPockets Money Podcast

BiggerPockets Money Podcast 96: Speaking Fluent Finance with Wilson Muscadin

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Wilson Muscadin grew up knowing how to handle money. His father assigned him “book reports” rather than simply giving him an allowance. But the books he read were personal finance books, like Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Next Door, and Think and Grow Rich.

Unsurprisingly, Wilson learned a lot from reading these books. Well played, Dad Muscadin. Wilson handled his finances intelligently through high school and into college, where he saw so many friends making ridiculous mistakes with their money. Things like charging pizza and gas—and not paying off the credit card bill at the end of every month.

He graduated with very little undergrad debt and worked in corporate insurance. But Wilson always wanted to teach people about finance. Back to school for an MBA at Duke he went, racking up more than $100,000 in student loan debt!

Wilson's path to teaching people how to fix their finances was cemented when a random Facebook post about paying off his student loan debt (four months after his first son was born) garnered more comments and questions than the post about the birth of his child.

Wilson paid off his debt, now has two sons, moved across the country, and is dedicated to helping more people understand how money works—to break the cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck so they can become financially free.

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Scott: Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast show number 96 with Wilson Muscadin from themoneyspeakeasy.com.

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Wilson: For me, what I tell people, particularly parents, is the best thing that you can do for your kids in terms of personal finances is get your own finances under control. They will see your behavior and they will mirror your behavior more than they will mirror your words.

Scott: 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 in the money you already have, or discover new paths for wealth creation, you’re in the right place. This show is for anyone who has money or wants more. This is the bigger pockets money podcast.
How’s it going everybody? I’m Scott Trench, I’m here with my co-host, Ms. Mindy Jensen. How are you doing today, Mindy?

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

Scott: I’m doing fantastic. I just had a great time chatting with Wilson here about money, life, and just making improvements with money accessible to everybody in this country.

Mindy: Yeah. I love a couple of things that he said just really, really resonated with me. He said, right at the end, he said, “There is no formal education for any of this.” And that’s just so helpful when people are starting out and they’re thinking, “Oh, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just going to fail.” You will have to learn just like everybody else. But once you learn, your life just gets so much easier, so much better. The freedom to make the choices that you want is just so powerful.

Scott: Yeah, and that power comes in increments. It doesn’t all come at once at the end of this journey when you become a millionaire and are financially independent with $10,000 a month in passive income or whatever it is that people have has their lofty, crazy, long-term goals. It comes when you accumulate a year of financial [inaudible 00:01:48]and are out of debt. Or two years, and can quit your job or have that much more leverage with your boss about moving or living the lifestyle that you want.

Mindy: Yep. Should we get to the show?

Scott: Let’s do it.

Mindy: Wilson Muscadin from the Money Speakeasy. Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I’m so excited to have you today. I know we’ve been going back and forth for way too long to get you on this show. But it’s finally coming through together.

Wilson: It is an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Mindy: I’m so excited. So, we’re going to talk today about your payoff journey. How much money did you pay off? How much debt did you pay off?

Wilson: A little over $100,000 in student loans.

Mindy: Whoa. And how long did it take you to pay that off?

Wilson: Just under four years.

Mindy: Holy cow. Okay. So, let’s get started. Where does your relationship with money begin?

Wilson: So, I would say my relationship with money actually started really young, with my father. Both my parents are immigrants from the Caribbean. But, my father and I had very open discussions about money growing up. In fact, my parents don’t believe in giving you allowance for doing chores. They’re like, “I’m not going to pay you to do what you’re supposed to do.” So, what he did instead was he had me write book reports. He’d assign me books and to write book reports for my allowance. And so, it just so happened that many of those books were personal finance books, which is weird. I didn’t realize it was weird until later, but I enjoyed it. And so, we’d had those discussions early.
And he also set a precedent. You know those mailing tubes? Like if you wanted to put a painting or a poster, the tubes that you’d put them in? He kept a clear glass one, and he’d put change in it every time that he came home. And I remember as a little kid, he’d take me to the bank once he filled it up. It’d take six or eight months to fill up. And then he’d take me to the bank and he would deposit it. And there’s be $500. And as a little kid, I’m like, “Oh my God, there’s so much money in here.” And so, I just remember little things like that just growing up.
I think that’s where my money journey really started, just in terms of those conversations with that, just understanding. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized that that was really weird.

Scott: What were some of the money books that you read?

Wilson: So, definitely Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I remember reading Think and Grow Rich. There was books by Ric Edelman. Anything that my dad had on his drawer. What I realized was there were books that my dad definitely read that he wanted me to read, like How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’m a teenager reading that book, it was really weird. So there’s books that he had read, but there was also books that he just didn’t have time to read, and those were the ones that he wanted me to write book reports on. And so it was like I wrote his cliff notes to the book.

Scott: That’s amazing.

Wilson: I didn’t realize it at the time. But looking back on it, I was like, “Oh, okay. I get it. He just wanted the cliff notes version. I get it.” So, that’s kind of how that happened.

Mindy: I love your dad.

Wilson: Yeah, he’s pretty awesome.

Scott: What was your father’s profession?

Wilson: So, he’s a pediatrician.

Scott: Okay.

Wilson: So, he’s a really interesting guy. He’s been my hero my whole life. But he came to the country and he passed his medical board exams. And English is his [inaudible 00:04:54]. You can imagine that. So, he’s a pretty interesting guy.

Mindy: I’m sorry. English is his what language?

Wilson: I think it’s his fourth language.

Mindy: Wow.

Wilson: It might be third or fourth language.

Mindy: Wow.

Scott: Amazing.

Wilson: So, my parents are originally from Haiti. So, his first language is French, and then Haitian Creole. And then, I’d imagine that he spoke Spanish before he spoke English. So, coming to the states as an adult, I think, [inaudible 00:05:19]. I’m kindergarten French. So, passing board exams in your fourth language is kind of amazing. So yeah, he’s a really interesting guy.

Scott: So what happened? You read all these books and all that. What was kind of your relationship with money through what’s called high school and transitioning into college?

Wilson: Yeah, so it was a pretty controlled environment, right? So like I said, my dad and I had these money conversations for a while growing up. But when I got to college… And most people that went to college before 2009 remember that table that was in front of the cafeteria where they were giving free hats and T-shirts for a credit card and whatnot. And so, that was the first time when I saw my friends getting credit cards and all of the sudden using… And I went to college in late ’90s, early 2000s. And so, when we saw people buying pizza and gas and stuff with a credit card, I was just like, “What is going on? This is madness,” because it just didn’t make any sense to me because it’s just not something that we did.
And so, that’s when I first realized that the conversations I had with my dad, the books that I read, I thought about money differently than other people did. And I wanted to have those conversations, but I didn’t know how to have them with my classmates. Like, “Why did you do that?” And it wasn’t like a judgemental thing, but I just wanted to understand why those things were going on.
And so, it led me on a journey to start, “Oh, I think I want to help people have these conversations about their finances. I think I want to help them and do that.” So, that’s where that road started to diverge. But in terms of my own personal money, I didn’t graduate with a lot of undergraduate loans. So, I had very low loans from undergrad. But I definitely wanted to embark on sort of a career of helping people with their finances.

