What’s important to you? Owning a car? Family time? Retirement? No matter what your goals are, they’re always intertwined more with the goals of those around us than we may think. For Gigi Gonzalez, culture was everything when it came to working toward her goals. When she began shoveling money toward her own non-family goals, it created rifts in her family. Did she think she was too good for them? Was she losing her cultural identity? While that’s not at all true, what is true is that balancing reaching her goals and working with her family was an important middle ground that Gigi needed to find as a first generation American AND that she passes on to others. She also helps us with our budget, car buying strategy, and more.
In our headline segment, check writing is in the crosshairs of one popular New York Times columnist. We’ll talk about why YOU probably want to eliminate checks once-and-for-all from your financial life. In our TikTok minute, we talk about maybe the BEST diet AND wallet saving food on the market. We also help a Stacker who had to Better Call Saul (Sehy & OG). Of course, you can wash it all down with some awesome trivia from Doug.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
Watch On Our YouTube Channel:
Our TikTok Minute
Giovanna “Gigi” Gonzalez
- How much does the average, dedicated TikToker earn?
Better call Saul…Sehy & OG
- Mason, from our Facebook Group, wants to know if it’s common for the mortgage on a new house purchase to be sold to another servicer within two weeks of closing?
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Written by: Kevin Bailey
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Monday morning in January and I’m freezing my butt off. og, that’s fast. Why don’t you turn the heat up? Why does that to be like 62 degrees down here? Climate change.
That’s climate change at the basement.
Forced on us by you. That’s exactly every time. Every
time we ask him that question, it always comes back to climate change.
It’s funny how the correlation between the heating bill comes in and climate change shows up.
It’s amazing. Every winter. Yes. A budget change.
Yeah. That might be more accurate. I. How do I, how do I transition from that? Let’s salute our
troops who are out there cold keeping us safe.
There you go. Doug with it. Nice job. Oh,
whoa. Look at og.
Look at the mug ing the Navy federal mug. Damn. A’s a badass mug, by the way. It’s a great mug. Yeah. It’s really on behalf of the men and women at Navy Federal Credit Union and, uh, the men and women making podcasts in mom’s basement.
Here’s to our troops. Let’s go stack some Benjamins
together. Doug, let’s stack some Benjamins. No, but I’m dying to know because that’s one of those sweet like insulated mugs, right? og? It’s got the lid on it. I bet you that keeps his coffee as warm. As long as your ember thing
depends on how long my battery lasts.
We’ll see. We’ll see.
That’s what she said. Go. He got me invested in some kind of root company
and so then I got a call from him saying, we don’t have to worry
about money no
more. And I said, that’s good. One less thing.
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. Today you’ll learn how to be better with your money than your parents. Were with author and first generation mentor, Gigi Gonzalez in our headlines. Another reason to stop writing checks like it’s 1986. And for our TikTok minute one, Toker conducted a study on those hot dogs at Costco.
Still a buck 50, but can you live with ’em? Hell, I can’t even make it home from the store when I have one of those. Plus we’ll hear from a stack Aoo called Saul Ci and og and like the top of the rollercoaster where your heart is all a flutter. I’ll share some social trivia and now a guy who’s social skills peaked in high school and also Joe Al Cihi.
love o you that you don’t come to the writing meetings. Lisa’s really having fun with this new angle. It’s so, so good.
Hey, everybody. Happy Monday to you. I am Joe Sul Cihi. Average Joe money on. She did, did complain recently that her,
uh, paycheck bounced.
Completely unrelated. She doesn’t have to remember.
Oh, what a shame. Who’s in charge of the HR function here, here
basement? Mayor, I’ll have somebody look into that for
her. That’s it. Maybe turn the damn heat up. Doug too. If we’d stop doing that, maybe we need to read. Let let, let’s reshoot that. Everybody, let’s go back. Oh, it’s too late, right? They’re telling me it’s too late.
Hey everybody, sit back, relax, put your feet up because we’ve got an hour of learning how this money thing works while, uh, maybe also learning a little bit about Costco hotdog and also Costco hotdog about, uh, ancient technologies like check writing all in one episode.
Just Chinese secret. It’s gonna be, I like the
Costco ice cream.
Do you guys, do you guys get the 17 gallon gallons of ice cream?
Uhuh? No. What flavors are there? Vanilla,
probably, uh, I think there’s just vanilla chocolate, or maybe it’s vanilla. And then you put chocolate syrup in it. It comes in like a 32 ounce.
