Momentum Series Interview: Peerless Money Mentor – Taking The Steps To Build Wealth & Leave A Legacy
This marks feature #14 in the Momentum Series – an interview series to share the stories of bloggers from across the personal finance community.
The goal is to showcase their story, the wins, the losses and the actionable advice that others can take value from and insights about their blogging journey. Whether that be conquering debt, maximizing career earnings, the road to financial independence or other strategies for financial and blogging success.
This week’s Momentum Series Interview is with Jerry from Peerless Money Mentor.
Jerry is from Baton Rogue, Louisiana and the purpose of his blog is to increase financial literacy and to encourage people to take the necessary steps toward building wealth and growing their legacy. In this interview, Jerry shares details on his own financial journey, side hustles, being part of the personal finance blogging community and more.
If you want to connect with Jerry:
With that said, let’s get started. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Jerry! Here is the Momentum Series Interview: Peerless Money Mentor – Taking The Steps To Build Wealth & Leave A Legacy.
Hello, my name is Jerry and I am somewhat of a personal finance addict. I have been blogging for six months now and it has led to some incredible opportunities, like being asked by Scott to participate in his Momentum Series!
When I am not blogging or studying personal finance, I am usually reading a book on technology, science, or philosophy.
For fun, I love to travel, jet ski, and go to music concerts with friends and family!
I graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in IT.
For my career, I started out working for a print production company. I started in the mailroom and eventually worked my way up to managing the convenience copiers at LSU. I loved it but management kept promising to give me an official promotion but never followed through so I left.
Currently, my main job is working for a library in Baton Rouge, La. In order to get promoted quickly, I need to obtain a masters in library science. I love the job but I am considering leaving for better opportunities elsewhere.
How were you first introduced to personal finance and the financial independence mindset? What were your expectations with money and its role in your life before that?
From an early age, my father would teach me how to save but I ignored his financial lessons.
I was reintroduced to personal finance and the financial independence mindset when I came across a book in Barnes and Noble titled The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
Prior to reading the book, I had been stuck in a consumer mindset. Whenever I got money, I would spend it on new technology gadgets. After buying these gadgets, I would wonder where all my money went.
Have you made any major financial mistakes? If so, what was the outcome and what did you learn from these mistakes?
I have made many major financial mistakes. In my blog post titled From Broke Phi Broke to Financially Woke, I list several of them.
Here are three of major mistakes from the list:
- Purchasing a car I could not afford
- Racking up $8,000 worth of consumer debt on credit cards
- Cosigning a car loan for an ex fiancee
When I purchased a brand new car I could not afford, I attempted financial suicide. A month or two after making the purchase, my ex-fiancee lost her job. Things spiraled downward from there.
Purchases I normally could make using cash now were placed on my credit card. I racked up over $8,000 in credit card debt.
When my ex fiancee found another job, she needed a car to get to work so I made the mistake of cosigning for her.
From these financial mistakes, I have learned to purchase a more affordable car in the future and pay my credit card bill in full every month to avoid interest payments. Also, I do not plan on cosigning for anyone again. I have been fortunate that my ex-fiancee has never missed a payment.
However, when she makes a late payment, the bank calls me. Thank goodness her payments have never been more than 30 days late, though! That’s when it would start having a negative impact on my credit score.
What financial strategies and tactics have you put into place that best set you up for success?
At this point in my financial life, my financial strategy is simple: kill debt to build wealth.
To eliminate my credit card debt, I had to take out two 3-year fixed rate personal loans. To speed up the process of eliminating other debts, I decided to focus on increasing my income through various side hustles. As a result of increasing my income, I am now scheduled to be debt free sooner rather than later.
My personal loans and car note will be paid off next month. After that, I will still have my ex-fiancee’s car note (11 months left), a student loan, and an install agreement for my phone outstanding.
Once I knock out all of my debt, I plan on reallocating that money towards maxing my HSA out and contributing more money to my Roth and other accounts.
If you had to send a memo to every 18-22 year old about mastering their money and taking control of their finances for success but it could only be 3 sentences long, what would it say?
The best thing you can do right now to master your money is invest in yourself. Read personal finance sites like this one daily. Find a mentor who is in the financial position you aspire to be in one day and learn from them!
What are some of the most influential resources that have shaped your money mindset and financial situation?
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
- The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
When I first started listening to podcasts, I would listen to Dave Ramsey every morning. I loved hearing people share their journey to debt freedom. If you are at the beginning of your journey to FI, I highly recommend his podcast.
Here are the podcasts I am listening to now:
- The Mastermind Within
- Journey to Launch
- Do You Even Blog
- How I Built This With Guy Raz
- Afford Anything
- So Money
Some blogs that I really enjoy reading lately are:
- ESI Money (Love John’s Millionaire interview series!)
- DiverseFi (Doc G creates thought-provoking content daily!)
- Frugal Asian Finance (Deeply personal and always entertaining)
In addition to reading the blogs above, I discover new blogs daily from reading the articles featured on Rockstar Finance.
Apps or Service(s)
Here are some money apps I use on a regular basis:
You’ve written about your experiences driving with Uber to boost your income and support your financial goals. What motivated you to start with Uber?
