089 - Retail Path to FI with College Investor

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Time Speaker Text Tags
0 - 25 Jonathan Mendonsa OK everyone welcome to the ChooseFI radio podcast today on the show we're bringing on Robert the college investor and this is a granular look at multiple paths to financial independence through the eyes of someone that absolutely does not claim the mantle of frugality. I think it is going to be a wonderful wonderful actionable episode and I can't wait to hop into this welcome to the ChooseFI radio podcast.
college, frugality
25 - 70 Speaker You're listening to ChoseFI radio the blueprint for financial independence lives here. If you're looking to unlock the secrets to financial independence and early retirement your in the right place stay tuned and join a community of like minded getting off the hamster wheel and taking control of their lives in the pursuit of financial independence. Choose FI your home for financial independence online.
70 - 102 Jonathan Mendonsa OK let's hop into this. I do not want to steal any of Roberts thunder. I think you are going to get an incredible value out of this episode. We are going to be talking about his path to a six figure income in retail and how you can too. Which is incredibly powerful in and of itself and how simultaneously he built a small side hustle a small blog which has since become one of the largest millennial finance blogs on the Internet today. Incredibly fascinated and excited about this story and helped me with this. I have my cohost Brad here with me today. How are you doing buddy.
highincome, hustle
102 - 135 Brad Barrett Yeah I'm doing great Jonathan. I'm really looking forward to this episode with Robert it seems like it should have a little bit of everything right. It's got the fully funded lifestyle change story it has. Business Building and has student loans and millennial finance and also Roberts just a really interesting guy. I've been following his blog for a number of years and you know it's nice to see him show up in our Facebook group and be such an active member. So yeah it's it's neat that he's part of the FI community. And with that Robert welcome to the show.
FFLC, college-loans
135 - 138 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Hey guys thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.
138 - 164 Jonathan Mendonsa Robert with you in particular. I just I really want to go origin story here like I love the idea of finding out you know what were these series of decisions these small moments in time that you took action on that kind of led us to where we are now having this particular conversation. Tell us a little bit about yourself and in particular. Were you always interested in pursuing different types of side hustles and ventures. Or was this something that you just stumbled on in your in your 30s.
hustle
164 - 225 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington So I am 33 years old and I do describe myself as a side hustler forever. I don't have a big life changing event that's led me to this path. It's definitely been a series of little small choices and events that have just built up over time. I'm a big earning more money kind of guy. You won't find me talking a ton about frugality and you know cutting on my grocery expenses. But I am all about hustling and side hustling and one of the first things that always stands out to me is when I was in middle school I used to go with my mom to Costco right and Costco they have those like 24 pack candy bars and I would buy those at Costco. And then I would go take them in my backpack and at break and lunch in middle school I would sell those candy bars for like 50 cents 75 cents a pop but I would like double my money versus the whole pack every single time and then the next week I go back to Costco and I have a nice little profit I buy another box and I would repeat the process again until I think I got shut down by like one of the vice principals after a couple of months of doing it.
frugality, hustle
225 - 229 Jonathan Mendonsa Scaling is always the issue.
229 - 248 Brad Barrett That's fantastic. I feel like maybe the third guest who's talked about some kind of interesting middle school entrepreneurship. I'd love to be a sociologist and like follow different middle schools and find one or two boys or girls who who have those little side hustles and see where they end up and how many of them are millionaires.
hustle
248 - 263 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah I mean it's just when people ask me what's my hobby my hobby really is making money. I love to just find little random ways that I can earn some extra income because then I feel like not only am I spending my time doing something I enjoy but you get that monetary reward from doing it.
263 - 315 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah this is really interesting. So you're talking about is almost the game of vacation and I'll be honest with you in the same period that you were kind of getting this gamification hit from you know essentially earning money from building small businesses. I was just getting it from video games in retrospect where I am now that no longer holds the appeal for me and in fact I went into a videogame store recently just to kind of see what am I missing out on and kind of went out just kind of bored because building businesses can be very fun. You can put all of your energy into that and the cool part is you know instead of tracking your high score in a videogame. Now you start focusing this same energy on growing this little side hustle or this business and now you're tracking how can I scale it. How can I grow it you know month over month year over year. It just kind of takes that gamification element and applies it to something that you're passionate about like a side hustle. I find that very compelling.
hustle, smallbusiness
315 - 331 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington I'm totally with you here. Like I would say by one recreational thing is playing videogames but you know videogames I really enjoy playing are ones that you build like I like civilization or sim city or Rollercoaster Tycoon where I'm actually building a business so it's kind of ironic. we were just talking about that.
331 - 351 Brad Barrett All right so Robert I'm curious about this candy bar selling business. So where does this come from. Did you just decide one day hey I can make a business out of this. Do you even remember where that came from and did your love of business and or maybe just money plain and simple like did it predate this or or did that just come out when you decided hey I can do that.
351 - 389 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington It was actually probably driven by my parents maybe intentionally or unintentionally. You know they were very much of you don't get any spending money you get a little bit of allowance and if you want to go like videogames or we used to have blockbuster at that time right. So I wanted to rent a video game and they weren't coming up with any cash for that so if I wanted to like I have to find ways to do it and they would offer me things like well you could mow the yard or you know trim some hedges in the back and you know like this manual labor out there really didn't appeal to me. So I think it was just like a confluence of wants. And what I didn't want to do and kind of getting creative about ways to earn.
389 - 431 Brad Barrett Yeah it's funny. Thinking back to these formative moments I remember and I don't know where this thought came through my mind when I was a kid. I remember a good buddy of mine mowed lawns and this one woman paid him by the hour. And I remember saying as a 14 year a kid are you crazy. That's the opposite incentive that you want. You want to finish it quickly and might be efficient. And I mean no joke. This is not revisionist history. Those were the words coming out of my mouth at 14. It would be so interesting to be able to go back and put ourselves in those shoes again and really try to figure this out. Where did this come from. Did our parents instill this in us when we were young. Is it just innate. I really just don't know.
431 - 443 Jonathan Mendonsa How did you even. My mind is blown right now. I didn't realize this but I got to highlight this. You are placing a value on your time and separating your time for money. At the age of I mean what are we talking about is this 14.
443 - 470 Brad Barrett I don't know where that came from Jonathan. I just had this sense that this is a job this is a finite discrete job. Why should you be paid for the hour. It's so inefficient. It's what are you paying me for. You're paying me to complete this job. Why do you care how quickly I do it. That stuck with me throughout my entire life. Why do we have to work from 9 to 5. If you can get the job done from 9 to 2. Right. So it's kind of funny.