Scott: Got it. So, when you graduated, you said you didn't have very much student loan debt. What college did you go to and what was your profession? Or, what was kind of the immediate aftermath of college? Did you go right to graduate school?

Wilson: Yeah, yeah. So funny enough, I had went to Illinois Wesleyan University. So, I grew up in Chicago in the ’80s and ’90s, so the Michael Jordan Bulls era. So, went to Illinois Wesleyan University, got a degree in business with a concentration in finance. And so, as I’m on this journey, I thought I wanted to become a financial advisor. I thought that was the route that made sense. But I had this sort of… I don’t know. It was an unpleasant experience at an interview.
So, imagine I’m sitting there, I’m a 21-year-old kid and I’m sitting there interviewing. And the guy I’m interviewing with was not interesting in anything that I had to say. Zero eye-contact. Maybe he had a ton in interviews that day, but he was clearly not interested in what I had to say. And so, we’re just going through the motions. I’m like, “Let’s get this over with,” because I’m clearly not going to get hired.
So, all of a sudden, he asked me this random question that I’d never been asked before. I wasn’t even prepared for it. He was like, “Hey, what does your father do?” Or, “What do your parents do?” And I was stunned. I was like, “That’s not an interview question.” But I was like, “My dad’s a pediatrician and my mom’s a nurse. She runs his private practice.” And all of a sudden, his whole demeanor changed. He stood up straight, he looked up from the computer, he was really engaged. And it just felt so slimy to me. I was just like, “Whoa.” Everything changed in that moment. And for me, I was just like, “Oh, that felt wrong.”
And so, I ended up not doing financial advising because it was just such a… I’m not saying that financial advisors are slimy people or anything like that. But I just remember that that did not feel like the right path to go. And so I turned that down and I ended up going corporate. So, I ended up working in commercial insurance, doing insurance for businesses. I actually worked in the Sears Tower in Chicago for a while, so that was fun. But for me, I always wanted to help people with their finances. But to me, it just seemed like that was not the route for me to go.

Scott: Got it. And now I feel bad about asking what your dad did for a living.

Mindy: Yeah but you were engaged before that, Scott.

Scott: Yeah.

Wilson: Absolutely.

Mindy: So, what changed? You went back to graduate school because you didn’t get so many loans with your undergrad. And you said that you paid off $100,000.

Wilson: Yeah. So, I’m working, living the life in Chicago. I’m doing that thing. But for me, commercial insurance wasn’t my career path. One of the things, I just remember distinctly looking at people that were at the company that were 15, 20 years down the road and I was not at all envious of their life. It wasn’t like, “Oh, that’s where I want to go,” Or, “That’s where I want to be.” So for me, going to grad school was like, “All right, I definitely need to shift and find a different way of doing this.” And I didn’t have sort of a model to figure that out. So for me, going to grad school was a path for me.
So, I went back for my MBA. I went to Duke University for my MBA. And needless to say, that wasn’t cheap. But it was a great experience for me just to be in a completely different environment. But I went with the idea of, “Hey, maybe I can work for a company that wants to get financial literacy in education, right? K through 12 or college education. Maybe I can do it that way to serve sort of my need to want to help people with their personal finances.” So, that’s the route that I went and why I went back to school.

Scott: So, can you tell us about that experience and what kind of happened following graduation from grad school?

Wilson: Absolutely. So again, I had an epic fail experience. So, my summer internship in between the years of graduate school, I worked at a very large public school district. And one of the things that I noted… Because for me, the whole idea was, let’s get financial literacy in schools. I want everybody to have access to financial literacy education. And what I realized is that schools were struggling to get people on grade level, on reading level, right? And so, financial literacy was the tenth thing on the list, right? And there were so many issues involved with public school systems in general that financial education was just not going to get there.
And the other thing that I realized while I was doing it was, “Oh, teachers themselves are struggling financially for a variety of reasons.” But I think education is much better… You learn better from practitioners than you would giving teachers curriculum to teach, right? And so for me, it just totally changed… That’s why I call it a sort of epic fail. I’m siting there and I’m like, “Oh, this is not going to work. This is not going to work well.”
And so, that’s when I sort of got off the whole mission of financial literacy in schools because I just didn’t feel like it was the right environment for kids to learn effectively, that sort of skillset because, one, they had a lot of other things going on, and two, the people that would be teaching weren’t necessarily in the position to be able to practice what they preach, essentially.

Mindy: So, I don’t want to completely derail this conversation, but this is really interesting that you say that because I have two children in school, nine and 12. And you’re right, the way that you phrase that is correct. The teachers don’t even have enough time to teach what they’re supposed to be teaching. We’re struggling with math, we’re struggling with reading. We’re struggling with all the regular things. Kids are coming to school, they don’t have a full stomach, so they can’t pay attention. The teachers themselves are having problems with their finances. They’re not going to be able to teach properly something that they don’t even understand themselves.
So, how do we get our kids to learn finances? I think it should be something that they cover in school. I’ve seen this comment online a lot, “Wow, I can’t… Things I didn’t learn in school. I didn’t learn how to get a mortgage. I didn’t learn how to balance a checkbook. I didn’t learn how to do all this. But thank God I can do the Pythagorean Theorem,” which, by the way, has come up exactly zero times in my whole life outside of geometry class. So, what’s the solution? Fix it for us, Wilson.

Wilson: Yeah. So, not going to fix it today. But what I will say is that the most effective way to learn is one, being in a home environment, and two, just being surrounded by people that are in an environment like the ones that you’re creating, an environment where people are talking about it on a regular basis.
So, I often say that learning how to manage money is like learning a language. And so, it is an immersion process. So, for kids… Like I was talking about with the experience with my father, my memories of him filling that jar with his change, was the power of saving small amounts over time. That was the lesson that I got. And we never really [inaudible 00:14:11]about… He wasn’t like, “I’m trying to teach you that small amounts will last to big things over time.” It was just a visual that I was like, “Holy crap. In this fricking tube is $500. That’s crazy to me.” And when he showed me the receipt…
So for me, what I tell people, particularly parents is, “The best thing that you can do for your kids in terms of personal finances is get your own finances under control. They will see your behavior and they will mirror your behavior more than they will mirror your words.” And so, that’s what I think is going to be the most effective, is getting the adults. And that’s sort of what I focus on, is getting the adults to build their financial foundation.