You have me at Slurpee mug with,
with ice cream. Yeah. And do you put the hot dog right in it?
absolutely. It’s like kochi. See, what I like to do is you get the hot dog and you get the ice cream. And if you’re really getting crazy, there’s pizza.
You lost me where you smothered it all over your chest.
I. I just, is that necessary? Like, can you just emit that part of the recipe? It’s a fan
favorite at the Costco and Plano.
Seriously though, if I had the hot dog and the ice cream in the store, I wouldn’t make it to my truck like you would. I’d poop Cody. I thought you meant you’d just go to heaven. That’s what I thought too. No, I was like, the, the hotdog are in incre. I love their hot dogs. It goes right through you, is what you’re saying.
It, it just, yep. Uh, Cincin lady, remember when they had
the little onion thing and you could like grind the onions right onto the thing? Oh, that’s
the reason I even ate the hot I love onions and that’s why I would just completely cover the hotdog and onions. And they got rid of that with c My Costcos don’t have the onions anymore.
Covid wonder how Gigi Gonzalez is gonna be dis scintillating. Discussion. Gigi waiting to mentor us on our financial habits. Also talk about, uh, cultural differences, just how it was money-wise, growing up with a, with a family originally from Mexico, she mentors. First generation Americans, and, uh, today she’s gonna mentor us on our money skills.
But before that, a big headline in the TikTok minute. So let’s get moving.
Hello Darlings. And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show. I was Stacking Benjamins
headlines. I went in the way, way back machine to get this one. This was actually a piece from early December. Not sure how I missed this because, uh, Ron Lieber, who’s been on the show is, uh, a guy who’s writing I really like.
This is from, of course, the New York Times, where he writes, Ron says, our national check writing habit is turning into an enormous problem. Check fraud is growing rapidly, and there’s one big reason anyone with a smartphone can download an app and within minutes get access to bundles of still and checks that these are selling in open forums.
Boy, oh gee, you know, it’s, it’s funny because as I read this piece, it just reminded me that check writing to a large degree is still based on faith a little bit, that you’re not a thief. I remember when I first discovered that somebody’s account number and the check number they’re on is on the bottom of every stinking check.
Like I know exactly what institution you bank at. I know your bank account. And now, man, it’s easier than ever for somebody to just, well, it’s not even easier than ever. It’s as easy as it’s always been ’cause it’s out there in the open time to stop writing checks. I think
it’s time to stop doing anything that’s remotely related to giving access to other people, your credit card or your account information.
It’s just, I can’t see how we have yet to figure out that. It’s a really dumb idea to put all that out in the open. And I’ll give you another one. We’re at a restaurant and you hand the waiter your credit card. I’m sure that person’s an upstanding citizen most of the time. Hmm. But is their buddy, you know, and it’s like you, it doesn’t take a rocket driver, as you would say, Joe, to uh, figure out like what, you know, what maybe zip code you live in or something like that.
Like if you’re, I mean, a Google search of your name will give you pretty much your address and now you’ve had the account number. The code, you know, whatever the, the CVV code and you got their zip code and you know, off you go.
But what is one to do? You’re at a restaurant and I mean, you can’t say no, bring your whole cash register over to me.
No, I’m just saying like, some are moving more to that tap to pay system, which does feel a little funky when they’re like, here’s the machine and they stand there and hold it while you, you know, fumble with like, it’s still in their hand. Yeah. Trying to like hit which button of tip you wanna like, uh, they’re looking, oh, what’s that over there?
Why does it default a 50% tip?
Yeah. But, uh, I was reading a story related, uh, to, to this check writing issue in that someone had their, uh, so this is the latest one, in addition to check writing scams. You know how you got the chip in your card? And that’s like way safer, right? Because except it’s not.
So now they have chip readers that are the fake ones. Like, you go to the gas station, you put your card in. Oh boy. Skimmers, they call ’em. Yeah, I call ’em fakey. But, um, same, same
one of those two might stick,
but they’ll take the, they’ll take the chip data and now all they, they have all the chip data stored and now they just create a new chip.
And when you go to say to Chase or whomever, no, that wasn’t me. I didn’t, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t shop at Target. They go, yeah, you did, you used your credit card. We actually know that you used, you put the credit card in the machine, so we know that was you. No, it wasn’t. I didn’t do that. Somebody stole the little chip data and made a new card
out of it.