470 - 482 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington You know it's funny as I thought your were going to tell me this story was going to go to. It took him two hours to mow the lawn now because if I was getting paid by the hour to mow someone's lawn I would go very slowly to get extra money for doing the project.
482 - 496 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah the math is incredibly simple when when you take a real hard look at it. But I mean we all at some point I mean most of us you know once you get that first job in some way shape or form are working for some form of an hourly wage. I mean what was your first job.
496 - 545 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington My first legit I guess a real job for you know a W2 is. I was working at Target. I was a cart boy. I was a cashier I worked on the sales floor and I started that when I was 16 years old. Once again this is really my parents doing. My mom bought me a 1996 Dodge Dakota for like 2000 bucks. Like a dent in the door the door barely closed. But I was stoked. I was 16 years old and she's like You're so happy you got this car I was like yes I love it. She's like well that's great but you better get a job if you want gas and insurance and everything else that comes with it. And she drove me to the mall said call me back to pick you up when you have a job. I applied at Starbucks I applied it like a couple other mall stores and then I made my way down the Mall the target I applied there and I got a job there. And that actually is how 17 years of my life progressed but I started at 16 years old.
545 - 559 Brad Barrett Well it's you start in at 16 at Target and I see just from your online profile that you obviously went to college and I think got either an MBA or a Masters. So did you work at Target throughout college as well.
college
559 - 565 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington I did. I worked for literally from 16 until about a year ago at Target and worked my way up.
565 - 580 Brad Barrett Wow that's amazing. I honestly have never heard of that. I don't know that I know of anybody who started a job in high school and stayed until their 30s. That's really neat. Is that common at Target to promote from within and and have this kind of continuity.
580 - 615 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington It comes and goes with the tide but there's actually a lot of people that have done it. I actually really like Target. I think it goes both ways. I think they are actually a really great company to work for and I love my time there I would never stayed that long. If I didn't. And at the same time they really do give you a lot of skills and promote you up. And I enjoyed it. I loved my time there I found it to be a relatively easy job. It's retail. So you still have nights weekends and holidays which are like the big derailleurs which eventually were outweighed by my side incomes and stuff. But yeah I mean I loved it. It was great.
615 - 640 Brad Barrett So obviously you educate millennials and people on college and student loan debt and such. And you went to college. But yes you stayed at your same company basically. I guess throughout and after. Talk me through how that works. Like ok I came out with a bachelor's and I came out with an master's degree. But what happens at your actual day job at Target after that goes down.
college, college-loans
640 - 704 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington When I went to college I actually I got promoted from my cart you know like a hourly person to a supervisor so I was working full time 32 to 40 hours a week all through college as an hourly supervisor. I went to UCSD right here in San Diego and I got my bachelor's degree. But I was working 40 hours a week. I think at my peak I was making about 18 bucks an hour so I was feeling pretty good. You know just an hourly supervisor working and then when I graduated college I promoted up to like an assistant store manager and I think I remember I think I was making forty three thousand forty six thousand dollars a year. My first year out of getting my bachelor's and the cool thing is this target has a lot of programs to support and help out. They had a tuition reimbursement program that supported a little bit of my undergraduate degree and then they had a tuition reimbursement program also supported my master's degree. So I still had to take out student loans and I had you know forty four thousand dollars in student loan debt. By the time I was done with all six years I guess you can say with my bachelor's my master's. But Target did pitch in a lot and helped me cover a lot of those costs.
college, college-loans
704 - 706 Jonathan Mendonsa This could be called the target path to FI. Brad.
706 - 718 Brad Barrett Yeah. I mean action will take away Robert tuition reimbursement program. How does that work and do you advise people on your side to look into that at their own companies.
718 - 770 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Absolutely. So how it works is and every company has a different setup. And so my problem with Target, Target will reimburse you for business classes that you take. And they don't even have to be going towards a degree like you could go to a community college or a vocational school but as long as you take something in their broad definition of a business class they would reimburse you for the cost of the class. I think they would reimburse you for undergraduate vocational up to like 1800 dollars a year. And then for your master's degrees or advanced degrees up to 52-50, five thousand two hundred fifty a year. And so my problem was I was a political science major. So not all my classes counted and even if I tried to write the description like this would somehow count. I was getting some approved but they wouldn't they wouldn't approve at all but I was able to get some money to pay for my undergraduate and then they did reimburse me a large portion of my master's degree as I was going through that.
college
770 - 775 Brad Barrett And so that's a grant that's not something you ever have to pay back that's just hey we're giving you free money.
775 - 792 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yes you get it after the fact. So you've got to pay upfront you complete the class you pass the class and then they would reimburse you up to the limit for that amount and there are a lot of companies that do that tuition reimbursement. So it's a great way to get an education and minimize some of those costs.
792 - 836 Jonathan Mendonsa You know what I actually like about highlighting target specifically. And you could insert another company name here. But I do like the fact that this is a granular look at what it would look like to reach FI in a very very specific sector of the economy and that's retail and there are a lot of these types of employers. I'm curious you know because you just said you left your job within the last several years. I don't want to go to that yet. I want to. I want to put you back in this situation. And as you're looking at this as someone who did it as someone who's now looking back on it not inside the machine anymore is this a viable model to reach an above median income job and could you have hit FI on this career path alone. What did it look like for you and what could you have done better looking back.
career, highincome
836 - 892 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Absolutely. So I could tell you that I would have hit FI in my retail. I guess. I mean I technically did hit five with my retail job and side hustling at the same time because I'm only out of you know my retail job for nine months at this point in time. If I did not side hustle at all and I just kept with Target I think I probably could have hit five by roughly 40 on the career path I was on. It's very doable. I think a lot of people don't realize that you know being a retail assistant manager is a really good paying job for your first job out of college and being a retail store manager is an incredibly lucrative job. I would tell you that with my salary and my bonus I was making 180000 dollars a year at Target. Now I think a lot of people might be very shocked by that but I was pretty average as a store manager. I mean my performance wasn't but like in terms of my pay I was pretty average.
career, college, hustle
892 - 902 Brad Barrett Wow so 180,000 a year Is that at all because you were in a high cost of living area or is that what a store manager would be paid anywhere in America.
