Jerry Brown from Peerless Money Mentor was gracious to spend some time with me recently for a quick chat to share some of his insights.
Just a bit of background on Jerry. He graduated from University of New Orleans with not one, but two bachelors of science degrees. One of his degrees is specializing in business administration and another one also in business, but with an emphasis on information technology.
Unfortunately, he got himself into a bit of consumer debt trouble after graduating, due to purchasing some items on credit and loans. Jerry has then worked diligently on paying off his debt and is inspiring others to do so as well. He has logged his experiences and tips on his blog, Peerless Money Mentor.
Who are the inspirations for your blog?
Since I am still paying off my debt, Dave Ramsey has played an instrumental part in my financial independence journey. I have read some of his books and learned of the debt snowball.
Paula Pant of Afford Anything is another favorite of mine. She covers a lot of interesting material in an easily digestible format. It inspired me to want to start my own blog to see if I can provide from my own perspective and share information with others within the financial independence community.
You said that you still currently paying off debt. What type of loans do you currently have and what are you doing to tackle it?
Most of the debt is due to a car loan, which I am quickly paying off. I am only about 4-5 payments away from completely getting rid of the car loan forever. Other than that, there are a few personal loans left, which I am also vigorously paying off.
My method is like the debt snowball popularized by Dave Ramsay. Except, I am going extreme and blitzing everything I got at it to pay it off as quickly as possible. Instead of doing the snowball, I am doing the debt avalanche. I am taking a very proactive approach.
What are some of your side hustles that you are currently doing?
Currently, I am doing ride-share, Wegolook, Erlibird and other side things. Other smaller side hustles include getting rewards points or cash from survey sites.
(For those who are not familiar with those other programs, they generally involving gathering data. You would drive to a location to take pictures of a car for an insurance company or other various tasks that involve getting data. Those apps will pay you a certain amount of the tasks completed)
Between the ride-share services, I noticed that Lyft riders tend to tip better. Once, a rider tipped me $64 since I was taking him on a long drive! It was very generous of him.
What is your current or future investments strategy?
For now, I am more focused on taking out the debt as quickly as I can. Otherwise, I am putting money into Betterment and letting it grow.
Someday, I would also like to purchase my own house. I am slowly building up my wealth while keeping my expenses low, so that I may save it.
In the future, I would like to get into real estate, just like Paula Pant. My goal would be to own multiple properties and create passive income from them.
In addition, I hope that my blog will also help provide me with some form of passive income in the future.
Everyone should try to build more than one stream of income.
What do your friends think of your new-found knowledge of frugality?
<laughs> They think I am a bit crazy since it looks a bit like I am depriving myself. My friends also think I am working too much. The second part might be true though – I do work a bit too much.
Once, I didn’t want to go to the club with my friends, because I now see it as a huge waste of money. Same with fancy cars – waste of money and outrageous cost for maintenance.
You have got to hustle if you want to make it rich. I believe that my frugal mindset will help me get there.