Scott: Got it. So, how did this manifest itself for you in your time at Duke and following graduation from your MBA?

Wilson: Yeah. So, you can imagine that after leaving that internship, I was kind of wrecked. And so, it was like the whole reason I went to school was kind of thrown out the window for me in terms of that direction. And so, I had to sort of re-cast, and I ended up going the corporate route again. But this time, I worked for one of the largest 401(k) providers in the country. And my mission was, “Okay,” like I was saying before, “If I can help people get the basics of their finances together and get a large, large company to do that for the broader mass,” because as you guys well know, the financial services industry is tilted and geared towards the older and wealthier population. And that’s who they serve and everybody else is sort of left to fend for themselves.
And so, my goal was to say, "Hey, if I can get this super large company to start focusing on regular people just a little bit, just a little bit more than they're doing, that might really move the needle." So, that's how I moved in that direction. While at the same time, I was like, "Okay, well I happen to have a lot of student loan debt for the first time. I happen to have a lot of debt, so working for a big company actually makes a lot of sense right now in order to pay off all that student load debt." And I happened to get engaged just before I graduated from grad school as well. So, that was part of that journey.

Mindy: Engaged, like engaged to be married.

Wilson: Yeah, engaged to be married to my wife.

Mindy: Oh, okay.

Wilson: My wife went to business school at the same time, so we met just before going to business school, or in the process of going to business school. So, we had two six-figure student debts that we were working out and trying to pay off at the same time after school. So, we graduated… So, we got engaged, we were going to get married. And I had a conversation with her. I was like, “Look, I can’t deal with six-figure student loans. I can’t deal with debt. I have an emotional reaction to having that much debt.” And so I was very clear with her once we got engaged that I didn’t want to start a family until I got rid of this debt. Because my mind, within finance, worst-case scenarios, you’re thinking about starting a family with kids and you’re paying $1,000 a month for student loans while you’re… I’m like, “We can’t have that. I can’t think of that scenario.”
And so, she actually agreed. She was like, “Fine, okay. You can fast-track your student loans. I support you. But know that you have a time limit.” So we were in our late 20s, early 30s at that time. It was like, “There is a finite period of time which you can focus on this, because we will be starting a family.” So, that helped propel the speed at which I was paying off those loans.

Scott: What year did you graduate?

Wilson: So, I graduated in 2011. So, I paid off the loans by 2015. And my son was born just before I finished paying… Well, my first son was born just before I finished paying off the loans.

Mindy: Okay. You just said something… You kind of glossed it over. You said that you paid off… You had just over $100,000 in student loan debt and that Mrs. Wilson also had six figures in student loan debt. How much was her student loan debt, and did you pay that off, too?

Wilson: Yeah, so she decided not to fast-track the student loan debt.

Mindy: Okay.

Wilson: And so, of course, when you’re married, you see the whole thing at once. So, for her, her focus was… She didn’t have an emotional attachment to those loans. They didn’t bother her. And so, it wasn’t on me to say, “We both have to force-feed this kind of thing.” And so, for her, her focus was more on security. We got a super huge emergency fund. She started funding her retirement accounts. And I was like, “You can put your focus there. That’s fine.” She didn’t have the sense of urgency about getting rid of that debt that I did, and I was okay with that.
So for her, she paid it off over a longer period of time. So, it just took her the 10 years as opposed to the five. So she stretched that out, I was focused on it. And it helped in terms of our finances together because there was $1,000 less of expenses per month for us once I paid mine off, so that helped us tremendously, particularly when the kids arrived.

Mindy: Did she have any sort of repayment assistance program like teachers do? We haven’t really talked about what she does for a living.

Wilson: Oh, no. So, she did consulting. She does healthcare consulting. So, there wasn’t any repayment assistance. She’s cash-flowing, paying off the student loans, so she just did it that way. She just straight paid it. There might have been some times where there was extra money that she might put to the loans, but she wasn’t focused on paying it off as soon as possible.

Mindy: Okay. Now a personal question. Do you share finances?

Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Mindy: Okay. Okay. That’s interesting that you share finances. And this sounds judge-y and I don’t mean to be judge-y.

Wilson: No, not at all.

Mindy: You share finances, and your debt was very weighing on you but her debt was okay. And she’s still paying it off. It’s not like it’s just sitting there.

Wilson: Yeah, and so I think the way that both of us looked at it was that we incurred the debt before we got married. And so that's why I think we see it a little bit individually as opposed to a debt that we incurred together, while we were married. And so, to me, I saw myself coming into the marriage with six-figure student loans. I made that decision on my own to bring this into the relationship, and I need to get rid of it. I can't have it. But I didn't feel that strongly about the debt that she brought in. So, it wasn't as personalized for her student loan debt. Do I love it? Of course not. But it doesn't make me… Emotionally, it doesn't rile me up as much as student loans that I've got coming my way.

Scott: And to pay off that much debt in just a couple of years, I presume there were some lifestyle design choices that you made. Could you walk us through kind of what you did in order to save that much?

Wilson: Yeah, so if you can imagine… So, I went to Duke for grad school. She went to Northwester. So funny enough, I was living in Chicago, she was living in New York. She left New York to go to Chicago, to go to Northwestern. And I left Chicago to go to North Carolina. And we were together at the same time, so that’s kind of funny. But in turns, after we graduated, get these fancy degrees, we just actually went back home. Because we got engaged just beforehand, we were getting married the following year. And so, we weren’t going to live together until after we got married.
And so, she went back home to New York and was living at home while she was working. I went to work and I was doing a rotational program, so I was all over the country. So, I was kind of homeless. And so, I was essentially paying rent payments towards my student loans for the first year or so. And we were also saving for the wedding, because had to cashflow the wedding. I'm like, "We already have student loan debt. I will not pay a rent set of interest for the wedding."
So, yeah. So, that was one of the biggest lifestyle changes, was to go back home. Because for young people, we had pretty successful careers coming in. And so, I had my sort of loft apartment in downtown Chicago and that kind of thing. And it was like, “Oh, yeah. Back to ‘Hey mom. Hey Dad. How you doing?'” So, yeah. But it was for a specific purpose, and we knew that. And we knew it was a short period of time, because we were going to move in together after we got married.

Scott: So, after you got married, where did you end up living?