902 - 926 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington It's pretty common that that's what they're paid. I mean you're you might shave off 10000 here 20000 here if you're going to a lower cost of living area. And if you go to a higher cost of living area you'll earn even more. I know in the Bay Area and in New York City the hourly supervisors where I was in college at eighteen dollars an hour they're making about 30 to 35 dollars an hour as an hourly manager Mark as supervisor.
college
926 - 942 Brad Barrett Now I'm picturing this as a very viable path to find maybe even potentially before 40 for someone if you're going to make 160 K a year as a store manager in a very low cost of living area. I mean that's that's an incredible figure.
942 - 966 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah. And the cool thing is is it is more flexible than I think a lot of people realize. So yes you do work nights and weekends. You have the holiday season which you know can really be a downer but short of Black Friday to Christmas and everything else I get a day off in the week because I work the weekends. And for someone that likes to get things done. That is amazing. There are a lot of great things that people don't realize about working in retail.
966 - 1004 Jonathan Mendonsa Let's go really granular with this so going to college. Taking a poli sci degree like that wasn't based around necessarily becoming a store manager at Target. I would imagine at some point maybe your vision crystallized. But let's put yourself like yourself in this situation. You have a very large audience listening to this and they're thinking Holy crap that sounds doable and maybe they have a child or maybe it's them that's thinking how can I do this even faster or better than what Robert did. What would the path look like if you were going to streamline this from cart boy to store manager 160 K year and you want to compress all this down into year 10 to 15 year career plan.
career, college
1004 - 1038 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah I mean it all comes down to your also your skill set. So the big thing with retail leadership is it's probably one of the few careers that is really 100 percent people leadership. So to be the most successful you have to be a good people leader because you are leading large teams you're interacting with customers and all this requires a very different skill set than say engineering or you know finance. If you're a great people leader you can really work your way through being a leader at Target or another retailer. That's that's really what it takes.
career
1038 - 1041 Jonathan Mendonsa Was the college degree a big piece of this puzzle?
college
1041 - 1064 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yes and no. It's one of those things that it's the paper that shows that you care. Did it actually give me any skills to be successful. I don't think so. I think the skills that allow me to be successful was side hustling for middle school getting to know how people interact and starting working at 16 and understanding the dynamics of customer service and how the environment works and that type of thing.
1064 - 1081 Brad Barrett So Robert as far as that piece of paper that signifies something obviously UCSD is a very good school. What if you went anywhere. Did it really matter. Or was it just Hey I have a four year degree like did that actually lead in you getting the store managers position.
1081 - 1117 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yes and no it aided me to get the assistant store manager position because Target is still hung up. I would say that 70 to 80 percent of people getting into that assistant store manager role you know it's one of the things they don't require a four year degree. But they say a four year degree required or experience but they kind of like cut out the second half of the sentence there for most people. So it really does help you get to that assistant store managership in good time and that's where you can actually start making you know when you're 22 years old. I think they're paying like fifty five thousand dollars a year or so for 22 year olds when they graduate college and their first job after college.
college, midincome
1117 - 1140 Brad Barrett I'm sorry to keep drilling down on this but this is really interesting and I think this is applicable to so many companies. Obviously we wouldn't going to be spending so much time on it but does it matter if that degree is from the University of Phoenix or UCSD or Harvard or a two year community college into a state school. Is it literally just Hey I have a four year bachelor's?
college
1140 - 1163 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Or assets it literally just I have a four year bachelor's so some of my staff that used to work for me there were going to like the University of Phoenixes and stuff and working at Target raising a family and then taking classes on the side to try to get there. And they got there as soon as they got their degree. You know even though they could have probably done the job already. It really launched a little bit of a fire under them getting them promoted.
families
1163 - 1182 Brad Barrett Robert that's really really helpful information that yeah this really is in many cases or at least in Target and probably many similar companies just to check the box so therefore the actionable takeaway is try to do this as inexpensively as possible and don't worry about the name brand school necessarily. If this is your path.
1182 - 1254 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Absolutely. I see this every day at the college investor what people get themselves into when they're paying for school to get a degree, the degree is only valuable for maybe the first 18 months after you graduate. after that the only thing that employers will ever care about is your experience. So if you're already 24 and you've been out of college two years your degree doesn't matter in the least. Employers want to know your experience and what value you bring to them. And with that being said the biggest problem I see today is what I like to call the overeducated and under experience because so many young adults start going right into a master's degree or an advanced degree program they take on more student loan debt and they end up still having to get the entry level job that doesn't pay them enough to afford all that debt and everything else they've took on. And they've really just dug themselves into a hole that does put them 10 years behind someone that didn't get over educated and under experienced. So my big takeaway here I guess I'd say is line up your education with your experience that's the best way to maximize the value of your education and increase your return on investment of your education spending.
college, college-loans
1254 - 1270 Jonathan Mendonsa Over educated under experience. That is the most powerful mindblowing phrase that I've heard that sums up the lost decade that we keep describing what is happening for that decade between your 20s and 30s. Why are we talking about starting at 32. That's crazy talk right. right Brad.
Jonathan_Catchphrases
1270 - 1280 Brad Barrett Yes. That's funny. I just jotted down overeducated and under experience is a financial death spiral. That's how I look at that. There's almost no way out of that.
1280 - 1310 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah and that's the problem is that whatever the reason society parents your own thing is maybe you didn't have a you didn't want to take this entry level job but going to school and. Getting an education is good but it's not necessarily the greatest path especially if you aren't aligning it with your experience because you get paid based on the value you deliver. And just because you have a master's or aPh.D. doesn't mean that you can deliver the value to the company that's going to earn you the money that's going to pay for the cost of all that.
1310 - 1353 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah absolutely. And I can we can expand on that more for sure. I mean I think it's very obvious when you see someone that is making a million dollars a year that is getting paid a million dollars a year. Let's talk about a professional athlete. Let's talk about an actor on a TV show. Whatever it is you know that person is an expense they're not getting paid a million dollars because they are somehow innately worth that rather it has to do with the value they're adding back to the company the sports team the television. You know in the case of many of these people because that person is there the owner of that entity is then able to make multiples of that it justifies the cost. If all you are is an expense with a degree the employer doesn't care about that need the value needs to be behind it in order to justify the increase in income.
