How I Learned Web Page Design From a Plumber


“Believe in yourself, your abilities and your own potential. Never let self-doubt hold you captive. You are worthy of all that you dream of and hope for.” – Roy Bennett


Lately I’ve been getting alot of compliments on the new look of the site. It was a big move for sure, and so much was learned during the site migration. It wasn’t until recently that one of my friends asked how I knew so much about web page design, site layout, reading source code, yada yada yada. I started thinking about how to answer this question and thought this would make a really empowering blog topic.


You see, from the job descriptions we read, to the tasks we only “wish” we could achieve; it becomes apparent that we put some major limitations on ourselves. However, today’s blog is going to be my story of how I learned web page design; not from college, or even webpage design classes, but from a Plumber. Without further adieu here is the story of how I learned web page design…


The Plumber’s Story –  Everyone loves a good story, and this one picks up on one summer day in my Mother’s kitchen of all places. She hired a plumber to fix her kitchen sink and as he was just finishing up and heading out, I came home from my college classes. He asked me, “hey I’m starting a webpage design company, your ma says your good with computers. Wanna come work for me?” Now, this guy was like Mario straight out of Nintendo. Before me stood a sicilian Plumber in overalls with an italian accent that persuaded me just enough to say yes. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little scared of being “whacked.”


On my first day with the Plumber I met him in a little office in Greenwood Lake New York. When I say the office was little, I mean my bedroom closet was bigger… Nonetheless I came to work and learn, and that’s just where we started. It turned out the Plumber had a dream of his own, starting a giant database of all the master plumbers all across New Jersey, and building these plumber’s websites.


After a few weeks of hands on training I learned to not only design websites but read and create source code. Some of it was absolute monotonous work, copy and pasting the same code over and over. However it taught me the importance of everything being uniform. Everything had to be linked, meta tags inserted, and the page completely SEO’ed (search engine optimized) so people could find us on google. The amount of attention to detail was crazy to me; but taught me to always double check my work.


But Why –  After a year of working for the Plumber, I finally asked him “when did you come up with this idea, and why is it so important?” He then explained to me that in just a few years it was planned that he would go blind due to macular degeneration. He had already had several operations on his eyes and would no longer be able to rely on plumbing to support his family. His goal was to get his website design business started and be able to create some sort of income for his family. He taught himself web page design by reading books, and watching youtube videos. He, like me, never took one class on web page design.


The Takeaway –  Whenever I get really down on myself I think about the lesson the Plumber taught me. There are too many times in life where credentials are over weighted. We convince ourselves that we can’t do things because we don’t have MBA’s, 10+ years experience, or don’t have “advanced” skills in excel or SAP. The biggest truth in life is that any skill can be learned.


The next time you’re challenged, connect to the scenario “what if I had to.” What if you had to learn a skill so that you can go deeper in your career, to bring in more income for your family, or even so you can be happier? If a Plumber can teach himself web page design, if a real estate agent (such as myself) can blog about personal finance and career advice; there’s certainly no reason you can’t do anything that your heart desires. The key takeaway I really want to drive home in this blog are that the only limitations that exist are the ones we set upon ourselves.


What do you think? How do you overcome your obstacles and stay focused on your goals? Share with us in the comments below!

Three Tech Savvy Tools That Will Help You Save Time And Money This Summer

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

Here’s a small confession: I’m a bit of a tech geek when it comes to new apps and gadgets. Here’s another confession: I’m admittedly in love with saving money, which of course if you’re reading this blog, I hope you are too! I recently had the chance to try out some different apps and sites; and wanted to share my findings with you. Below are the ones I found that not only saved me time but saved me money as well!


GasBuddy – As the old saying goes “Gas prices are as fickle as the heart” (#thatsnotarealsaying) and indeed they are. With gas prices expected to soar over $3.00 a gallon in New Jersey this summer I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll walk to work if I have to. Luckily with GasBuddy, I don’t have to! GasBuddy is an app that simply shows you where the cheapest gas is in your area.