It’s, it’s, it’s worse than that now OG because the chip cards, most of them use NFC near field communications and so you can actually go on eBay and buy an NFC reader that’s totally remote. You just go hang out in a Starbucks and it’ll start, try to grab the credit card data off of cards that are within a certain radius depending on the quality of the, of the bad guy device that you bought off eBay.
So you don’t even have to go to a gas station that happens to have a skimmer, or sorry, as you call it, a fakey. Fakey.
I thought all those dudes just liked me. I wonder why people were always coming up and like wanting to hang out right next to me. Hey, what’s up? Well, this is even more low tech guys when it comes to checks.
I mean, you guys are talking about some technological ways that this happens with checks. It’s way easier. Ron writes. Last week I downloaded Telegram, a messaging app where fraudulent activities, particularly robust and quickly found forums selling stolen checks. I called the people who had written the first 20 stolen checks I found for sale and asked them if they were aware they’d become victims.
They were not pleased. I love Ron with the, oh, lucky me. So what’s the deal with this online market? It starts with a pretty low tech operation. After people pay bills, put checks and envelopes and drop them into a blue mailbox. At that point, criminals find ways to take them out of those public mailboxes, or it’s an inside job at the post office, og, to your point about the restaurant or elsewhere.
Next, the thieves choose from a number of paths that could involve either selling the checks on Telegram or keeping them. Either way, their next move is to often assume a fake identity, of course, in order to open a bank account where the checks will end up just, uh, super easy as, as. Easy as it is with credit cards, what you’re talking about, og even easier with checks, time to minimize the check writing if you’re still doing it.
when I was, uh, moving my mom out of her house into the condo a year and a half ago, she had a box in the living room and our rule was whatever you wanted to take, mom, you needed to take and move because by the time the boys got there, whatever was left was going in the dumpster. That’s, we just made it really simple in terms of the move.
There was a lot of dumpster and there was a box in the living room and she said, well, what’d you do with the box that was in the living room? I said, it’s in the dumpster. And she freaked out. She’s like, that had all these, all
of our bank
stuff in there and dah, dah. And I said, no, it didn’t. I looked, it had canceled checks from 1987 with your other married name on it.
It’s nobody Caress that you banked at First National Bank and Trust. Wow. In 86 Doxing mom today. You
hope that somebody
Yeah, but I do know that, uh, she spent $36 in 19 six at Giant Supermarket that week.
Which closed 23
years ago, which has not been in business in a long time. Yeah. Uh, but at least they don’t send you your checks back in the mail anymore.
That, that’s a little silly. But yes. Stop using checks.
I wondered about, you know, local people. Like, uh, we had a pipe burst and we had a plumber come out and I asked him, instead of writing a check if he’d take Venmo, and his answer was, yeah, of course. So not all local people that you’ll hire to do different tasks will avoid checks, but most do, I think a lot of people are getting pushback on the, on the check.
If you’re a, if you’re somebody who offers local services, there’s other ways. PayPal, Venmo, there’s
tons, I mean, there, yeah, there’s PayPal. You can set it up with your, you know, with a merchant account with Stripe and take credit card data. You plug it into your phone and it’ll, and it will do it that way.
This is also a little bit on the bank side of things. We’re making it so challenging to move money from one place to another. Yeah. It’s like. Why does it have to take three days to move money from one account to another when instantaneously it happens in real life?
Right. Well, I was gonna jump in with something similar, but in addition to the time and the challenge for most of those electronic means of exchanging money, if you’re on a, like a commercial venture, there’s a fee that gets charged for that intra bank, and there isn’t for a check.
So like, I, I want to pay my property taxes online, and if I wanna do that with my Visa, I gotta pay an extra 3.5%. Mm-Hmm. That’s a big number on property taxes. But if I go scoreboard with a paper check, there’s still a fee, but it’s smaller. So they’re actually working in the opposite direction. They were pushing me, my city was pushing me towards the old school method of, of writing a check instead of doing it electronically, which is just ridiculous to, to me.
Yeah. Well, I
mean, obviously banks got a credit card. Companies have fraud protection and they, you know, have a cost of doing business and all. That’s fine. Sure. But it should be able to happen. A lot faster than it does, and it should be able to happen almost instantaneously. Why can I send you freaking $10,000 via PayPal and it will be in your PayPal account within really a millisecond.
You did what? Let me try it real quick. Okay. Just kidding. But why can I do that? And then if I try to transfer money from my bank account to my other bank account, it takes three days. Three days. Yeah. It’s like I’m not transferring it to like, you know, Aris, it’s like it’s going, it’s going from one side of Dallas to the other.