1353 - 1400 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Right. And that's where you don't just get value from school. And sadly I see this all the time. I saw this a ton in retail that my best hires and I've hired probably a thousand plus people over my time at Target. The best hires are people that worked in high school and college and had that experience because you know college can give you some skills but it doesn't teach you communication skills. It doesn't teach you on the job problem solving skills and in pretty much every single career. Those are like the two things that separate the successful from the not successful is can you communicate in a business environment or to customers or to your supervisors or peers and can you problem solve or are You are always going and asking for help. if you have those two things you will be super successful.
career, college
1400 - 1441 Brad Barrett So Robert you hired a thousand people yourself. You're actually interviewing these people. What did you grab. That's amazing. Again more actionable stuff what did you look for in those interviews were you. I assume when you first started these interviews the first couple of hundred you weren't able to discern how you could pick out communication skills and problem solving. I'm wondering if that changed as you got further through if you could pick out those people with slightly better precision. I don't imagine that it was anywhere near 100 percent but just slightly better precision. And if so what could you pass along to the audience to to help them in a future job interview to show potential skills they have.
1441 - 1512 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Totally. And you're right it's never 100 percent and that's okay because at the same time it's an interview it's stressful. You know people aren't always their best so it's like you're close. You're still trying to. I'm still a human. You're still trying to give people a shot because like maybe you see something and maybe it's just a stressful environment but at the same time all I really cared about is Are you friendly and are you nice. Can you look me in the eye and can you just talk to me. That is really all it took in retail to get hired because that is all I look for. I can teach you how to stock boxes and I can teach you how to run items over a scanner and push the total button on the register. Everything you do in retail is so basic and so simple but I can't teach you how to be friendly and how to be a nice person and how to engage in a polite way with the customers or your other co-workers. All I was ever looking for was interpersonal skills because the job itself was so basic and easy that literally everyone kind of knows us like robots are taking over a lot of it but robots don't have interpersonal skills and communication skills. And that's where people come into the equation.
1512 - 1574 Jonathan Mendonsa So Robert this is going to be the episode that keeps on giving because we have spent the first 25 minutes talking about this retail path. to FI essentially which is completely viable as part of that 10 to 15 year journey. I absolutely love that and it's actually an incredibly high cap on what you could actually end up making which is just awesome. But what you set up for yourself and what we have not explored at all is the fact that the kid started off selling candy bars and had this kind of stable job and the stable path was willing to try something new and you started a blog and it's one of the biggest blogs in personal finance serving the millennial community that is out there. And when you started you knew nothing about blogging you didn't go. You didn't get a computer science degree. What's more than that in my mind what becomes really really obvious is that you are easily funding your lifestyle through this blog at this point. So essentially you have hit fi in multiple ways and multiple times over which is just crazy. So let's talk about this what inspired the college investor go back to day one.
blogger, college
1574 - 1659 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yes it's funny you say I didn't get a computer science degree Well I actually thought I was going to get a computer science degree. And when I started at UCSD I was a computer science major but I hated hated being in the basement programming like that was my freshman year of college was doing these computer science classes in a basement trying to program code. And I loved the science and I loved the math and I loved the logic behind it but I hated the lifestyle of programming. And so that's when I jumped into polisci and I finished out my time at UCSD as a polisci major. But while I was finishing my last year of college you know I was also that guy in the back row of my college class with my laptop open and I was browsing the internet and I wasn't totally paying attention. I was reading a lot. I'd read like Yahoo Finance. And I read other blogs and I saw that people were just talking about their own experiences with money and finances and investing. And I was like this is so cool. And being that I still love tech and I'm very passionate about that. I was like I wonder if I could start something like this and kind of share my own random thoughts with the world. And one weekend I was Facebook stalking people and I found that one person that I used to know was launching their own blog and had like a bluehost affiliate link kind of thing. And I clicked it and I started my own Web site and the rest is kind of history. There.
college
1659 - 1670 Jonathan Mendonsa What Would be history most shows but on this show we want to go at the granular level and kind of dive through this so well if you look back at those first articles that you wrote How would you grade yourself.
1670 - 1698 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Oh F I think I deleted almost all of them at this point in time or I have modify them up so you could never realize it but they were terrible. It was like a hundred words. Scottrade was like the broker of choice back then it was like why Scottrade is the best place to invest. It was like 100 words about it and that was it. It was like a link. And of course no one clicked it. No one found it like I made no money on it but I started right and I just started putting out content out there.
1698 - 1725 Brad Barrett All right so Robert you're writing these hundred word articles on Scottrade and there. You're not lighting the world on fire obviously but you stick with it. There's always that inflection point in blogs history of Hey I got my first mention on I don't know Yahoo Finance or something or the New York Times or even something small my local San Diego newspaper right. Talk us through that point. When did you realize like hey I've got something here.
1725 - 1796 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Honestly it took a long time. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just looking through the history here and I laugh about it took me about I'll share two years of blogging maybe like 19 20 months of blogging before I made any money on my site. And that's a lot of time in my first month of making money I made twenty five dollars on my site. But the first article that really kind of gained traction was I thought it was the college investor right. I was going to talk about investing in money but I started having problems with my own student loan servicer and I was kind of like the typical millennial story here where like my loan servicer didn't credit my payment the right way and suddenly like it said my loan was like delinquent and it was it was their mistake and I wrote about my battle with my loan servicer as a blog post. And that was like the first blog post where I started getting comments and people were like oh my god me too or that's terrible and I was like Wow there's actually I don't think I had Google Analytics or any kind of tracking on the site at this time. But I knew people were leaving comments and I thought that was the coolest thing that there's people that I've never met before that are responding to an article that I wrote and sharing their thoughts and their own personal stories around. And that was very motivating at the time.
blogger, college
1796 - 1807 Jonathan Mendonsa I actually do remember our first comment on my blog. I'm pretty sure it was all I talked about to my wife for the rest of the day. This could happen again and then there could be two people that comment.
1807 - 1831 Brad Barrett Someone out there listening. So I guess my question. It sounds like you said in there you needed the college investor because you thought you're actually going to talk about the nuts and bolts of investing. Absolutely. was that the inflection point when you had that one article that got some traction is that when you said hey maybe this should be about student loans and millennials and college and was that the point where you said all right maybe there's time for a change here.
college, college-loans
1831 - 1876 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah I just actually just started becoming much more comfortable writing about other topics like I really had this idea that if you're going to be the college are you going to write about investing and that's it and siloed myself in. You know I started just kind of realizing that there's more to this personal finance experience it could be a holistic thing. And I also heard in real life friends were like You know I really love the idea of investing. But all the student loan debt and other stuff is holding me back from it. So I can kind of see how it could naturally connect in terms of like can we get you out of student loan debt or like free up some money in your student low budget so that you could start investing and building wealth and what are the connections in between all that. That's really kind of how it evolved over the next few years.
college, college-loans
1876 - 1883 Brad Barrett So it's like an order of operations in us and you can move on to investing until you've gotten rid of this anvil hanging around your neck ring.