You simply put in your location and how many miles you’d like to travel and GasBuddy does the rest. The app is always being updated constantly by other users driving by and reporting what price they are paying for gas. Although I mostly use this app for finding the cheapest gas stations in my area, GasBuddy also has a feature where you can put in what type of car you have and it will alert you of any recalls. Overall I thought it was a really cool app and has saved me quite a bit of money already.


Project FI and Republic Wireless –  I’ve been following Google’s Project FI and Republic Wireless for some time. Both apps work towards cheaper cell phone service. Having a cell phone bill that is $15-$20 will certainly beat my $67.00 verizon bill every month for sure!


So how do Project FI and Republic Wireless work? Both apps are only compatible with certain phones sold mostly by Motorola; here is a complete list of phones for Project FI and Republic Wireless. The way you get service through both service carriers, is essentially through switching between various networks and wifi. Both services tap into T-Mobile and Sprint networks which allow you access to hotspots and networks virtually anywhere. Need data? You can also purchase additional data from both services. If a $15.00 phone bill means not streaming netflix from my phone, and just using my phone for regular functions; well that sounds like a win to me!


JobScan Are you going to be looking for a new job this summer? If so, you’ll need to dust off your resume and JobScan is just the tool for the job. JobScan is honestly revolutionary in that you can upload your resume and it will tell you which positions your resume is targeted towards. You can also copy and paste the job description you are looking for and it will help you find your highlighted skills.


JobScan also helps will coverletters, highlighting your skills, and above all getting your resume seen through search bots and filters that companies use to view resumes. If you’re planning on job hunting this summer, JobScan is a must! It’s a huge time saver and probably the most efficient way out there to get your resume seen.

Conclusion – Well there you have it folks! 3 tech savvy ways to save some time and money this summer. I hope that you find some of these links and services useful; I know I have! Do you have an app or website that has helped you out? Let us know in the comments below and share with the community!

How Debt Can Set You Up For Financial Success




“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.” – Stephenie Meyer


Usually the words debt and financial success are never used together, nevermind in the same blog title. Yet, I wanted to write a blog about what I learned from being in debt and the biggest lessons and habits that helped me. While being in debt is certainly something most financial professionals (and me) would never advise, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel; and there are some life changing lessons to be learned by being in debt and getting out of it. Without further adieu here is how debt can set you up for financial success:


The Background Story – Back in 2011 I was the ripe old age of 22 and fresh out of college. My total student loan debt was a mere 45k;  childsplay compared to what many college graduates face today. Yet, as they say, timing is everything and after graduating just 3 years post the Financial Meltdown, the unemployment rate was 9%; which really sucked. After getting off to a rough start in the job market I found myself with two bachelor degrees working for $12.00/hr; not exactly what I was envisioning. However, it didn’t really matter how much I was making, I had 45k to start paying off.


The Habits –  I’ve always been a pretty frugal person so having enough money to pay off the monthly statement on my student loans really wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t until I started understanding interest rates that I was able to step up my game and start aggressively paying down my debt. Soon every spare penny I had went towards those loans and I eventually paid off the 45k in about a year and a half, thanks to $12.00/hr and more overtime hours than anyone would need in a lifetime.


Although most would say paying down the loans was a great accomplishment; it wasn’t until the debt was satisfied that I realized the habits formed by repaying my debt were attributing to my financial journey and success. If you’ve made it this far, you might be asking “what the hell is this guy talking about!?” Stay with me..


You see, it hit me that when you are actively paying back debt you are always on a budget; afterall, you know that you have a loan payment coming up and will budget your finances appropriately to make that payment. However when you pay that loan or debt off, you still have the power to put away money as if you were still paying off your debt. For example, say after you pay off your debt you continue to allocate that loan payment in your savings account or a retirement account.


By formulating this habit, you learn the art of not only saving but paying yourself first. Paying yourself first is really one of the most important rules of personal finance. It’s important to not increase your expenses by spending your money on expensive lunches and nights out at the bar everyday; but take that extra money and invest in yourself and your future.


Credit – Another way that debt has the potential to increase your financial success is through your credit. I remember after paying back my student loans my credit score soared to over 800. What did this do for me? It was because of a good credit score that allowed me to lock in a stellar 3.3 percent interest rate on my first duplex; without question this wouldn’t have been possible if I wasn’t set up by the habits that were created by paying off my debt.