Wilson: So, I was still doing rotations with the company, so sometimes I was living on the site that I was living corporately. So, there were things like that. But I would travel home to New York. So, we had an apartment in New York. And Manhattan rent, oh my goodness. So, yeah. So, we didn’t last in New York very long because I just didn’t take New York and the prices.
But yeah, so we lived there for a little while. And then, once we moved together and we moved towards where my job was in New English. So, we lived in Rhode Island after that. So, the cost of living went way down. And we were living together with dual income, so that helped both of us save and help me advance towards the student loans.

Scott: So, this period where you’re paying down your debt is about four years, right? And during that period of time, how much of that was spent in New York? How much of it was spent in Rhode Island? How much of it was spent kind of meandering the country, wherever your work took you?

Wilson: Yeah. So, I had two years of meandering after I graduated, two years of meandering. I was doing six-month rotations in different sites for two years, while she was in New York that first year. Then, we got married. After we got married, she was in New York for a year and I was visiting back and forth. Then, we moved to Rhode Island.

Scott: Okay, got it.

Wilson: And we were there for the last two years of that four-year portion. So, essentially, two years in New York and two years in… Because she was living at home the first year. So, two years in New York and then two years in Rhode Island.

Scott: Got it. So, when you got back to zero and paid this down, what did you kind of start doing with the capital that you began to accumulate in positive territory?

Wilson: Yeah, so first thing, what I didn't realize with stepping down sort of the financial journey with the Money Speakeasy, was my son was born August 2015. So, Facebook, you share with your friends, you post up a picture. Baby's born, everybody's happy, all that kind of good stuff. Four months later, in December, I had sent a last payment in for my student loans to pay them all off. I just happened to share about that because we'd moved several times because, again, I was married, we had the wedding. And I just shared, "Hey, I'm really excited. I was focused on this for four years and paid off all my student loan debt."
When I put that up, that had more comments and private messages than when my son was born four months earlier. And so that, to me, signaled, oh, there’s a lot of people dealing with this stuff and a lot of people want to talk about it. So, for me, that was sort of a big signal. Like, “Okay, this is a topic that people want to talk about.”
So, to answer your question, after that, we really focused on, “I need freedom and flexibility.” So, that’s when I got basically two years of expenses in cash to say, “Look, I’m probably not going to stay at this company either, so I need the FU fund. I need the flexibility because we’re not going to stay in Rhode Island. You guys can’t see me there. I don’t look like I’m from Rhode Island.”
But yeah, we focused on one, we wanted to have a baby fund. And that was one of the things that my wife was working on because she wasn't advancing towards her student loans, so she wanted to have a baby fund. And we also wanted to have basically two years of expenses if I wanted to start a company, do something different, and live where we wanted to live, that we were able to do that. So, that's what we focused on post paying off the student loan debt.

Scott: Awesome. So, once you accumulated that two-year expense fund and the FU money, what happened next? And how long did that take you?

Wilson: I want to say that process was about a year because we left Rhode Island in 2016 and moved to DC. And the funny thing about that was the beginning of 2016 we were sort of setting our goals for the year. And we said, “Okay, we’re getting out of Rhode Island, we’re going to DC. And whoever gets the job first, the other one will follow and find a job going down there.” And so, we did that. And my wife found a job first. And so, we’re going down there, we’re looking for apartments. And you know when you’re looking for apartments, they have to verify your employment? So, I have them my manager’s phone number.
And so, I had told them… Because I wasn’t really talking about moving to DC at all, with my work. And so, my boss, Pete, called me and he was like, “Hey, I’m getting calls about…” And I was like, “Oh, don’t worry about it. We’re looking for houses. So, just verify that I’m employed there, whatever.” And he’s like, “But the calls are coming from Virginia.” I was like, “Yeah, we’ll talk about that on Monday.”
But what ended up happening was I ended up working remotely for them. But I would have never had the courage to be able to do that or have that conversation had I not had that FU fund. Because if I was in that situation, they could have said, “All right. Well, you’re moving. Thanks for playing.” So, having that sort of financial security there was like, “I’m moving to DC. If you want me to keep working there, great. If not, all right.”
So, that’s the kind of sentiment that I want more people to have, is that they have control over their lives and where they work. Because a lot of people are living in cities and towns solely because of their employer. They would not be there otherwise. And I think that’s not the ideal spot to be in.

Mindy: Yeah, say that again. Say that, “I never would have had the courage if I hadn’t had that money.”

Wilson: Absolutely. So, to be able to have that conversation and be in a position of, “I am moving. Here’s where I want to live, and this is where I’m going to be. So, if you want me to work for you, we’re going to have to accommodate the situation here, that I’m living here.” I would never had had that conversation or came at it with that sort of confidence had I not had the years of savings in my account just to say, “Okay.”

Mindy: I love that.

Scott: And the debt paid down, right?

Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Mindy: Yeah. So, that is so perfect. I am just going to stop this whole thing again and focus on that one more time because so many people… I’m starting to get a lot of emails from people, “Oh, well it’s not just about early retirement. It’s not just about quitting your job and never doing anything again.” And you see online all these people who talk about how they retired early and now they have the freedom to do what they want. People are calling them out. We called them the internet retirement police. Like, “Oh, we’ll you’re not really retired.”
Well, but I don’t work at a job that I don’t want to work at. I don’t live in a place that I don’t want to live in anymore. I can do what I want. It’s about the freedom. It’s about the independence. It’s about the ability to choose what you want. It’s not about the RE part, it’s about the FI part. And you paid off the debt, you saved up the two years, and now you can live where you want to live, and that’s so powerful. Do you love your life?

Wilson: Yeah. I definitely focus more on the FI part. And for me, and this is not a political statement, but most states are at will employment. Meaning that your company, your employer, can fire you at any time for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it’s not one of those protected classes, right? Age, sex, race, that kind of thing. It’s not for those justifications. But they can fire you for any reason, any purpose. And so, the idea that I would design my life around a company that can fire me at any point in time for any reason is insanity.

Scott: Or no reason at all.

Wilson: Or no reason at all. Just, you know what, costs. “You’re just too expensive. Got to go. See you when I see you.” So, to me, designing my entire life and bringing my family in a place where I don’t have control of whether or not I’m going to be able to receive an income tomorrow does not make sense to me. And so that, to me, was the FI attraction to me, is I’ve got to be in control of where I live, how I live, and how my family is able to survive in this environment.

Mindy: I love that.

Scott: I think in the last five, six years, there’s been a number of stories to this effect, right? Like, “Hey, you know what? I’m pretty good at my job. I don’t really need it that badly. There’s 10 very rough equivalents that I could go and work at within a couple of weeks. And I’m going to go do this thing, and you got to be okay with that.” And the reason people are comfortable with that is because of exactly what you’ve done, right, is put yourself in a position where you are negotiating from a position of power in that dynamic.
And I think that that’s healthy. That’s the way things should be, right? And that’s the point of this, is you don’t get all the benefits of financial independence all at once at the very end when you quit and never return to work again downstream. You get them as you make progress and have potential for more power in your life on an incremental basis day in and day out.