1883 - 1913 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Or at least you got to have that balance can you get out of student loan debt and start investing because my premise here is you know and you guys know this the earlier you can start investing and the better. So can we start investing in college even though you're dealing with student loan debt and maybe you're not earning a lot. And what are some tactics that you can do to maybe add more money to your budget every month so that you can tackle your loans and invest. And that's a lot of what we talk about with earning more money inside hustling and that's very much my own story as well.
college-loans
1913 - 1956 Jonathan Mendonsa Robert let me just go ahead and spoil this entire story. I know for a fact that in the month of February this past year you got two point four million unique visitors came to your site to check out your content. That's just an insane. That's an insane amount of exposure. That's an insane amount number of people that are benefiting directly from the content that you've been putting together over the last eight years. And it's amazing. But I want to go back to go from. You got your first comment you made your first twenty five dollars of income from this site. What do these points in traffic actually look like. Was this a viral moment that you got picked up because someone mentioned your site in a TED talk. They got picked up by the New York Times and it just went viral and spread across the world. How do you get to two point four million unique visitors in a month.
1956 - 1992 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington You know I definitely had hiccups over time but nothing crazy nothing that's driven me millions and millions of people. No Ted talks of that. I really just attribute it to time great content and then a bunch of base hits. You know I've been picked up in the New York Times and Money magazine and entrepreneur and Washington Post and all these places. But they were like footnotes I never had like a full feature story about me or the site or anything like I just mentions and things like that and it's really just been a bunch of base hits over eight nine years at this point in time.
1992 - 2038 Jonathan Mendonsa You have given me permission. So that's the only reason I'm going to drill down on this even farther but I'm just thinking about this individual that maybe because they were on your side or our side or someone kind of in this area they decided to start their block and they got five visits to their blog last month and they're trying to visualize what does it look like to get to two point four million and how how do I even have any sort of metric to you know figure out what my next step should be. If you were to look back your numbers and I know on day one you didn't have google analytics but if you can look back at all. Can you think through those points in time that which you how long did it take you to get a thousand visits a month. At what point were you getting 100000 visitors per month. Help us get a sense or feel for. Was this just a straight linear growth or were there months and years where you had doubled and tripled your audience.
2039 - 2128 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington It's been like year over a year kind of doubling but definitely nothing like month over month. If we go back you know we go back into 2014 15 with probably had about a hundred thousand visitors a month. And then when I started I mean like even for the first couple of years I was only getting a hundred visitors a day. You know 200 visitors a day. It just continued to grow and build and that's what I mean about base hits. It never was anything amazing. It was just I consist in essence what I would tell anyone starting out is consistency. So I mean I would publish content anywhere from three days to five days a week. You need to promote that content to connect with other people not just sharing on social media but can you connect with other people in the financial community that might be interested in your content. And then you need to have the best content because if you are not creating the quote unquote best content no one's gonna give you a second thought. And the best might be long it might mean including video it might be including audio it might be making charts and pictures but it needs to be really solid content. And I only was writing 100 word posts that really were terrible content first and so it really just was a natural evolution that as I was creating more I was getting better. I was writing longer I was including more things and I learned. I started networking with other bloggers and you know it just kind of builds over time.
blogger
2128 - 2148 Brad Barrett Robert when we had Michelle from making sense of the cents on she mentioned consistency as one of her big takeaways and it's interesting to hear you say that. I'd love it if you could just dive a little more into it like how much do you think that really matters. It's interesting to see two bloggers who get millions of visitors mention the exact same takeaway.
blogger
2148 - 2203 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington So it is 100 percent one of the most important things so I said if I was to tell anyone starting out today that wants to start a blog is consistency is key. And it's consistency with enough content to matter so you need to write two to three times per week and just have to be writing anywhere you could video you could podcast you could any kind of medium you want but needs to be two to three times a week and you need to give yourself at least a year of doing this because that gives you two different things when you do that is one it shows your audience that there's going to be new content coming out and so they'll they'll have an incentive to check back in. And if your content is good and it's the best of it they'll enjoy checking back in and then number two you personally get better at content creation. You can prove to yourself that you can do this and it will really basically springboard you into the future because you know you've done it for a year. Like it's no profit to continue doing this you've built the habits you built the routine.
2203 - 2238 Jonathan Mendonsa Robert I really appreciate you being willing to share these numbers at these different points in time. I think it's very encouraging for people just to kind of get a feel for what this path actually looks like. It could probably be very discouraging discouraging for someone that is starting on day one to hear about someone getting two point four million visitors a month. That's just amazing. But you know kind of visualizing it as a progression based on the hard work and investment that you've been investing your time in this for almost a decade now it's truly incredible. Is there anything else that you can pull out of this and give to our audience that's listening that's looking for these kind of actionable details. What else moved the needle for you.
2238 - 2307 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah I think the other big aspect that really moved the needle for me was networking and connecting with other bloggers and personal finance people in this space. And it started out online like I would network with other bloggers I'd leave comments and connect on social which kind of evolved into more conversations and maybe email and you know there's some cool resources today like the rockstar finance forums and you know different like the Fincon Facebook group where people post questions and get answers and stuff and that was one really big point. But then the one that really changed my business aspect of blogging was going to fincon My fincon was 2013. So I'd already been blogging for almost four years at my first con going to fin Con. It almost doubled my revenue into the next year because it was that much of a game changer in terms of learning connecting with people in real life. Having those face to face interactions that solidified partnerships and and also just my education. I started learning much more about what to do and how to do it the right way and you know built real relationships that many of those have continued well into this day.
blogger, fincon, relationships
2307 - 2374 Brad Barrett Robert you're certainly echoing almost exact words that I've used to describe fincon to this audience and certainly to my wife Laura. It's kind of hard for me to quantify exactly Oh I went to fincon 2014 and got this out of it. But I do know specifically that my business and my network is dramatically larger than it would be had I not gone there. You just cannot replace face to face meetings. It just matters so much. And I would say especially in this time of such a connected world where we are not face to face it just matters to sit down and chat with someone and yeah those kind of connections are really valuable. And obviously this extends way beyond just fincon because we're talking about an audience here that might not be in the personal finance blogging world but there are many of these conferences and meet ups and meetings that people can attend and just go there provide value. Be a nice normal person almost like how you are describing when you were interviewing people. What are you looking for. You're looking for a nice normal person to have a conversation with.
blogger, fincon
2374 - 2399 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Exactly. I think that's huge it doesn't matter what your industry is what you're working on what your hobbies are. There's something really beneficial about just connecting with others that share your same ideas share your same passions. Being a blogger and you guys probably know this. No one gets you that isn't a blogger or a podcast or they don't understand anything. So just going to other being around other people that get you is so awesome.