Conclusion – Not very often will you hear to appreciate debt. However, when the habits used to pay back debt are used towards savings and investing; financial success is almost inevitable. What do you think? Do you think the habits caused by debt can later help you on your financial journey? Let us know in the comments below!

How Quitting Your Job Can Save You Money

“There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect.” – J.L Collins


Reading the title of this blog you might be thinking “this guy is way off his rocker.” I mean you don’t need to be a financial guru to know that you need money in order to live. But you see, that’s exactly it! You need money to sustain a lifestyle of your choice, not necessarily a job. Whether your idea of comfort is a 6 bedroom house with a courtyard, or a 2 bedroom home nestled away in the woods; that part is up to you. When most of us think about how to get money we think, we need a job. However in today’s blog I’m going to propose that in some instances we can actually save money by quitting a job/profession we dislike and replace it with something that is much more flexible and purposeful that we do like. Here is how quitting your job can actually save you money:


Commute – Let’s face it gas prices aren’t going down, in fact according to the U.S Energy Information Administration “the United States consumed 143.85 BILLION gallons of gas in 2017 that’s a daily average of about 391.40 million gallons of gas.” With a demand like that, oil companies have the upper hand with fuel prices, plain and simple. So what can we do about this? And what on earth does this have to do with our jobs? Well.. since you asked… one of the first things I ask people when they say they do not make enough money is: what does your commute look like? Are you driving an hour, or two hours to work everyday? After bringing awareness to this it’s extremely easy to see where our paychecks are going.

So there are a few options here: Either you can get a more fuel efficient vehicle, find a job that is closer to you, or limit your commute all together. Now you might ask, how do I limit my commute altogether!? I’m glad you asked! We are witnessing a revolution when it comes to positions and employers that allow employees to work from home/ or freelance. Sitting at home blogging and writing content is amazing! The best part about it is that you can get paid to do it and you don’t need to sacrifice your hard earned money to your gas tank! This ties into our next point:


Working From Home –  Does your employer offer the option from home? If your employer is like mine, they probably don’t! (#didn’tseethatcoming) so how can you work around this. Well take a look at your position and figure out how maybe you can work from home. Think about it; even if you could swing working from home two days a week, that still saves money on items like gas, vehicle maintenance, and even items like possibly child care. But most importantly it saves you time. How does it save you time? Well every 30minute, 45minute, or hour commute add up! What could you be doing in that time aside from driving or sitting in traffic?

I know what you’re thinking – How the heck am I going to convince my boss to allow me to work from home, even for a few days a week? The best advice I can give is that you have to establish yourself as an absolute linchpin and incredible asset in your company first. What I’m saying is after 3 months on the job to not ask your employer if you can work from home; but maybe after 3-5 years when you’ve proven yourself and your employer knows what an asset you are to the company. People have much more leverage than they realize and this could be a wonderful option to keep your same pay and cut down on your expenses.

Time –  Only you know the best use of your time. But like I discussed in the previous point, I know it can be used better than sitting in traffic. The thing about time is that it’s the only resource that we can’t get more of. If you might be thinking about leaving your job or thinking about “what’s next” think about how you can make things easier on yourself. From all the time that you spent sitting in traffic what could have you been doing to make yourself profitable or happy? What’s the opportunity cost? What is your time worth and can you use it better to create results that can yield income that you’re missing out on by commuting?

Conclusion – So what do you think? Is it possible to actually save money by quitting your job and exploring a career like blogging/freelancing or working from home?  What if you didn’t have to pay for as much fuel, possibly save on child care, drop to a one car household, and didn’t have to sit in traffic for an hour? Most importantly what would you to do with the time or money that you could potentially save? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Three Not So Obvious Interviewing Tips

“Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.” – Kurt Vonnegut


It’s been awhile since I’ve wrote a blog and I’m certainly due. A recent conversation with a friend of mine jarred my senses about interviewing and the interview process. Everywhere you look I feel the same approach is being said: be strong and confident, bring two or three copies of your resume with you, and of course have your resume memorized to the tee, blah, blah, blah. But there is so much more behind what goes on in an interview. Trust me, I’ve been on countless interviews and it wasn’t until I started to think of some non conventional ways of interviewing, did it finally sink in. Take a look at my top 3 not so obvious interviewing tips, I hope you find them as useful as I did when interviewing:


Double Down On Your EQ – There are still many people (including interviewers) who have no idea what EQ is. EQ stands for emotional intelligence. Ever hear the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” well your EQ is responsible for “who ya know.” It’s the ability to tap into not only your emotions but read the emotions of other people. When you are interviewing, pay attention to the interviewer’s body language. Are they sitting back? Are they on the edge of their seat? What ever they are doing with their body language mimic just that; you may do this without even realizing it. However EQ isn’t just about mimicking body language; it’s about listening. When you are on an interview I always like to take a 80/20 approach. Where the interviewer does 80 percent of the talking and I talk for 20 percent of the time. Of course it’s tough to hold back nerves but being able to listen and respond accordingly is a big part of any position


Dive Into Your Roots – Now I’m not exactly an anthropology guru but there are some deep seeded traits all humans have. The number one thing to realize when interviewing are that all interviewers are 100% human. What does this mean? Well it means you need to establish who has the dominant upper hand in your relationship with the interviewer. Look at it this way: For a moment pretend you’re a chimp (I know what you’re thinking, hear me out) you are now entering a new chimp tribe that you want to become a part of. In order to get into that tribe the alpha’s henchmen (the interviewer) must approve of you. So what are you going to do to make them like you? You are going to play the part of the submissive chimp. Let the interviewer guide the conversation, speak in a calm slow voice. To some, this might seem incredibly natural. To naturally dominant people it might be tough to play this part. Understand you’re joining a new tribe and once you are part of the new tribe your journey to become alpha (if you want to become alpha) can begin.


Show Your Superpower – If you’re like me, you really hate talking about yourself. When someone asks me what I’m good at (#doeseatingcount?) I usually don’t reply with confidence. However, I’ve recognized a few super powers in myself; work ethic, humility, and empathy are my biggest powers that I over emphasize on any interview. What are yours? Recognize your superpowers, tune into them, and then use them to your biggest advantage during an interview. Note being great at pivot tables isn’t really a super power (I mean I guess it could be?) but really dive deep into yourself and think what excites you or what keeps you going. Think of specific traits that separate you from every other candidate out there and and why you are the best candidate for the position. Use those super powers to leverage yourself. I’d love to hear what some of your super powers are, and how you’re going to use them to drive yourself forward!


Conclusion – I hope these tips have helped you identify ways that you can make yourself stand out in a non conventional way during your next interview. Keep in mind interviewing is nothing more than becoming a part of another tribe. Whether it’s friends, meeting a significant other’s family, or on the job search we’ve all been interviewed before. Tap into your superpowers and share your personal tips, successes, and experiences with the community!

Three Steps To Take If You Get Fired

“- If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means “First Attempt In Learning”

End is not the end, if fact E.N.D. means “Effort Never Dies”

– If you get No as an answer, remember N.O. means “Next Opportunity”.

So Let’s be positive. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


Let me tell you, getting fired is a strange feeling between feeling the purest failure and a future of complete uncertainty. I should know, just two months into my first job out of college I was fired. I remember all I could think about was how was I going to pay my student loans, how was I going to reinvent myself; without even officially inventing myself. There’s no doubt that being fired is a harsh feeling; but can at the same time be an incredible blessing. In this blog I’m going to share three tips on how to get back on your feet and start your next opportunity.


Let it Go – Let it go, let it go, you don’t need that job anymore (#frozen). I get it, after you’ve worked at a place for 10 years and you get fired it’s really tough to not be angry, resentful, or even downright hurt about what you did for that company. Here’s a little piece of advice that might help. Your feelings are natural and completely justified. Time is non refundable, we give our time to businesses in return for money, a refundable resource. When we get fired, or laid off, it results in wasted time which is extremely hard to get over. However the next step forward depends on this first step. Use any negative energy you might have to stick it to that last employer by getting a better, higher paying position. Take this time to recognize and discover your value and really connect to it. It’s an extremely powerful tool.