What motivated me the most to start driving for Uber was that someone told me they made $100 an hour driving before and after an LSU football game. Before that, I was fearful that someone would try to rob me.
What are some of the pros and cons of driving with Uber?
Here are some of the pros:
- Can be lucrative at times
- Fun if you like adventure
- Meet new people who share their stories
As I mentioned above, driving before and after an LSU football game can net you some serious cash. One night I made almost $300 driving for three hours. Surge pricing is a driver’s best friend during popular events!
In addition to it being lucrative at times, it can also be fun if you like adventure. I enjoy it because I get to explore my city. After accepting a ride, you literally have no idea where a rider is going until you start the trip. Sometimes the rider will even share an interesting story with you!
I have picked up some really interesting people while driving for Uber. In one of my articles titled Fascinating Things I Have Learned From Uber Pax II, I write about a woman who shared her retirement plan with me.
She plans on moving from Santa Barbara (high cost of living area) to Panama City, Florida (low cost of living area) to stretch her retirement dollars.
Here are some of the cons:
- Can be dangerous
- Income is not consistent
- Tiring at times
Although my fear of getting rob has decreased, lately I have been mindful that Ubering is still dangerous. Every hour that you are on the road increases the probability that you will get into a car accident. Last week a driver in the lane started drifting towards my lane while a passenger was in the car with me. I had to blow my horn to stop the driver from hitting us. Along with being dangerous, sometimes the income is inconsistent.
After dropping that rider off, I did not get a ping for another hour. I made zero dollars. Sometimes the demand just is not there and you have to know when to go offline. The waiting can be incredibly tiring.
In addition to the waiting being tiring, driving itself can be tiring. Have you ever tried driving for 8 hours straight? That’s what most full-time drivers I know do. I usually only drive for three hours at a time and I feel drained so I can only imagine how full-time drivers feel after a long day’s work.
Are there any other side hustles you’ve put into action in the past/currently or future strategies you’ve started to explore in order to diversify your income?
When I first started side hustling, I chose to make money taking surveys with Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars. While I made money with these sites, my return on investment was extremely low. Eventually, I decided my time was better spent on more lucrative side hustles like Ubering.
Currently, my only side hustles are Ubering, freelancing, ErlIBird (beta testing app), and WeGoLook (photographing damaged vehicles).
You recently were awarded a scholarship to FinCon 18 in Orlando this September. Are you able to share what you focused your scholarship application on? Or what that felt like when you got the email from the FinCon team?
I focused my scholarship application on highlighting my accomplishments and stressing my desire to connect with like-minded creators in person.
When I got the email from the FinCon team I was beyond excited. I am forever grateful to John at ESI and the FinCon team for selecting me out of more than 120 applicants.
What are your expectations for the conference? What do you hope to achieve at FinCon?
I expect to have a lot of fun learning from and connecting with other content creators. Some topics that interest me are:
- Blog monetization
- Improving SEO
- How to create better content
Beyond that, I hope to establish new relationships that will last a lifetime.
Let’s say you had an open table for dinner with 3 empty chairs. You now have the opportunity to get 90 minutes of mentorship and conversation about all things money, blogging and life. What 3 personal finance bloggers or content creators would you invite to the table?
Wow, this is a very difficult question.
There are so many content creators I admire but if I had to pick three I would go with:
When did you first start blogging? Was there a specific launching off point or what influenced you to go down that path?
After reading personal finance blogs for a year, I got this crazy idea to share my own financial story. I did not know how to start so I reached out to J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy.
He responded by saying, “great! best thing to do is honestly just START IT and write your heart out. if you can do that the rest will fall into place naturally, no need to worry about design or marketing or any of that stuff in the beginning. You need to make sure you enjoy it first and get used to putting thoughts out there in the real world. Find a posting schedule that works, stick to it for a couple months, and then from there work on the rest!”
Is there a mission statement or underlying purpose to what you intend to accomplish with Peerless Money Mentor?
I created Peerless Money Mentor with the purpose of doing my part to spread financial literacy to the masses. I’ve recently listened to a FinCon podcast where the host said we (podcasters/bloggers) are all fighting a common enemy: financial illiteracy
What was the that first “big win” on your blogging journey that kept you motivated and reinforced your belief?
A month into blogging I got my first Rockstar Finance Feature! J. Money inboxed me to inform me that he enjoyed reading my article From Broke Phi Broke to Financially Woke and that I was famous for the day.
Do you have any specific goals with your blog(s) over the next 18 months? What tactics are you planning to leverage to accomplish these?
Lately, my blogging productivity has decreased so I hope to get back to writing more content. I would love to publish 2 articles a week.
In addition to posting more, I plan on refocusing on Pinterest, guest posting, and reaching out to more bloggers to collaborate with.
If you could recommend 3 of your blog posts for Making Momentum readers to check out, what would those be?
Any final pieces of advice or recommendations?
Here is one last piece of advice: please learn how to relax while on your path to financial independence. I have found that if all you are thinking about is financial independence 24/7, it can lead to anxiety and depression.
Enjoy your life! Balance is key.
Any special shoutouts?
I would like to send a special shoutout to J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy for encouraging me to start my blog!