Today I have this week’s installment of our segment: Interviews with Money Experts. I talk with Scott from Making Momentum.
Before we get started with the interview, Scott graciously provided a brief snapshot of himself and his journey.
-Started waking up at 5am to side hustle through freelancing to expedite debt repayment and retirement saving (earned approx. $14,500 in the last 2 years from working those extra morning hours)
-Increased my salary as a marketing professional by 34% in the last 2 years by actively looking to do this (similar to what John at ESI Money talks about)
-Listen to 5-8 podcast episodes daily on finance, business, wellness, history, sports, comedy, fitness, etc. And have done so for 7 years, meaning I’ve probably listened to somewhere in the range of 7,000 – 11,000 podcast episodes total.
-Made a lot of mistakes with money in my early 20s and started to right the ship a bit later than I should have – consumerism mistakes, “I’ll start being better next year”, lack of knowledge and willingness to ask questions or for advice.
-Made $1,800 on eBay in about 45 minutes of total work after having my “personal finance aha moment” to kill off the last of my credit card debt. Helped me realize I’m the one in control of my finances and that I can right my wrongs and fix my mistakes.
-Purposely moved to a smaller apartment within walking distance to work to save on the potential car costs or public transportation fees. I’ve walked to work every single day for the last 4 years (estimate savings are $7,000-$11,000 and total distance just on that work walk in that time is 2,500 miles). I detail my experience walking to work, here.
-Lost 35 pounds in 18 months through a dedicated heavy weightlifting program and excessive diet management. Took it too far and became obsessed, helped me learn about moderation and balance.
-Backpacked around Europe for 3 months when I was 19-20 years old and visited 14 different countries. Greatest experience of my life and always recommend young people take advantage of the freedoms they have to travel, get outside their comfort zone, and immerse themselves in other cultures. It can set you back financially but there are major benefits to travel and you’ll never have that opportunity again as life progresses and responsibilities build.
With that great introduction of who Scott is, here’s our interview.
What podcasts do you listen to?
At times I might listen to 50+ podcast episodes a week so this list could look something like this post (http://makingmomentum.net/top-75-podcasts-to-help-improve-your-life/). However, below are the podcasts I listen to (almost) every new episode of and that cycle through my playlist queue most often:
- Choose FI
- BiggerPockets Money
- Millennial Money Minutes
- FIRE Drill Podcast
- Marriage, Kids, And Money
- Mo’ Money Podcast
- Stacking Benjamins
- Financial Independence Podcast
- Masters Of Money (stopped releasing new episodes)
Side Hustles, Business & Blogging
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Joe Rogan Experience (pending the guest)
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (very infrequent episodes)
- Optimal Living Daily
- Zero To Travel
- TED Talks Daily
- Found My Fitness
- Good Life Project
- The School of Greatness
…okay I’ll stop now!
What are the top 10 lessons you’ve learned from those podcasts?
- The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that podcasts are a FREE source of endless knowledge, motivation, and entertainment. It’s like sitting in on a private conversation with industry leaders and experts on any topic you might desire. With a simple click or tap of the finger, you can listen in on some of the most engaging, successful and smart people this world has to offer.
- You’re the master of your own destiny and in full control of whatever you want to do in life. (one of those classic Joe Rogan rants/manifestos)
- The importance of diet and exercise for mindset, motivation, and general wellness. (The Joe Rogan Experience)
- Starting small is better than not starting at all in your personal financial improvement journey. Even if you’re a little late to the game you have the opportunity to fix mistakes, right the ship and set yourself up for success. Whether that’s saving, investing, budgeting, side hustling, paying off debt, etc. (Financial Independence Podcast, Millennial Money Minutes & Masters Of Money)
- The opportunities presented by waking up at 5AM. (Tim Ferriss)
- The power of diversified income by monetizing your skills, passions, and interests outside your 9-5. (Side Hustle Show)
- Lean in and take a chance on yourself. (Do You Even Blog)
- Travel hacking and rewards churning. (Financial Independence Podcast)
- Focusing on optimizing your career earning potential. (ESI Money on Do You Even Blog, Choose FI & Masters Of Money)
- The 10 pillars of financial independence. (Choose FI)
Any uncommon advice (outside of exercise and eat right) that you could give about weight loss and dieting?
Exercise and diet are definitely the pillars of success, especially the diet side of things. But another factor that I’ve found to be a major determinant of staying consistent and achieving whatever that healthy outcome you’re reaching for is creating accountability.
- Goals & Continual Notifications: I put Post It Notes on my fridge, mirror, computer screen, front door, desk at work, daily planner, etc. These notes might be a reminder for that day, a quote or specific task to complete related to health and wellness. I also use my iPhone to do the same with Google Calendar and Todoist notifications. That constant reminder of the goals or mindset I am pursuing helps create personal accountability and ensures they’re always at the forefront of my mind.
- Accountability Partner(s): An exercise partner can help cut through the dog days of working out when you’re feeling sluggish or perhaps looking to take shortcuts. It has to be someone who will be honest and blunt with you when needed but also provide that uplifting support when the time calls for it. Whether it’s your significant other, a friend, coworker, etc. you can form a mutually beneficial relationship to push for success together. Celebrate the wins along the way!