Be Open About It – Here’s something you might not hear everyday. Admit you were fired and be humble about it. Many times our initial reaction to getting fired is to be on the defensive. Try taking the exact opposite approach by showing humility and at the same time honing in on your strengths. Next comes the big question: Do I mention that I was fired on a resume or job interview? In my experience, I say a big Hell Yes. Listen, there is no exception to “honesty is the best policy” your future employer will not only appreciate your honesty and humility about the situation but will further appreciate your openness about what might have happened. Nothing is ever personal in business (although it may seem like everything is personal in business) sometimes things don’t work out and it’s totally fine. You’re ready to move on!


Connect to the Value You Create – This is a big one. Typically the next step after being fired is a bit of self reflection. Where do you go from here? Do you start your own business? try a career change or different industry? do you maybe try to utilize the time to extend your network? The possibilities are endless. Above all, take your time to connect to the value that you can create for not only yourself but others. No matter what interviews you go on, or clients you might take on with a business venture, you are defined by the value you create. I absurdly believe in that statement so I’ll say it again you are defined by the value you create. Before you apply for that next job think of what you can bring to the table, what ideas do you have, what skills (or as I call them, superpowers) do you possess that would be perfect for that next career. It’s not something that might be discovered overnight; but the thought is well worth the effort.


Conclusion – There’s no easy way to say this; getting fired sucks. But the only thing that sucks about it is the forced opportunity it brings to you. I’m a firm believer that everything in life is perspective; it’s all in how you look at things. A job is no different than a relationship; sometimes things go perfect and sometimes they don’t. That doesn’t mean that you should never invest yourself again. You are valuable and it’s time to show potential employers just how much they are missing out on by not having you on their team.

Three Steps to Protect Yourself From Burnout

“Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible. Delegate time for important tasks, but always be sure to leave time for relaxation and reflection.” – Del Suggs


I’ll cut to the chase. Being burnt out is no fun at all. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of being completely drained mentally, physically, and emotionally; burnout is the product of an insane amount of stress. We all put pressure on ourselves to find the right jobs, make the right investments, and utilize our time in the way we feel will get us the best return (we do this consciously and subconsciously) Burnout is downright unhealthy; and makes you feel apathetic to all life has to offer. Yet, there is a bright side! It is totally preventable with a little change in behavior and mindset. Here are my top three tips to prevent yourself from Burning Out:


Perspective – When you are burnt out you are really consumed in your own life. You might only see that report that’s due, or might only concentrate on what your boss said in that meeting. In essence you’re paranoid! Your brain wants you to slow down but for some reason you can’t. I’ve experienced this multiple times and use this simple exercise, which helps me alot. Before I go to bed every night I literally say out loud everything I’m thankful for. Whether it’s running water and food to family and friends; it’s important to say out loud all the things that you are thankful for. Take a moment to practice gratification and really connect to other people, and the life you’ve created for yourself. You might find by disconnecting from yourself you find rejuvenation in the world around you.


Relinquish Responsibility – It’s ok to step away from life for a little bit. Burnout typically happens when we are so consumed with controlling everything around us that we forget to let the cards fall. Just relax and let the universe play things out. Keep in mind there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”. only life experiences. Everything is the way we perceive it to be. When we feel we need to control everything we forget the most simplest things in life. I’ll give a brief example: when I bought my first investment property I was absolutely freaking out.


I had/have a very demanding full time job, I sell houses on the side and offer all of myself to my clients, I was trying to manage a relationship, and now I’m responsible for tenants on top of that! What if my tenants don’t pay rent? What if something major in the house breaks? What if I lose my job? (#Stressedoutyet?) I came to the realization that if you want to have everything (in my case achieving financial independence before 35) you have to be comfortable with losing everything or not having it to begin with. It’s not by accident that some of the poorest countries on earth who live the simplest of lifestyles have the happiest people; keep that in mind. It might sound silly but one of the best stress relievers to this day for me is to take a walk in the woods. For that time being there are no phone calls or emails only natural instinct and nature.