With all these technologies just, uh, creaking. I think the message Bitcoin is even more, get rid of the oldest one of all. Check writing. We’ll see what the banks do with Aach h. But, but let’s get rid of the, the check writing time for our TikTok minute. This is the part of the show where we shine a light on a TikTok creator who’s either doing something brilliant or air quotes brilliant.
Air quotes, air quotes. Brilliant. Yeah. Uh, CRO og. We got brilliant, or air quotes brilliant today. Brilliant man. Again, he’s just, yeah. Winning over a new leaf 2024. We talked earlier about the Costco hotdog. One talker did a very, uh, but not scientific, but very personal study on the Costco hotdog. And here’s what he came up with.
I ate nothing but the Costco hotdog meal for the past week to see if paying a dollar 50 for a Gln drink was worth it for seven days. And here are the results. I ate 29 hotdog meals for a grand total of $43 and 50 cents, one fourth of what the average millennial spends on food a week. I also might’ve started a new diet trend on accident ’cause I lost 4.2 pounds in seven days, or I have a giant tape worm.
And to my surprise, I never got sick of eating hot dogs once, despite my bowel movements resembling Willy Wonka’s Chocolate River. So was it worth it? Are you kidding me? I bled on a budget, lost weight and had the culinary experience of a lifetime. Abso absolutely.
Yeah, there it is.
It’s the best tick back we’ve ever had.
not scientific. It’s funny, somebody asked, uh, longtime Costco, CEO. Craig gel if they make a big margin off the hot dog. And the answer of course is no. They lose. But it brings people into the store. They actually make those hot dogs themselves so they can save money to lure people into the store with a dollar 50
And he has said he will die on that hill as they’re having to raise membership costs and, and other things. He’s, as long as I’m here, we will never raise the price of the hot dog and drink combo. And I think also rotisserie chickens maybe are like the two that he’s willing to go to bat for
We’ve got, uh, health and wellness expert Angelo Polley joining us. I’d love to see what Angelo thinks about the whole
Costco. It’s all beef. It’s a hundred percent beef.
Yeah. Yes. So there’s that. Coming up next, uh, Gigi Gonzalez is a force of nature. She is a woman. Will
he won his Chocolate River?
Gigi is the first gen mentor on TikTok.
A quarter of a million people follow Gigi’s advice on TikTok, and she is just a super fun person who I had the pleasure of meeting at FinCon a couple years ago, and I’m super happy to see that her new book, Cultura and Cash Lessons from the First Gen Mentor for managing finances and cultural expectations is here, but before she mentors us on our money Doug, you’re gonna mentor us on trivia, aren’t you?
Darn straight. I am Joseph. Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mobs neighbor. Doug. You know, I was trying to get some last minute yard work done over the weekend, but the teens in the neighborhood wouldn’t stop teasing me. Not that I’m, uh, afraid of them or anything. It was just annoying to hear them over the sound of the white snake I had playing on the radio.
It all started because they challenged me to a TikTok dance off. I thought we were all showing off our best moves. So I came in hot with the Mc Hammer dance. You know, like after I went inside and put on my parachute pants, they had never seen. It’s like fast footwork and I didn’t miss a single step. It was like I was right back in high school.
You know how you’re all sure that would be super impressive, but against all odds, nobody fired up a lighter or asked for autographs. Unbelievable. I know it’s really a sad state of the world when an entire generation has never heard the song. You can’t touch this. Joe, that’s where you go. Ow.
Is that good?
There we go. Yeah. Thanks. It was only after they saw how disappointed I was in all of them, that they explained that the competition was to see who could do the best version of one specific dance from TikTok. Had I known that from the start, I would’ve won by a lot. Today’s trivia question is, how much does the average dedicated TikTok or earn on the platform?
I’ll be back right after I teach these kids how to do the worm.
Hey there, stackers. I’m Mc Hammerhead and hip hop dance instructor, Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. During the break, I brushed up on some of my signature dance moves, the Tootsie roll, the cabbage patch, the Chacha slide. I’m almost ready to sign up for Texarkana annual Talent Show. But today’s trivia question was, how much does the average dedicated TikTok or earn the answer with payouts from the platform hovering at a negligible two to three tenths of a cent for every thousand views?
Let me make sure you heard that right. Tenths of a percent for every thousand views, the average of dedicated tens of a cent. Not a percent. You changed, you changed it. I did. I, I heard myself changing it. I’m like, ah, crap. Maybe nobody will notice you notice. Anyway, two to three tenths of a cent for every thousand views.