Wilson: Yeah, yeah. And I would just add to that, the point of contract has changed, right? And so, whether it’s boomers, or even older gen-X-ers, they grew up in a world where you had pensions. And so, you’re going to stay here and work for this company for 25, 30 years because we are paying for your retirement. So, we made this mutual agreement that if you do X, you work for us for X amount of time, then we will pay for your retirement. That’s wrong.
And so, there’s nothing… They essentially said, “No more pensions. You’re basically on your own for retirement. We’ll help you a little bit.” And so, “If that contract changes, my loyalty to you as a company changes because you’re not paying for my retirement. You want me to be loyal to this company.” And that’s great. I don’t bash on [inaudible 00:32:00]at all. But I’ve got to be more loyal to my family than I am to the company. So, that’s sort of how I look at it.

Mindy: Yeah, that’s beautiful.

Scott: All right. Hope you’re enjoying the show. We’ll be right back after a word from today’s show sponsor.

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Mindy: Okay. So, you have one son. You’ve moved to the DC area. You have a baby fund. Are you still working for that company now?

Wilson: I am not, now.

Mindy: Okay.

Wilson: I am not, now. I left a year or so ago. And now, we have a second son.

Mindy: Okay, so two babies now, and you don’t have a job, a formal job anymore. What do you do?

Wilson: So, I started transitioning to financial coaching. So, during this process, during this time, I started to learn about… I didn’t really know about blocking. I didn’t know about the FI world. I didn’t know about podcasting. I started learning about this stuff around 2016-ish. And so, ran into Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance. And I was like, “Oh my gosh.” It was almost like taking me all the way back to college with the financial advisor. I was like, “Oh, people are doing it differently, and they’re actually working with regular people.”
And so, one of the things that I said about working particularly with large firms is that I don’t have any problem with it. But for me, it doesn’t help me get out of bed in the morning, helping wealthy people get wealthier. I wanted to help regular people within. So that, for me, was what sparks me. And so, again, I’m not bashing financial advisors and that kind of thing. But you’re working with the wealthiest segment of a population and you’re helping them get regular. Meanwhile, 80% of the population is living paycheck to paycheck. I want to help the 80%. I’m not necessary as focused on the 20%.
So that, for me, was… That transition started within the last three years as I found out about FI and the blogging world and that kind of thing. I was like, “Oh, there’s another way to go about it.” So, that’s when I started doing financial coaching and blogging and that kind of thing, and pursued the Money Speakeasy.

Mindy: So, what is something that you see a lot of people doing wrong?

Wilson: Yeah. So, I would say the biggest mistake… And this goes back to what I mentioned earlier. I think the biggest mistake people make with their finances is they treat their finances like a task instead of a skill. So again, managing your money is a skill, a skill that you develop over time, and I compared earlier to learning a language. It is a skill that is developed over time.
So, people get frustrated. They start their budget and they’re like, “I can’t do budgeting. It just doesn’t work for me.” And I tell people all the time, your budget will suck the first month, the first few months, the first three months, first four months, it’ll suck. You’ll forget things, it’s not going to work, you’re not going to abide by it. But the other way to talk about it, I talk about it terms of managing your cashflow. These people hate the dreaded B-word. It’s like your managing your cashflow.
So, I think there are things, when you treat it as a longterm trend, a longterm lifestyle difference as opposed to a get-rick-quick or I’m just going to put this thing on my to-do list, I think when you look at it that way and you approach your finances that way, as a longterm thing, I think it is better for people in the long run. That’s one of the biggest I see with people making with their finances.

Mindy: Yeah. It’s just like losing weight. You didn’t get to 400 pounds overnight. You’re not going to get back to 150 overnight. You didn’t get $100,000 in debt overnight, and you didn’t pay it off overnight. But not paying it off doesn’t make it go away. Not taking the first steps. And first thing you do is cut out soda. And the first thing you do is cut out going out to eat. Or, just start tracking your finances, that’s really the first thing that you need to do, I start tracking your spending and see where your money’s going. And I think so many people are just like, “Well, I still have money in this…” What’s the saying? “I still have checks, I can’t be overdrawn.” Yeah. No, you absolutely can be. And so [crosstalk 00:37:19].

Wilson: And so, quick thing. I live in the DC area. And so, earlier in the year, we had the government shutdown. And so, we had people that… There are lot of people that are fluent in the DC area. And for some people, it’s not necessarily just an income thing, right? There are people with high incomes that are living paycheck to paycheck. And so, when a lot of those people went… I think it lasted about five weeks. So, they went two paychecks. They went almost two paychecks. And a lot of people were on the verge of not being able to pay rent that following month.
And so, I think it was more of a DC local thing when people open their eyes. But for me, and I’m an analyst guy, I knew the numbers. I know that a large percentage of our population is really struggling, and they are living on the edge. And even people with high incomes that are living on the edge.

Mindy: Yeah. Well, you’re paycheck to paycheck when you spend the entire paycheck before the next paycheck comes. It doesn’t matter how big or how small that paycheck is. When you put nothing in the bank, you’re still paycheck to paycheck. “Oh, I make six figures.” Yeah, you spend six figures, too.

Wilson: Exactly.

Mindy: And it wasn’t just DC. I’ve been through several government shutdowns. My husband used to work for the VA. And you watch these people scramble and frantic. And you’re like, “But you make six figures. How can you be having such a hard time with this?” But it’s because you’re spending that much money, too.
Do you remember… I remember the NBA lockdown. Or, lockout, shutdown, whatever.

Wilson: Yeah.

Mindy: All those guys are making way more than six figures, and they were defaulting on their mortgages on all their mansions because they are also paycheck to paycheck because they don’t know anything about running their finances like a skill. They don’t have that skill.

Wilson: Absolutely.

Mindy: Yeah. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, you can still be paycheck to paycheck.

Wilson: Absolutely.

Mindy: So, okay. What’s the first thing you teach people to do with their finances?