hobbies
2399 - 2426 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah totally hear you. So Robert we've talked about your backstory and your path through the retail world to actually making this incredible income there and we've explored at a granular level starting a blog on day one making your first twenty five dollars. Let's play that out. I think you preface beginning this episode by saying that you just recently left your job. What drove that. Where are you now in the present and what were the series of events that got you to now.
backstory
2426 - 2471 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington The cool thing is is that you know the blog continued to grow and grow and grow and so in about 2015 I was making more for my side income on the blog than I was at my day job. And even though my day job was doing really great I had this other thing that was doing awesome as well in my spare time. You start to have this inkling that oh maybe like I could leave my day job and just do this full time. But you know I loved working at Target. And if you go and find some old podcasts and in interviews I've done I know specifically I said I have no intention of ever leaving my day job like this is great having two incomes that I can balance. I could save and fund a lifestyle that I want to do and it was really just exciting time for myself and my family.
families, hustle
2471 - 2484 Brad Barrett And Robert you've talked about not looking at life through the frugality lens that strikes me when you're talking about larger income side hustle. And talk us through how you approach your own personal finance if you don't mind.
frugality, hustle
2484 - 2574 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah totally. So I don't consider myself a frugal person. I don't consider myself an excessive person though. I'm not flying private jets or you know doing crazy things like that. But I don't sweat the details. You know we go out to eat a lot we don't really mind our grocery and our food bills and you know but it also is your priority is what matters to you. So I enjoy eating out and I enjoy those things. But I really am about earning more. It's all math and you guys know the math here is you know you have your income and then you have your expenses and then you have what's left over a lot of people focus on the expense side and in cutting that and that's great. And there's a point though that you can't cut anymore. You're still going to have some type of housing expense you're still going to have some type of transportation expense. You're still going to have food expenses and other life expenses. You're never going to get that number down to zero. You get a very low but it's probably not going to be zero but that income side is kind of cool to me. That is the income side. It's kind of limitless. There's not really an upper cap on how much you can earn. Now there might be time constraints and family constraints and definitely other constraints on it. But in terms of the number itself it's not really constrained and so I've always really just tried to focus on that earning more side of the equation. If I wanted something like I told you in middle school I wanted to rent a game at Blockbuster so I went out and sold candy bars so that I could do that. Everything else that I've kind of revolved around my life. I want to do something. I really just like what's the goal of earning slash savings that I need to get to get there.
families, housing, savings
2574 - 2606 Jonathan Mendonsa I think that's a compelling case. I think that your own kind of lifestyle choices indicate that while you may not embrace frugality you do at some point realize the value of your time because if it were truly just earning more money you could have essentially doubled the income by staying at Target and you know keeping the side hustle also going on the side and you walked away from a six figure plus safe quote unquote job to take on a blog which maybe could disappear tomorrow. Right. I mean that's kind of that's got to be kind of your thought process as you're thinking about leaving that job.
frugality, hustle
2606 - 2671 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Oh and that was exactly the thought process. Like I said if you go back to 2015 the blog was earning more we were saving all this stuff. I mean honestly I think my savings rate through the last like three four years was close to 50 to 75 percent because of that extra income because we also said I'm not frugal but we're not excessive we don't spend a ton. Pretty average middle class lifestyle here. The real driver was time and spending time with my family. So I have a 4 year old son and an 18 month old daughter. And the big drawback of retail is nights and weekends and the holiday season. As my blog really was earning multiples more than I was making it my day job it was kind of like why am I still doing this when it's not necessarily adding any incremental value to our family. But really it's becoming a detractor when I can't spend Christmas Eve with my family potentially or you know Black Friday which is now Thursday Thanksgiving I'm having to go to work at noon on Thanksgiving because you've got to get ready for the Black Friday sale right.
families, savings
2671 - 2676 Jonathan Mendonsa You said your blog is making multiples of your day job. So you basically broke the income game blogging.
blogger
2676 - 2747 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yes. Yeah. So but I still love Target. So it's kind of those things as like you said target was Seife target provided health insurance. These are things that when you're a self-employed business owner you suddenly have to think about. It becomes scary even though it really isn't when you actually do it. But what you don't do it and you've been comfortable for you know whatever 13 15 years. It's a scary thought. And then my wife and I had those conversations like what if the Internet shuts down tomorrow. Like it would ever actually happen. But what happens. Are we going to be financially secure. Like do we have enough money in our savings accounts that we'd be able to provide for our family and so cool thing was we got there literally if the Internet shut down tomorrow we'd be fine. We just like I can't go through another holiday season and that's when I left target last year. And it was really about like you know Paula Pant says it's a lot to show me your time and show me your money and I'll tell you what you value. And I really believe that. But was I living it and I don't necessarily think I was living it until I really left my day job and was spending my time and money with my family as much of the time as I could.
healthinsurance, savings
2747 - 2775 Brad Barrett That is absolutely brilliant and really really profound. I hope everyone goes back and listens that again because you know that's really really important. So just to put a bonus you actually you essentially did hit FI right because if the internet went away tomorrow you're saying you would be fine. So you actually even though you had a Web site that is bringing in multiples of your very very lucrative target job you still waited until you reached that point where if you are not broke you'd be fine.
2775 - 2801 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah and that's it. I mean like we're technically fi but we're not living off of our assets or anything like that. So I can't share to what that feeling would actually be which would probably also be at an extremely scary feeling. And you know I know some of your guests I've talked about this is converting your actual savings and retirement accounts into an income stream would be very scary especially at this young age. But there's enough money theoretically there that it should work out mathematically.
savings
2801 - 2857 Jonathan Mendonsa Robert This has been an incredibly actionable episode this story is it's fascinating and it's inspirational it's a little bit aspirational. But at the same time I can see the threads. I can see the choices that you made. There's nothing in that that you did that anyone. Listening to this they couldn't do that. It's off limits to them because they didn't go to Harvard or Stanford or Yale. They can't get accepted to that first job and that's really what set you up for this. I mean you've. This is a middle class path defy everything that you did. Someone could follow in your footsteps. And obviously you can't guarantee results. But it's not off limits. There's no by the gatekeepers. Basically the individual saying I'm willing to try this. And to me I love that at a very personal level and I hope that our audience gets value from this episode and is inspired by it just like I am on most shows that would be the end of the episode. But on this show Robert we would love to give you the chance to tackle the hotseat. Are you ready for this.