The average dedicated TikTok earns between 15,020 $5,000 a year. I’m gonna make a fortune once I start putting all of my signature moves on TikTok. And now here to teach you the basics of being better with your money. It’s today’s mentor, Gigi Gonzalez,
and I’m super happy she’s joining us in Texarkana for her world tour. Gigi Gonzalez is here. How are you?
I’m good, Joe. How are you? So good to connect with you again. It’s been a while.
It has been. We met at a FinCon. It was super fun. You actually talk about FinCon in your book because you went up in front of a group and like told your story.
You were crying on stage.
They cried first. They cried. First. They started it. Yeah. And then they made me cry. I was holding, I was really holding back. Yeah. They made me cry and
we were all crying. But that’s what I love about FinCon though, Gigi is you’ve got these wonderful people that help you. Such a sharing community.
Like I tell everybody, no matter what you do, yeah. Find that group of people that you can cry with. ’cause that’s who we all
need. I completely agree. No, and I mean, I went to your session where you talked about your book deal and we took a little selfie afterwards and you were so kind enough to then do a follow-up call to talk about book publishing.
So it’s, it’s really nice to be here. It’s like a real full circle moment. So I appreciate you. I was so happy.
I’m gonna hold
up for the video to check this badass book out. Thank you. And, and Fast Company Press one of my favorite publications, fast Company. Let’s start here. You begin this project by saying that you do financial literacy workshops.
Of course, that’s one of the amazing things that you do. And this is a line people tell you all the time, quote, I wanna be better with money, but I don’t know where to start. And for people like you and me, that’s so frustrated. ’cause you know, there’s YouTube filled with stuff, there’s tons of podcasts.
You know, you go to Barnes and Noble, there’s books all over the place and yet the average person, Gigi, you meet, they’re like, I. I Where, where do you think our disconnect is?
Yeah, I mean I was that person for a long time, you know, because I’m the daughter of Mexican immigrants, so money wasn’t discussed at home at all because there wasn’t enough money.
So the only conversation we heard about money is there isn’t enough of it, so don’t bother us asking. ’cause the answer’s always gonna be no, no. Yeah. So yeah, so there wa there wasn’t any discussion about money. So yeah, when I went out into the quote unquote real world, I didn’t have any money management skills.
And what’s funny is I was an econ major, so you’d think I would’ve learned a thing or two. I learned about inflation and you know, stuff like that, the recession. But yeah, I didn’t learn anything about personal finance. So yeah, it’s not taught to us in school. And then if you’re children of immigrants like I am, like it likely wasn’t taught to you at home either.
’cause my parents were just barely scraping by trying to survive in a new country. Yeah, that’s
what I was wondering. What year did they come to the United States in
the nineties? Probably late nineties.
Yeah. I mean, I just put myself in your parents’ position. I remember like the first time I left the United States and it was like, play money in my hand.
Right? I’m like, how many of these does it take to buy a candy bar? I have no idea. So, so your parents are dealing with like a whole new economic system? Mm-Hmm. Trying to fit in, trying to get jobs, new language, and then they, yeah. This language barrier, I mean barrier after barrier after barrier, like teaching money, basics is thing number nine.
It’d be like if I went to Ecuador right now, I would’ve no flipping idea how to teach my kids anything about money. Exactly.
Yeah. That’s exactly what the position they were in, you know, the goal for them was just let’s keep the lights on and make sure that the rent is paid. That was winning to my immigrant parents.
You talk about how at one point in your life you were broken and confused, and obviously as an econ major, it’s so funny, you know, we, we get this quote education and yet there’s no syllabus, right. For this type of stuff. Tell me about then your situation. When did you, ’cause you said that you started reading all the books, like the David Box stuff, like all of these books.
What was the fire that you lit under yourself to go on this personal finance journey?
Yeah, it was very much the fire movement. Once I found out about the fire movement, it was like this concept that you can retire early and you don’t have to wait until you’re 65 or 70. I’m like, oh. Okay. You know, ’cause yeah, when you had pensions, you had to wait.
But now that we’re self-funding our own retirement, it’s up to you to how much you contribute and how aggressive you are. So that, I was a big part of the fire movement for years. I’ve, since becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve slowed down and I don’t see it as much as a priority because I like what I do. I like what I do.
But yeah, that was a big driver as well as this big dream to quit my corporate job for a year to go on a travel sabbatical. I really wanted to retire early, like in my mid forties. And I wanted to have a sabbatical, uh, which back then they weren’t as common. Now everybody knows the term sabbatical, but it’s, it’s, you know, I wanna take a year off to travel the world.