Wilson: Well, the first thing I work on with people with their finances is their mindset. And it goes back to what you were just talking about in terms of, the money is not necessarily… The level of income is important, but it is not the be all, end all. Where people come to their mindset with money, there are people that believe that wealthy people are evil, right? And so, if you have an inherent belief that wealthy people are evil, when you come into money, you’re going to make sure that you get rid of it as soon as possible because you inherently believe that you are not evil.
So, you run into things like that, where people’s mindset about money, what they were taught about money, the kinds of things that they say to themselves about money. Just the idea of the thought of, “I’m not good with my money,” is a self-defeating belief. And so, there’s conversations of, “Hey, tell me how your parents talked about money. Tell me what kind emotions…” And it’s funny coming from a guy… I’m like, “Tell me about your emotions that come up when you think about money.” But those are the types of important conversations, particularly in couples sort of situations because they can be coming from two completely different situations.
And so, that’s the first thing that we sort of work on, is a mindset that you are valuable enough to reach your financial goals and be financially wealthy and healthy. So, we start there before we even get into the numbers.

Scott: Just a moment here. When you’re talking about how there are people who believe that wealthy people are evil, that accumulation of money is evil, can you kind of go into that for a second? I guess that’s something new to me, just that this concept that we’re preaching is perceived as evil by some people.

Wilson: Well, and again, not to get into political discourse, but you see it in our political discourse, that the billionaires are evil and they’re trying to control everybody else. And so, we’re all going to be billionaires, but that filters down to millionaires. So, this sort of belief that wealthy people are evil, or even what the definition of wealth is. Because what people think wealth looks like is not what it really is.
So, The Millionaire Next Door is another book my dad made me read. So, The Millionaire Next Door describes how most millionaires are really frugal people that dress normally. The average car that they drive is a Ford. And so, it’s not the extravagant Hollywood thing. So, just getting rid of those perceptions and those negative perceptions. Because you will be governed by your own self-perception, right? And so, if you believe you are not that, then you will do everything that you can to self-sabotage. So, you get a windfall, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. Great, money’s coming in, but I don’t want to be one of those people.”
So yeah, I always tell people, there are poor jerks and there are rich jerks. There are fantastic wealthy people and there are wealthy jerks. And so, the money is not the difference, the people are the difference. It’s almost like alcohol. It’s like the more you have of it, the more you show of yourself, right? And so, it’s not the be all, end all of the thing. And so, those are sort of the conversations that we have to have at the beginning. So I try to get a sense of where people are at and how they think about what money means to them. And I talk about money being a valuable resource that you use to support things that are invaluable, like your time, your family, and your talent, right? And so, that’s the way that I look at money and how I think about money.

Scott: So, what’s an example, maybe, of one of these types of conversations with someone who is particularly hard to convince to change their ways, who is clearly having problems or anything like that. I’m trying to get inside the mind of someone who, maybe, is really struggling with this concept for the first time.

Wilson: Yeah. So, I work with, sometimes, folks that may have come from a financially strapped background, right? So, let’s say they’re doing well for themselves, but they may be the first person in their family to go to college, for example. So, they are the example, but they don’t feel like it because they’re like, “Okay. I’m coming out of college. I’ve been out of college for a few years. I’m making $60,000. I’m making more than my parents made their whole lives. But I’ve got student loans. I feel like I’m struggling and I’m not doing well with my money. So, I’m not doing it right, but I’m supposed to be the example. And so, there’s this sort of tension between how other people perceive me versus how I perceive myself.”
And so, people have to give themselves grace, right? This is a long journey, and you have to give yourself grace over time. This is going to be something that improves over time. As Mindy was saying, it’s not going to happen overnight. And so, I try to give people the space. There’s a lot of shame, blame, and guilt that comes with money. And so, at least acknowledging that that stuff exists, that stuff’s there, and it’s not really real is part of the process of overcoming those things.
So, I think it's just putting it out in the air. Nate Brown always talks about vulnerability and just shining the light on it. Like, "I feel really shameful about this situation." And once you say it out loud, it sort of dampens it down a little bit. Like, "Okay. I said it out loud. I have $100,000 in student loan debt. Okay. All right. Let's do something about it. Great." So, that's the kind of environment that I try to create for my clients.

Mindy: You know, Rock Star Finance had a net worth tracker, was it?

Wilson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mindy: Scott, do you remember what I was talking about?

Scott: Yeah. It was 500-something financial bloggers and their net worths or whatever.

Mindy: Yeah. I thought that was really, really interesting and very powerful to look at this and see, they span from 10 million or more net worth to negative 600,000, because I think there were two doctors that were married and had massive student loans or something. And seeing that list was very helpful to me just to see, “Oh, look at all these people who know it all, and they have varying levels of success with money.” And that’s not really the right way to say it either, because you’re not unsuccessful with money because you have $600,000 in student loans. You’re not successful with money just because you have 10 million dollars in net worth. Maybe you got lucky. Maybe you won the lottery. Maybe you have a million dollar a year job and you spend $20,000 a year. I guess that would kind of make you successful with money. I should stop now.

Wilson: No, no-

Mindy: But this was very helpful.

Wilson: It is helpful, because we naturally compare ourselves to others. And that’s fine, but we have to have a conversation about running our own race. And what I talk about is, “Hey, look, I don’t…” First of all, I can’t convince everybody to budget. I’ve realized that doing this a little while. Some people just have an aversion. They see a spreadsheet and it’s the bane of their existence. I get it. So, I just ask people to track two numbers, right? Their net income, right? So, after they pay all their expenses, what’s left over? Net income and their net worth. If you can track those two numbers, I’m fine. If you don’t want to budget, fine, I just need those two numbers.
But it’s not the number, it is the trajectory over time. So to me, what I would say, especially when you say those numbers at list, what direction is it going? As long as it’s going in a positive direction and you’re headed towards something, that is success. I want you to be moving in a positive direction. If it’s negative $600,000 and you’re moving towards zero, fantastic. If it’s zero and you’re moving towards $600,000 on the positive side, fantastic. Just move it in a positive direction from month to month, that’s your within.

Mindy: That’s so smart. You are only competing with yourself.

Wilson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott: You know, a lot of people have come on and said, “Hey, there is an ah-ha moment. There’s a moment when I got it, or get it, and figured it out.” How does that manifest itself with the people you work with when you’re talking about this kind of thing? Have you experienced a couple of those with clients?