Take Care of Yourself – Keep in mind a bad case of burnout can take a while to recover from. Think of your brain being sprained. You need to take care of it, go easy on it, and let it heal. If you need to work while you’re burnt out (like I did) it’s really important to have self awareness to take a deep breath and go easy on yourself. It’s important that when you go home you shut off your phone, disconnect, and just relax. Really concentrate on the things you enjoy doing even if that means binge watching your favorite TV shows and not being productive for the time being. It’s ok to take a day or as many days as you need to take care of yourself. Relax, and let yourself get back to normal.


Conclusion – When going through Burnout it’s so important to take a step back from what you’re consumed in. It’s your brain’s way of saying, “no more!” Take your time to focus on yourself, whether it’s through meditation or just doing something you love. Practice gratification and flourish in all your accomplishments. You’ve come so far, you’re doing great, and you got this. Do you have any burnout prevention tips? Let us know in a comment below!

I Pledge Allegiance To…

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek


The employer-employee relationship, something that will always interest me. Businesses need employees, and so many of us need that job to pay our bills, and sustain our way of life; the relationship is completely codependent. But what happens when the relationship becomes abusive? What happens when our work-life balance gets all in a tizzy? When we find ourselves being glued to our phones and email day in and day out; something we may have never intended to happen. Now what?


I’d like to share some of my experience when I was put in this situation. I’m not sure if you’ve read enough of my blogs to really get a good feel for me. To sum it up I’m the most introverted, hard working, and complete people-pleaser individual you will probably ever (or never) meet. I love helping people and I love making people happy. So when work asked me to pick up additional hours or work on my off days I really didn’t think anything of it.


What I found after months of “working outside of work” is that your brain needs a rest. Businesses and managers alike may not understand this. Any CEO is dedicated to their business, and what I found in my situation is that the same level of dedication was expected of me. More hours, same pay, more responsibility. I suddenly realized I was not getting the deal I wanted. My free time was taken up, I felt like I was on call all the time, and didn’t see a dime more for my efforts. This was not good.


The purpose of this blog is for those of us who over work ourselves to remember why we’re doing it; especially if we’re not happy or become unhappy with our lives. I’ll stand by the statement that many of us pledge allegiance to our jobs and businesses. The reason? I think work always gives us a sense of purpose but I think many of us are scared of losing it. What happens if we lose our jobs and can’t afford the mortgage, the student loans, the car payment etc… Yet, we don’t think what happens if a business can’t get anyone to work for them; which would result in no business at all. It is important to remember that employees have the upper hand in the relationship. A business relationship, like any other relationship, can sadly become abusive. Stay connected to your worth.


Our most precious resource on earth is time. Most of our time is spent working. Doing what we love is simply not enough; we are creatures of environment. Business culture is no different than the values you set on yourself. Sometimes though, business values and personal values collide. That is what I was experiencing in my personal experience. I personally hated working all the time for two reasons. I’m not all that in love with what I do, and I love having control of my time.


At the end of the day I didn’t quit my job, and I didn’t yell at anyone. I made a behavioral change. I will always continue to help, it’s literally in my nature to do so; but I’m more aware of the stress and toll things have on me now. When I come home from work I turn my phone off; anything that I’m not in the office for can wait till the next day, and if my employer has an issue with that I’d be more than willing to address it.


In closing I truly believe it is so important for us to value our time, because I’m not sure if we can assume any business will. As depressing as it is, in business, people are a replaceable commodity. People come and go but our work ethic stays with us and is a point of uniqueness that makes us stand out. We can always be the employee that every business would want; but what would it take for every business to be a place we would want to work for?


Has anyone run into an experience like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic!

