Living A Better Life Interview – Jerry at Peerless Money Mentor
In our brand new interview series, we are interviewing various individuals from across the web. This interview series focuses on how they are living a better life. They can be living a better life by pursuing financial independence, minimalism, simplicity, and many more aspects. Are you interested in being interviewed? Continue reading!
Want to be interviewed?
If you want to be interviewed about how you are living a better life. Contact us at [email protected] and tell us why you’d be a great candidate!
We’ll send you a list of questions to fill out and return to us.
Give us your best elevator speech!
Hello, my name is Jerry, and I have been blogging at Peerless Money Mentor for the past ten months. There I write about my journey from broke to financially woke. I became broke by making some terrible financial decisions.
Here are some of my biggest financial mistakes:
- Cosigning a car loan for an ex-fiancee
- Purchasing a car that was 90 percent of my annual salary
- Accumulating $10,000 in credit card debt
A year after cosigning for my ex-fiancee’s loan, she walked out on me. Because of my debt, I could not afford to stay in the apartment we were living in so I moved in with my brother and cousin.
Splitting rent and utilities with them has allowed me to turn things around financially. I also took out two low-interest personal loans to eliminate my credit card debt faster.
While I am still not where I want to be, I am in a better place financially. The journey has been tough at times but I thank the financial independence community for all of their support and encouragement. I just have to keep moving forward.
How are you living a better life than you were last year? 5 years ago? 10?
Yes, I am living a much better life than I was last year. Within the last year, I have paid off a car note and two personal loans. I plan on eliminating my student loan debt this year. It’s finally time to break up with Sallie Mae.
I would say that I am doing way better today than I was five years ago. During that time period in my life, I was living paycheck to paycheck. Although my credit score was excellent, my finances were in terrible shape.
Ten years ago I was a junior at the University of New Orleans, where I majored in Business Administration and Business Management with an IT concentration. Life was good at the time but now it is a lot better because I am in a stronger financial position.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to keep being persistent. After graduating from college with two business degrees in 2009, I thought I had a guaranteed ticket to a better life. It turns out my guaranteed ticket was a counterfeit one.
While I was successful in getting some interviews, I did not land a job in my field. Each rejection weakened my resolve. Eventually, it led me to a dark place where I wanted to burn my degrees.
In my mind, if I could not get a decent paying job with two degrees, then my degrees were worthless. I was so frustrated that at one point I considered creating a video of myself burning my diplomas.
After creating this video, I would then launch a website called Burn My Degrees, where underemployed people could voice their frustrations.
I never turned this crazy idea into a reality because my sane friends talked me out of it.
What made you want to change the way you were living?
After hitting rock-bottom, I decided that enough was enough. If I wanted to live a better life, I had to make better financial decisions and change my way of thinking.
Being mad at the world and playing the victim role got me nowhere.
Instead of feeling bad for myself when I could not find a job in my career field, I should have been thinking of ways to create my own opportunity. That’s my current mindset!
Does financial independence play a role? If so, how?
Yes, I believe that the pursuit of financial independence has significantly improved my life. Since deciding to join the FI community last year, I have been able to connect with some amazing individuals.
Even if I do not reach FI within the next 15 years, I feel like I am wealthier because of the support system I have connected with online.
At the end of last month, I got a chance to attend FinCon. It was an incredible experience. For anyone interested in becoming an influencer in the personal finance space, I highly suggest attending this conference next year in D.C.
What advice do you have for others in living a better life?
For any person trying to live a better life, I would suggest getting your finances in order if they are a mess. If you need help, the financial independence community is here to help. Depending on the severity of your financial situation, you may need to speak with a professional.
Beyond that, I would suggest finding ways to improve all areas of your life. Think about ways you can improve your relationships, your health, and your overall well-being. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try reading a few books on those topics.
The next step is to experiment with your own ideas or the ideas you have read from reading. Apply the knowledge you have learned to your life and see if it improves. If not, repeat the process.
What books/podcasts/blogs have you consumed that lead you to this point?
As a bibliophile, I read books every day. I mostly read non-fiction books about self-improvement, philosophy, science, and money.
I usually listen to a podcast on my 30-minute commute to work or while working out. Some of my favorites are:
For blogs, I usually consume every single post featured on Rockstar Finance each week. Some of my favorites are:
What’s one area in your life you still struggle with?
The one area in life I still struggle the most with is discipline. For example, last month I set several challenging goals for myself:
- Get up at 5 AM each day to work on my blog
- Apply for at least one freelance job per day
- Exercise 3-5 days per week
- Publish at least two blog posts per week
- Read at least three chapters in a book every day
How many of these goals did I accomplish? One. I failed miserably because I lack discipline.
The only goal I was successful at achieving was the last one. As I mentioned above, I am a bibliophile.
If you had to give just one tip that you’ve learned along your journey, what would it be and why?
While on my journey, I have learned that we should challenge our limiting beliefs on a daily basis. When we allow our limiting beliefs to prevent us from taking action, we limit our growth as human beings.
We must remind ourselves daily that we are capable of achieving great things, individually and collectively.
To put it more powerfully, here is a quote from Marianne Williamson that sums up my thoughts on the matter perfectly: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Where can readers get in touch with you?
Readers can get in touch with me by visiting my blog Peerless Money Mentor. Or they can visit my Twitter or Facebook page. If any of your readers would like to collaborate with me, they can contact me via email at [email protected].
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