Wilson: Yeah. So, when I first started anonymously, because I was still working at the time and I didn’t want it tied to my employer. So, I was just like, “All right, we’re not talking about this at work.” And so, I want other people to be talking about this topic. And so, I’d write about it. And one of the issues that I had is I felt like, particularly with the large financial services industry, is they’re talking to people… Let’s say there’s, from bottom to FI, let’s say there’s 15 steps. I felt like the financial services industry is talking to everybody that is starting at step seven. And I’m like, “Eighty percent of the country is struggling on steps one through six. So, can we just start talking about steps one through six?”
So, when I started writing, I was writing and trying to talk about steps one through six. But even just having the financial background and working the financial services industry, I was still talking at a level above where I thought my readers were. And I didn’t realize that at the time. I was still using terms and using lingo. And so, that ah-ha moment for me was when I started coaching individually and I would say things like… I’d be talking about a credit report and somebody would stop me and say, “I’ve never seen a credit report before.” And it’s like, “Oh. I need to back up, because I’ve been talking about credit reports for 15 minutes.”
So, those kinds of things. And I don’t want to say, “Dumb it down.” But we have to understand particularly that there is no formal education for any of this stuff. All of this stuff is learned outside of the classroom. And so, we have to give people grace to be able to catch up with us, and start where people are. That’s why I focus on people’s financial foundation. I want everybody to have a solid financial foundations before they… I love FI. Believe me, I love FI. But I need folks to get their financial foundation together. And that’s what I want people to focus on.

Scott: Seems like another good application of your… It’s a language analogy, right?

Wilson: Absolutely.

Scott: You can’t start constructing sentences until you know the alphabet, and then the letters, and then the words.

Wilson: Absolutely. [crosstalk 00:49:36]Let’s just start with the basics, the letters, one word at a time. Exactly.

Scott: Is there anything else that we should be talking about your thinking about here before we begin moving onto our Famous Four?

Wilson: No, let’s move on. Let’s do the Famous Four.

Scott: All right.

Mindy: Okay. It is time for the Famous Four. These are the same five questions we ask all our guests. Four questions and one command, as Scott says. I just like that it’s called the Famous Four and they’re five questions. Okay. Anyway, Wilson, what is your favorite finance book?

Wilson: I’d definitely have to go with Rich Dad, Poor Dad just because of my relationship with my father. I know it’s a common one that everybody’s read. But two reasons. One is my relationship with my father and how that sort of came up, because he was the poor dad. But I felt like he was giving me the ability to take a different path, right? And so, he was guiding me in that direction. So for me, that’s personal. And the second reason is it’s a narrative story. A lot of the personal finance books are like, “Here’s what you need to know. One, two, three, four, and step by step.” And it was a decent narrative story. And I was like, “Oh, I was compelled by the story.” I was like, “Oh, that’s a nice story. It’s a nice allegory. I like it.”

Scott: Yeah. Some of us love that book, some of us don’t like that book. I’m one of those people who love Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I think it’s just very powerful, it’s very accessible. It’s written from the perspective of an eight-year-old, right, at the beginning of the book.

Wilson: Absolutely.

Scott: So, it makes it so that it’s very easy to digest a lot of the concepts that he’s talking about. And it feels accessible, I guess. So, we’ve talked about that book a million times on this show and the BiggerPockets real estate podcast. If you haven’t read that one, it’s a classic, and I think you should.

Wilson: And for your listeners, I’ll give you another book that’s not a personal finance book, but I love it. Atomic Habits by James Clear. So, we talked about this language and just a habit formation and building habits over time. He just chilled it in terms of how he talks about how to build sustainable habits over time, doing the smallest little things that you can do that add up over time. And I think that’s the way that we have to look at finances as well.

Scott: I have not checked that book out, but I’ve heard great things. So, I’ll have to go read it. All right. So, what was your biggest money mistake? And if it was the student load debt, was was your second biggest money mistake?

Wilson: I don't consider the student loan debt a mistake, and going back to school, because I met my wife and a lot of those to be continued. So, I can't say going back to school was a mistake. But I would say probably not maxing out my 401(k)s in my 20s. Great time in Chicago, loved it. But the money I wasted having to live downtown and being a bachelor in Chicago was… I look back on that and I was like, "That's dumb. You could have done half of that and still fully funded your 401(k)." So, I would do that.

Scott: Great. Love it. Opportunity cost.

Wilson: Absolutely.

Mindy: When were you in your 20s in Chicago? Because I think I was there, too.

Wilson: I was there… Let’s see, I graduated in 2003. So, yeah. So, basically 2003. And I left and came back. So, basically 2003 to 2009 was when I was in Chicago.

Mindy: Yeah, that was a good time.

Wilson: Indeed. I loved it.

Mindy: I thought you looked familiar. What is your best piece of advice for people who are just starting out?

Wilson: I would go back to what I was saying before, realizing that managing money is a skill and not a task. I think, again, people have to give themselves grace. This thing is not going to change overnight. You really have to step back and understand, the personal finance game is almost all behavioral. And so, it’s almost all about how I make choices about managing my money in a way that aligns with my values.
And so, that’s what I talk to people about, is, “How can I… If I look at your bank statement, would your bank statement tell you that you spent the most money on what’s most important to you and the least money on what’s least important to you? And if that’s not the case, then let’s do some work to get it there.” And so, that’s how I would think about money if you’re just starting out.

Mindy: Beautiful.

Scott: All right. What is your favorite joke to tell at parties in Chicago?

Wilson: Yeah, so I’m not really much of a joke-teller. So, maybe some jokes [inaudible 00:54:03]or whatnot. I will say that I use a lot of self-deprecating humor. One, because I’m a 6’6″ black guy who’s 250 pounds. And so, I usually stand out in a room. And so, I usually use self-deprecating humor. I’ll tell people about when I went skydiving or skiing… Or, snowboarding, I mean. I went snowboarding once. And being 6’6″, I have a really low center of gravity. So yeah, I usually tell people about that. I don’t usually do the on-off jokes.

Mindy: Well, I have a joke that a woman told me at the BiggerPockets conference we had earlier this year. How does The Rock go to the bathroom? He Dwaynes is Johnson. Is that inappropriate? I don’t think that’s inappropriate. That’s not inappropriate, is it? As soon as I said that, I’m like, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t say that.”

Wilson: I’ll take it. I’ll take it. [crosstalk 00:55:02]But it is a joke.

Mindy: Oh yeah, they’re not good.

Scott: When The Rock goes to the store to purchase items to cut paper and other types of things with, does he buy those items in bulk, or how does that work? It’s The Rock, he pays per scissors. Sorry. Okay. I butchered that one. We’ll try again later.

Wilson: I did catch on afterwards. I got it. I got it.

Scott: I dug that one up from a long time ago. All right, where can people find out more about you, Wilson?

Wilson: Absolutely. They can find out about me on my website themoneyspeakeasy.com. That’s T-H-E-M-O-N-E-Y-S-P-E-A-K-Y.com. They can also find me uniformly on social media on @moneyspeakeasy.com… Or @moneyspeakeasy, I’m sorry.

Mindy: Okay. And we will have all of those links in our show notes, which are found at biggerpockets.com/moneyshow96. From the Money Speakeasy, this was Wilson Muscadin. Wilson, this was really awesome. I’m so glad we finally connected.