5 Tips On How You Can Manage Your Student Debt Today

“Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.” -Robert T. Kiyosaki


It’s time for us to have a heart to heart. One of my goals for this site is for it to become a complete resource for development. From career advice, to landing the job, to creating wealth. Today’s lesson: Debt. If you’re reading this I know you have some interest in getting out of debt but maybe aren’t sure how, or are so overcome with the balance of your debt that it might not even seem like it’s worth it. Just a little background, I was able to pay off all my student loans (about 45k) by 24 by just making $12.00/hr. I won’t lie, it was alot of hard work and strategy, but paying off student debt has put me in a really good position to accomplish my goal of financial freedom by 35. Today I’m going to share with you my top 5 tips on how you can manage your student debt today:


Start from the beginning – This might seem like an obvious place to start but it is oh so important. With student debt it’s really important to know and understand what you’re getting into. The issue is that you’re only 18 when you make one of the biggest financial decisions/investments of your life (#brokensystem). Student debt is incredibly interesting, many times what university or college you attend might not matter as much as you think it would when it comes time to start your career. If you are in the position where you are picking a college or thinking of going back to college, really weigh the return you might see from having a college degree with the debt you’ll be taking on. Furthermore think if you’d like to commute or dorm. I get the whole “college experience” thing and being away from home; but is it worth the extra 25k in tuition? Weigh your options carefully; you’ll be dealing with your decisions later in life.


Loan Consolidation – For many of us the “damage” is already done. I personally know I had a terrible return on my education first coming out of college. My debt was 45k and I came out making 12.00/hr or approximately 24k a year. For New Jersey, that really sucked. So how did I pay off those damn loans? First step, loan consolidation. After you graduate you might have 4-5 different loans floating around all with different interest rates. Take as many loans as you can and try to consolidate them under one interest rate. There are services such as So-Fi and Earnest that actually specialize in this; we have links to these sites on our resources page. By getting most of your loans under one interest rate you should save not only time, but a ton of money.


Get Aggressive – I have a really weird relationship with Money. I hate losing it, and spending it on stuff I won’t see a good return on; so college wasn’t exactly on my good side. I literally wanted to beat the proverbial snot out of my loans. How did I do this? Every month I’d get a statement, and every statement I’d give them a few hundred dollars more than what they asked for. Listen up, this is the big secret behind any debt: They get you with the interest rates. If you only make minimum payments you will be losing money every time you pay, even if your interest rate is low. The key is for you to feed that loan money until the interest rate no longer matters, and your payments are being applied solely to the principle of the loan. For example say your lender asks for $500/mo, give them $1,000.00 or $1500.00. Even if it’s $750 it’s still better than just paying the minimum balance.


Get Hustling – When I finally landed a fulltime job I remember being so relieved. I literally thought my work was done. I found a job, I spend 40 hours a week there, I then get to go home and play with my cat. I was crazy wrong. I’ve talked with so many graduates over the year whose salaries don’t justify their debt. (example 200k in debt vs 50k salary) Their full time jobs can’t support their debt never mind their lifestyle and cost of living. So what are they supposed to do? I honestly hate Math, but the one thing I like about it is that it’s very cut and dry. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough money, so you need to create money. How do you do that? You either pick up overtime at the current position you’re in, or you find a side hustle to make extra money to put towards your loans. In my instance I worked 50-60 hour weeks picking up any overtime I could for probably about a year and half to two full years; was it hard? Hell yea it was hard, but I was able to pay down my debt super fast and you learn to be grateful for the opportunity. So what are examples of some side hustles? You can pick up a part time job aside from your full time job, get your real estate license, give lessons on anything you are good at ex: guitar lessons, math tutoring, any bonuses you see from your full time job put towards your loans etc..,… If you get hustling you will be able to pay down your debt. no doubt about it


Saving Money Is The Same as Making Money – Often times when we feel there isn’t enough money in our lives we look for a higher paying job. We feel that if we only made more money than things would be so much easier. Sometimes that might be the case, but often times you can make lifestyle adjustments to accommodate your financial requests. If you ask me, it’s really important to track your finances and analyze what you are spending money on. When you have a loan payment coming up, did you really need to drop $300.00 on shoes? How about instead of going out to eat every day, try once a month? You see what I’m getting at. Luckily there are a plethora of tools out there to help track your spending and calculate your net worth. Probably the two best apps for calculating your networth is Mint, and Personal Capital. I personally use Mint. For me it gets the job done, it links to my accounts, tracks my spending, and calculates my networth. I can set personal goals for myself and make lifestyle adjustments around my goal. Both of these apps are incredible tools and I would certainly encourage anyone looking to advance their financial future to use them.