2857 - 2860 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington All right let's do it.
2860 - 2888 Speaker In a world drowning in debt and rampant consumption trapped by the chains of lifestyle inflation These questions highlight the secrets of those who have broken free. Welcome to the chooseF.I. hotseat.
2888 - 2892 Brad Barrett Robert question number one your favorite blog. that's not your own.
hotseat-blog
2892 - 2907 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington So I really enjoy reading financial samurai just super in-depth content and Sam financial samurai really always has interesting insights on things that you necessarily wouldn't expect him to have insights on. So I love it. I read it all the time.
2907 - 2913 Brad Barrett Oh you got to give me an example of something that you wouldn't expect them to have insight on that. Oh it's too juicy.
2913 - 2949 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington OK. I mean honestly so he had a baby in the last year. And so he's been blogging now probably as long as I have 9 10 years but he's been writing a lot about parenting and how things impact you. he had an article the other day about the ideal size house and a layout to raise a family. he Put like blueprints of houses. I don't know if he drew a up or found. Honestly his insight is just really like relatable and interesting and given the whole context of his blog. You know higher net worth in investing is just fascinating. I just love it because it's not expected it's not topics that you'd necessarily see in a lot.
blogger, families, housing, networth
2949 - 2967 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I actually am a big fan of his content. He's had a couple of articles that really stood out to me and I love that he can be a little bit contrarian like what you think he's going to say is not actually what he comes up with and he's not. And clearly the way he's writing some of these articles he is not afraid of negative feedback. But I think we all get better because of the conversation.
2967 - 2981 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington No it's so interesting. He said his viewpoints. I just I really love how you know it's got actionable stuff but he really intertwines with his own view. To tell a good story which I think is for some of the topics he tackles is very rare to do.
2981 - 2987 Jonathan Mendonsa Well let's go and hop into question number two your favorite article of all time. Now this can be one that you wrote or somebody else's.
hotseat-post
2987 - 3071 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah I had a hard time thinking about this well the most recent one that stands out to me is the one I row. Is the how honest financial advisers should disclose their fees. Why this one stands out to me as one of my favorites is because it was a reader story and he shared some of his portfolio with me and I shared this a couple of times with the ChooseFI Facebook group and he was just getting screwed by his financial adviser. He was paying something like eleven thousand dollars a year in annual fees on a two hundred thousand dollar portfolio which was just ridiculous and his financial adviser was churning his portfolio every year. He bounced back and forth between American funds and Hartford funds just ram this poor dude on commissions and sales loads and all of his funds had one percent expense ratios. What I broke down in the article is how you could set up a low cost portfolio. I didn't judge his portfolio and the layout I assumed it was correct but basically taking these American funds and these Hartford funds putting them into like similar or identical Vanguard funds I was able to show how you could bring a portfolio that was costing you eleven thousand dollars a year in sales loads and expenses down to 176 dollars a year in annual fees. So beyond the fact that it really really really angered me. I feel like I was able to paint a clear picture. And you know ninety nine percent reduction in portfolio costs which is crazy.
3071 - 3076 Brad Barrett That's unbelievable. I'm with you on the anger. I mean that that should be a crime. That is theft and.
3076 - 3098 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington They should be. So here's the ironic part is this guy told me what he is sharing the story is like my advisor says that he is the number one financial adviser and I want to say like North Carolina or something. Well who's measuring that and he's like Well his company and I was like well you know what. Number one in his company it means it means that he earned the most money last year so he earned that money off at you buddy.
3098 - 3099 Jonathan Mendonsa Wow.
3099 - 3108 Brad Barrett Yeah I believe he's number one. That's amazing. I mean five and a half percent on this poor guy's 200 K portfolio. That is crazy.
3108 - 3117 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Because he is getting hit and sales load every year because the guy was churning. I'm from Hartford to American funds and then back again and then back again. It's just ridiculous.
3117 - 3124 Jonathan Mendonsa My advisor consistently talks about how he's the top performer in North Carolina. Well what do you think that means.
3124 - 3131 Brad Barrett Oh god is crazy. All right. Hey Robert. Question number three your favorite life hack.
hotseat-lifehack
3131 - 3155 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington I wrote about this on my site but I actually sold my car two years ago before I even left a target and I Uber and Lyft I'm mostly Uber as needed. So we have one family car. I just ride share everywhere and it's so cost effective it saves me so much money and it's so convenient. And I love it. Unless like Uber Lyft goes away I don't necessarily see a need to own a car again for myself.
3155 - 3158 Jonathan Mendonsa Oh Brad this sounds like your sibling right here.
3158 - 3166 Brad Barrett This sounds like my dream life. That's amazing. Wow. So you're telling me you ubered on your commute.
3166 - 3188 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah. Uber to work every single day. It worked out great. I'd spend. I broke down in the blog post but I think I spent about 200 250 to 300 dollars a month in Uber but versus owning a car with like buying the car or financing it however you want to do it. Insurance maintenance registration all that stuff. It really worked in my favor even when I was I want to work five days a week.
3188 - 3190 Jonathan Mendonsa Did you have a regular guy.
3190 - 3198 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington No. You know surprisingly so I Uber. I think I have something like 700 trips. I've only had the same driver like 10 time or.
3198 - 3202 Jonathan Mendonsa Wow at the level of volume you are using you should have gotten concierge service.
3202 - 3203 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington I know right.
3203 - 3206 Jonathan Mendonsa All right. Question number four your biggest financial mistake.
hotseat-mistake
3206 - 3238 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington You know I don't know if I necessarily have a ton of financial mistakes but I'd say two come to mind the first one is you know when I was 22 and I graduated college I thought I deserved a brand new car. So I bought a brand new thirty three thousand dollar car that ended up being 700 dollars a month in car payments because I thought I was bad ass and graduate college and that I was like a hot something 22 year old that needed a new car. Honestly probably a total waste of money. Now I don't even have a car and Uber everywhere. But you know looking back I should've just bought like a cheap used car if I needed a car.
college, hotseat-mistake
3238 - 3241 Jonathan Mendonsa I'm sure everybody was impressed with you and your and your.