Wilson: I am elated. I had a great time. Thank you so much for having me.

Mindy: Thank you for coming on.

Scott: I remember it now, by the way. It’s, does Dwayne Johnson purchase bulk sheers? No, The Rock pay per scissors. Anyway, yes. Great having you on, Wilson. Fantastic.

Mindy: Yes, it was great having you on. I’m sorry that the jokes were horrible.

Wilson: It’s all right. It’s all right.

Mindy: But actually, that’s your fault, because you’re supposed to bring a joke. Google ‘worst joke ever’ and, next to Scott’s face, you will see a list of all of this terrible jokes.

Wilson: Nice.

Mindy: Okay, we’ll talk to you soon.

Wilson: All right. Thanks again.

Scott: All right. That was Wilson Muscadin from themoneyspeakeasy.com. Mindy, what’d you think?

Mindy: I loved everything he said today. So many things. I’m sitting there, typing, “Quote this. Quote this. Quote this.” I have five or six quotes from this episode. “Money is a resource, is a valuable thing that you trade for invaluable things like time. And, “There is no formal education for any of this.” I love that concept so much, because so many people, like he said, so many people have this shame that they’re in debt. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re probably not going to do it right. Don’t look to me to do brain surgery on you. I bet I don’t do it right. But go to the guy who’s learned how. He wasn’t born knowing how to do brain surgery, he had to learn. You’re not born knowing how to run your money, you have to learn.

Scott: No. Yeah, I think it’s completely true. And what I found kind of particularly enlightening for me, aside from all the wonderful things he shared in the story is just how people are almost against… They’re almost afraid to talk about money, not out of a sense of powerlessness or hope, but almost as a, money is evil, or money is this thing that I shouldn’t be good with because people who are good with money or who are wealthy are the problem in our society. And I think that’s an interesting perspective and narrative that we’ll need to work to continue to change.

Mindy: Yeah. Well, I think the spotlight is on the billionaires who are evil or changing the world in ways that, maybe, you don’t want to see it changed. But there’s not enough of a spot… Like Bill Gates. Bill Gates, the Microsoft guy, was evil and he was taking over the world. But Bill Gates, the head of the Gates Foundation, he’s bringing water to countries that don’t have water. And basic… What is it? Malaria? No, is that the mosquito one? You get bit by a mosquito, you get malaria? That costs 10 cents a dose. But if you don’t have access to the medicine, you’re going to die of malaria, which is a horrible, horrible thing, and so easy to not die from if you have the medicine. So, that Bill Gates is amazing. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. I should say, Melinda Gates is amazing, too.

Scott: Well, another thing, I think, is I wonder if it’s really like, “Bill Gates is evil,” as a narrative. Or if it’s, “That kid who has a rich parent, rich father or something like that,” that’s the evil, that person driving the car that they didn’t work to earn or whatever is the person that, me, I sense a lot of the narrative against, maybe more so than Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. I could be wrong, though.

Mindy: Yeah. I’m not sure why people think that money is evil, except that maybe it’s kind of an us against them. ‘Us’ is the poor people, and, “Oh, we’re kept down, and the rich people are controlling everything.” So, go be rich, then.

Scott: Yeah, listen to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast and spend less than you earn, and one day… Yeah.

Mindy: One day you, too, will be considered evil by other people. No. But just because you have money doesn’t mean you’re doing bad things. Bill Gates started that whole… God, I am totally drawing a blank on this initiative that he did, the Billionaires Pledge or something, where Warren Buffet, another best friend of mine, is pledging all of this money to this foundation so they can go out and bring the malaria drugs to the parts of the world that don’t have it but still have malaria. Bring water, clean water to people.
So, you can use your money for good. You should use your money for good. But first, you have to get that money.

Scott: I read recently that there is 68 trillion dollars that will transferred over the next some-odd number of years from the wealthiest generation in human history, the baby boomers, to, largely, the millennial generation. And interesting ramifications and societal impacts that will come from that. So, something to noodle on that stat and wonder what that means in the context of the succession. But maybe we’ll have somebody another day who can kind of walk us through that in more detail.

Mindy: Yeah. What is it? The first generation earns it, the second generation grows it, and the third generation squanders it?

Scott: I don’t know. I have heard something to that effect, yes.

Mindy: Okay, well if you know what that is, please send us an email and let us know exactly what we’re trying to say here.

Scott: Yeah.

Mindy: Okay. From episode 96 of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, this is Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench, and we got to go, buffalo.

Scott: Nice. You know what the mama buffalo said when she was leaving her kids for the day, to go to work?

Mindy: Bye, son.

Scott: Bye, son.

Mindy: That’s horrible, too.

Scott: All right. Goodbye.

Mindy: Okay. There you go, you get an extra little joke, courtesy of Scott. And you can email him at [email protected]

Scott: I’ve got a whole herd of those jokes.

Mindy: Oh my god. Okay, I quit. Goodbye. It was nice knowing you all for 96 episodes.

Scott: Bye bye.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Wilson’s journey with money
  • Having an open discussion with his dad about money growing up
  • Money books he read
  • The reason he did not pursue becoming a financial advisor
  • The importance of financial literacy
  • The perfect environment to teach kids about finances
  • Lifestyle changes to save money and pay off their debt
  • Paying off student loan debt and the social media reaction
  • What are their goals after paying off debt
  • How he started doing financial coaching
  • Mistakes that other people make with their finances
  • The first thing he teach people to do with their finances
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Tweetable Topic:

  • “Learning how to manage money is like learning a language.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The best way to teach is to get your finances in order.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Biggest mistake people make with their finances: treat their finances like a task, rather than a skill that is developed over time.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Money is a resource that you trade for invaluable things like time.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Wilson

The BiggerPockets Money Podcast is for anyone who has money… or want to have more! Join BiggerPockets Community Manager and Podcast Director Mindy Jensen and CEO Scott Trench weekly for the BiggerPockets Money Podcast! Each week, financial experts Mindy and Scott interview unique and powerful thought leaders about how to earn more, keep more, spend smarter, and grow your wealth. You'll get tips for getting your financial house in order and actionable advice from guests who have been in your shoes—and found their way out.

    David A Love from Knoxville, TN
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Mindy, I'm a carpenter and I use the Pythagorean theorem regularly. Also Scott, I drive a F250 Super Duty with a diesel. Its a useful tool to excel at my work as a carpenter. Just saying.
    Jose Centeno
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Based on the last part of the conversation and your general lov for libraries, I think y'all might enjoy the following two books: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/11276 Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D51GHJN/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_ae2TDbHJNWJSB
    Jose Centeno
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/11276
    Jose Centeno
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D51GHJN/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_ae2TDbHJNWJSB