Conclusion – Student Debt can be an incredibly tough obstacle to tackle if you do not have a plan. I hope some of the above tips and strategies help you to eliminate your debt and start your journey to wealth accumulation! Remember that debt is completely controllable and might take some behavioral and lifestyle changes but can be managed. You got this! Do you have any tips, good sites, or apps that helped you with your student debt? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Destructive Superpowers And How To Overcome Them

“Your anger gives you great power. But if you let it, it will destroy you.” – Ra’s al Ghul


I have a firm belief everyone has superpowers; innate traits or abilities that make each of us strong and dynamically unique. Traits like work ethic, drive, even empathy are all super powers that can be a huge asset when harnessed and leveraged. Yet can these superpowers be destructive? Can the very traits that propel us forward in our work and personal lives be destructive and hold us back? Here are my three tips on how to identify three destructive superpowers and what you can do to overcome them:


The Ability To Suffer – We all say it, “I’ll get a new job when the time is right”, or “I’ll take time off when work isn’t so busy”. What we are really saying is “I’m scared of change and even though I’m miserable it’s less painful than trying something new.” The ability to suffer is an incredible superpower that enables people to stick things out for much longer than need be. We’ve all been in relationships, jobs, and situations that we stayed in for too long because it was just so much easier to “suck it up.” Yet, there is a much easier way: defy your destructive superpower and turn it into a strength. The ability to suffer is not a good superpower to have; having the resilience to not quit is a superpower you can use to your strength. What’s the difference between the two? Your happiness. You suffer when you’re not happy, yet you can be determined and driven when you are working on a project that you love and interests you. Next time you feel stuck at work, in a relationship, or any other situation think to yourself “am I happy?” if the answer is “no” ask yourself, are you settling by suffering? Or if you might be in need of a change or new opportunity.


Lack of Confidence – I like to say I’m part of the 30 under 30 club… 30 interviews under 30 years old. There was a time when I went on a TON of interviews. I went into each interview doing the exact same thing and expected different results every time. Naturally all I got was a big supersized “NO”. Looking back, after about interview number 5 I needed a confidence overhaul… big time. We all have that little voice in our heads that says “you might not be enough to get this job” or worse “you don’t deserve this job or promotion.” So how the heck do you get around this? Take a step back from interviewing and really think about your day, how far you’ve come, all of your accomplishments you’ve made up until this point; and celebrate your wins.. Every last one of them. Even if you got up and went to the grocery store, celebrate it, and feel good about it. Start building your confidence up, you’ll find your confidence superpower was there all along. Start to double down and realize all the amazing qualities your possess. It’s time to unleash them!


Ego – Our ego can come in extreme handy; it’s great to feel confident and we all take comfort in seeing someone who can lead and provide that assurance. Yet, when our ego gets out of control everything can spiral leading to self sabotage… fast. So how do you know when to tone down your ego and what are some signs that might distinguish between confidence (a solid superpower) and an inflated ego? I think the biggest sign of having an inflated ego is the inability to learn or really take in information at the highest level. What do I mean by that? You’re ego’s main job is to protect you from feeling… well like a loser. It wants to protect us even when we’re wrong (and even at times when we consciously know that we’re wrong) which is when we get defensive or downright angry. The bottom line here is that having an inflated ego is a bad recipe for working with others and cooperation within a community of people; whether that is at work, with an interviewer, or even in a relationship. Once an ego is brought back down to earth it’s the perfect combination of self confidence, humility, and assurance. A perfect trifecta of superpowers that can easily be used to your advantage.


Conclusion – We all have superpowers and with those powers come great responsibility. It’s so easy and even natural to fall into any of the above destructive superpowers. Always check in with yourself and assess how you are doing. Are you holding yourself back? Or lacking trust and confidence in yourself? Always connect back to your greatest superpowers; they will time and again consistently outweigh any of your shortcomings. What is your greatest superpower? How do you use it to your advantage? Have you ever had a destructive superpower? How did you overcome it? Let us know in the comments below!