3241 - 3266 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington That's it. Like who cares right. And the other thing that I would say that comes to mind is luckily I don't have a ton of financial mistakes but when I was at the beginning of the college adventure like I also was all about investing right and I was like picking individual stocks and I probably lost somewhere between like five and seven thousand dollars over a few year period of time thinking I was smarter than the market and trying to pick individual stocks that totally backfired on me.
college, stocks
3266 - 3271 Jonathan Mendonsa You know what. Call it market research and gave you tons of content to talk about on the college investor.
college
3271 - 3289 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Totally and it really helped evolve my lesson today words like go with low cost index funds. But the bigger challenge is find that asset allocation that works for your risk tolerance. I'm not a VTSAX guy 100 percent. I do like to have an asset allocation but within that low cost index funds.
indexfunds
3289 - 3293 Jonathan Mendonsa Well we can't all be purist now.
3293 - 3297 Brad Barrett All right Robert question number 5 the advice you would give your younger self.
hotseat-advice
3297 - 3357 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington When it comes to money. I would say max out those IRAs and 401 ks from day one. I remember when I was first eligible for my 401k at Target Target matched my 401k 5 percent dollar for dollar up to 5 percent of my pay and everyone's like well just do your 5 percent and I for probably five six seven years I thought that's all you were supposed to do is just take advantage of your company match. Man I wish I would put it to the max that would have been one thing that I really wish I could have done is gone. I think it's you know eighteen thousand five hundred this year but back then it is still probably like 14000 15000. It would have been really cool to have that maxed out from day one. My life advice if I had go back stop caring about so much what other people think of how you're choosing to live your life kind of with that car with blogging. You know even leaving target I think a big gap in my leaving is like what would other people think. You had some point time you have to stop caring like you live your life. You do you. You be super proud of yourself and you have to brush off what other people think.
401k, career, hotseat-advice, ira
3357 - 3375 Jonathan Mendonsa All right. Well we do have a bonus question for you and it's based on value. Now for a lot of people we talk about what you're not buying in the vein of frugality but you aren't limited by those constraints it sounds like. But I think it's still a very interesting question. Over the past 12 months purchase. Have you made that's brought the most value to your life.
frugality, hotseat-purchase
3375 - 3429 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington So I will share with you. I don't buy a lot of stuff. We don't have things we don't have a lot of. I keep it very simple. But the thing that I have bought and it's actually more of an ongoing thing that I'll share is we do all of our grocery shopping on Amazon Fresh which is like Amazon Prime. Now I guess they just they just changed it over but for the value I get from a time perspective and doing my grocery shopping online. It is so huge because imagine this. Right. I have two kids once four once 18 months. The fact that I would have to load them into the car go to the grocery store and load up put them in a shopping cart do my shopping. Cross your fingers there's no breakdowns or like yelling about like I want this or I want that. Get them back in the car come home unload everything. Same thing you're praying for no meltdowns this whole time. I could pull out my smartphone. I could do my grocery shopping and I can have it on my doorstep within two hours. It has been game changing for me.
3429 - 3436 Brad Barrett It is amazing. So you're telling me 100 percent of your grocery shopping is done through Amazon Fresh or Prime Now.
3436 - 3444 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah. ninety percent. I mean we still hit up Target and buy some groceries and where they are and stuff but it is eliminated probably 90 percent of our grocery shopping trips.
3444 - 3447 Jonathan Mendonsa Plus it doesn't come with car seats.
3447 - 3463 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Right. You know I would say the part 2 of that is we also Uber eats a lot. I actually wrote a blog post this week about why I love Uber eats. We ordered it 43 times this year. So far cause part two of that is it so so handy.
3463 - 3478 Jonathan Mendonsa Hey this has been so much fun. Robert and I know there's a lot of people they're going to have questions both around your specific story but also just as someone that has really crushed the game from a blogging perspective I'm sure they're going to want to reach out to you what's the best way for someone to contact you.
blogger
3478 - 3499 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Yeah you can head over to our site. It's the college investor dot com. If you love listening to audio or listen to a podcast we convert a lot of our episodes into audio. Now so you can check out the college investor audio show. And you can find us there. I'm also on social whatever your preference is Twitter Facebook Instagram or reddit. You can find the college investor on all those platforms.
3499 - 3502 Jonathan Mendonsa Robert This has been so much fun. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
3502 - 3504 Robert "the College Investor" Farrington Definitely this was a blast guys thanks for having me.
3504 - 3532 Jonathan Mendonsa You know Brad in this episode. I love that Robert. Just absolutely is not claiming the frugal man like that is not the place he's landing. And honestly that's a little different than a lot of our guest a lot of our guests like me and you have that natural bias towards frugality we realize what a powerful tool that is but one of the points that Robert made and it's incredibly powerful is that we're all subject to the same equation. And basically what he's talking about is the levers that we all have available to us. And he is focusing on an income strategy. I have no problem with that.
frugality
3532 - 3597 Brad Barrett Yeah I totally agree and that was an interesting look. Without a doubt it's the equation is the exact same. What really matters is your savings. We all like to talk about savings rate because they think it's a fun gamification aspect of it right. But also we talk about lowering our expenses but savings is what ultimately matters. So you could have your total expenses be two hundred K a year. But if you make three hundred thousand dollars a year you're still saving a hundred thousand dollars a year. That's not nothing. Sure your savings rate might be a paltry. And I say that tongue in cheek 33 percent. Right. Still you're saving a hundred thousand dollars a year. So obviously as you said Robert is kind of broken the income game here. So I imagine both his savings rate and his savings amount are pretty significant. But anyway what an interesting interesting story and great conversation with Rob and I just enjoyed on a personal level having him on the show. It was just just a fun conversation and man does his story just run the full gamut there.
savings
3597 - 3670 Jonathan Mendonsa The fi tent just got a little bigger. If you enjoyed this episode if you've been enjoying the episodes up to this point just take one second presses subscribe button on the platform you're listening to this on just the providers know you're getting value from the show and you want to be here. When we produce additional episodes if you want to support us and what we're doing here at choose FI here for easy ways one leave us an iTunes review. You want to do that just go to choose fi dot com slash iTunes two use our page to sign up for travel credit cards. If you want to travel the world with miles and points instead of your hard earned dollars then just go to a chooseF.I. dot com slash cards and get started today. 3 If you're working on the milestones of FI set up a personal capital account to track your progress and use our affiliate link. It's completely free and just get to chooseF.I. dot com slash PC P as in Paul C as in Cat and four and most importantly find your friends co-workers and family members who might be open to this message and tell them about the podcast. Have them start with episode 38 the Wi-Fi and right behind that have them go listen to Episode 21. The pillars of FI. It is a fantastic starting place. Alright my friends the fire spreading. We'll see you next time as we continue to go down the road less traveled. You've been listening to choose FI radio podcast where we help middle class America build wealth one life hack at a time.
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