What are some things you learned by observing different cultures while backpacking?
One of the biggest takeaways I had from backpacking Europe for three months at the tender age of 19-20 (http://makingmomentum.net/3-month-backpacking-trip/) was that the world is full of happy, helpful and great people.
Whether I was in Scotland, the Czech Republic, Greece or one of the other 14 total countries I visited, both locals and tourists alike were kind-hearted and there for support whenever you needed it.
The importance of family and community was also very apparent, especially as I navigated the countries along the Mediterranean (Italy, Croatia, Greece, Spain & Portugal).
I continually witnessed large groups of local families all enjoying each other’s company in a jovial mood. Big meals, wine, laughing and dancing. From newborns to 90-year-old great-grandparents, it was evident they took time to share meals, experiences, and life together.
An appreciation for history and respect for those that have come before us is also a consistent theme throughout Europe. With such a diverse, wide-ranging history across the entire continent, it would be a shame to forget that rich (and troubled) past. From the museums, libraries, statues, architecture, stories, artwork and so forth, a reverence for that history is clear.
I’m Canadian and there is quite the contrast in terms of the regard we place on our much shorter, limited history as a country in comparison to those of Europe. The locals in each country always told us about the heroics of their country, and share both the good and bad moments of their nation’s past.
Any lessons you were taught growing up that you appreciate now?
My parents raised their kids to be open-minded, welcoming and understanding of people from all walks of life. I’ve met so many amazing people and experienced so much this wild world has to offer from having that openness ingrained in me from a young age.
They also instilled a desire for knowledge and learning which in turn has led to my enjoyment of reading, documentaries, podcasts, and traveling.
I was also taught to take risks and believe in yourself. If you want something, just go for it and give it your best. This mindset was reinforced in school and sports from a young age, then continued as I reached the post-secondary and career planning phases of life.
When I was in Europe at Humboldt University in Berlin, I read this Albert Einstein quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning.” That stuck with me and is a mindset I’ve tried to carry forward.
What do you hope to pass onto the next generation?
The world has changed so much over the years since I was a kid, so I can only imagine how different it will be for the next generation and generation the after that. My guess though is that these three foundational pillars of everyday life will still be prevalent: relationships, money and personal development.
- Relationships – Life is too short. Mitigate negative relationships and interactions as best possible, and focus on those that deliver value and happiness to your life. Be a giver and getter, deliver value to others and you’ll find that it comes back tenfold.
- Money – Understand the basics of money from a young age and the opportunities for you in life will be boundless.
- Personal Development – Your mind and body are the most valuable assets you’ll ever own in life. Invest in yourself, and keep your mental and physical health at the forefront of your priorities.
If the next generation can master those areas, perhaps it can deliver benefits to the greater collective.
What’s an app, book, and blog that you would recommend to someone that wants to improve their financial situation?
- Mint: I believe one of the most essential first steps to improving your financial situation is understanding where your money is currently going. Mint allows you to sync and automate all of your accounts, track your spending, organize and categorize, and build budgets. It helps identify those areas of overspending and opportunities for improvement while ensuring you have visuals of your full financial landscape. (I am Canadian so we don’t have access to Personal Capital).
- The Simple Path To Wealth: Your Road Map To Financial Independence And A Rich Life by JL Collins: The man, the myth, the legend: JL Collins. This is the #1 book I recommend to those looking to better understand money and improve their financial situation. While it might not get as tactical as other books on managing a budget or lifestyle optimization, this book focuses more so on saving, investing and financial freedom. The “simple” description in the title holds true as the book is straightforward, easy to understand and rooted in building a foundation for success.
- Get Rich Slowly (JD Roth): There are so many amazing personal finance blogs out there in the community so it’s hard to nail it down to just one. However, given the volume and quality of work that JD Roth has produced on Get Rich Slowly and the breadth of the topics discussed, I would have to lean there. From tips and strategies for beginners to high-level more complex content, JD has covered it all. He’s a great writer and focuses on providing actionable advice in a digestible manner for his readers to improve their own financial lives. Use the “Search” function on his website and deep dive into any particular topic you’re looking for.
What would you like to add that would benefit the reader?
With the amount of information overload we can consume on any given day (advice, success stories or moments of struggle), I think one thing we can all keep in mind is the “personal” aspect of personal finance.
This is about your life or your family’s life. You need to find what works for you, what fits your beliefs and delivers value to you. Everyone comes from a different situation and set of circumstances, so what works for someone else may not work for you. But we can all learn from each other to build our own system to reach our goals, financial or otherwise.
Use others as motivation and a tool for best practices or a community to learn from, not as a disheartening comparison metric. Never forget personal finance is indeed, personal.
If people want to learn more about you, where should they go?
That concludes my interview with Scott. I hope you gained some new insights into how to improve your Financial Health and grow your Wealth.
Come back next week for my interview with Marc from Vital Dollar.
So readers, what was your favorite point made here? Any questions for Scott?