While young, I wanted to be able to hike up stuff and not have my back hurt and my knee hurt and, and wait until a day that may not come in the future. So that really kept me motivated to learn more about money and to learn how to budget and all those good
things. Talk about goal-based planning. So you’re on your journey, getting your own.
House in order. When did you start mentoring people? When did you begin this fabulous brand that you have now? Yeah,
so once I realized I had mastered the money education was because I was reading the books and I’m like, I know what they’re gonna say next. And of course it’s they. I’m like, okay, I already know this stuff, like the back of my head at this point.
So then I kept executing my plans right, and, and working with my then boyfriend and to figure out our finances. But definitely there was a part of me that. Was enraged instead for not having received this information sooner. Uh, at this point I was in my late twenties and I was like, this is so unfair, especially knowing that some people do get to benefit from some financial education at home because maybe their parents weren’t immigrants and maybe they’ve been here in this country, a generation or two, and they can at least teach in the basics of a checking account or maybe, you know, stay away from debt.
Just basic things like that that I never even got taught. So I said, how can I share my new knowledge with other women, specifically women of color? So I literally googled how to teach financial literacy to others. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. This was in 2019, and I came across a nonprofit called the YWCA. So they were taking in applications for pro bono financial educators.
All they required was that you work in financial services, which I did. I was in investment management at the time and that was great. I did that for almost two years while working my full-time job. So it was a passion project of mine. Uh, so again, my nine to five corporate life, corporate body. And then on my free time I would volunteer and teach insurance 1 0 1 or investing 1 0 1 with the YWCA.
Then that transformed into what it is now, which is TikTok and the first gen mentor that happened by accident. It was, I dunno how that happened actually. So I started my teaching at the Y in end of 2019 and the TikTok thing came up in March of 2021. So it was almost two years later that I started sharing these same tips that I was sharing boots on the ground in my community, on the internet.
And that took a life of its own.
It’s funny how, you know, you have this job that pays the bills and yet this thing that doesn’t pay the bills can fill you up so much. You know what I mean? Like we talked to Vivian too recently on the show and she, you know, worked on Wall Street making money, hand over fist Gigi, but she’s got no life and then goes and practically walks off a financial cliff to do this thing that is far more crazy, but so much more fulfilling.
It sounds like you’re walking that path too.
Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been doing this for two and a half years now and I love it. You know, in the beginning there was a lot of uncertainty, but the longer that I’ve been in this space, I know my voice is needed and I’m glad that, and I feel so lucky that I get to do this for a living.
certified financial planning communities all over this, which is that we don’t have enough people that are helping people that are not, well, let’s just put it bluntly the way it is. There’s a ton of middle-aged white men that are coaching people in the CFP community. CFP board knows that it’s a problem, uh, has developed a bunch of resources, but sorely needed in many communities.
And you talk about culturally how things are different for your community than it is for, you know, average middle-aged white guy community. I like this one. One thing you read in all the books, don’t lend money to family and friends. You’re not a bank that doesn’t fly in your community.
Those are fighting words in my community. Yeah, no, that’s, uh, the first time I tried that. Yeah. I got the backlash right
away. I bet people just thought you were an when you’re like, Nope.
Oh yeah, they still do. ’cause now I’ve learned to implement my own financial boundaries. I give money when I want to and when I can.
And I’m still very much the black sheep in my family for doing that. But I’m probably the most financially successful one too. So I’m okay with that.
And it’s funny how in some levels, Gigi, you know, our upbringing is so different, but I grew up in Redneck West Michigan and it was, it was in some ways the same like, oh, you think you’re better than us, don’t you?
You think you’re better than us? I’m like, well, no, not really. I do think maybe we should stop putting money in stupid places, but yeah,
no, I, I definitely have gotten that from my grandpa and that was really hurtful where he says, you think you’re better Oh, from your grandpa? Yeah. And I mean, it’s, he’s, he’s lived such a different life than the life he was born in 1931, you know, so he lives such a different life than the life I’ve lived.
I understand why he has those views. You know? He never got the opportunity to go to college. He had to work. So, yeah, he, there’s definitely some things, and you know, there’s the machista culture too, that’s very prevalent in our community. Yeah.
So what I love about this though, is that what you say, you know, a lot of the stuff that you read, the popular press, like there’s no middle ground, and you’re like, there’s gotta be, I gotta be financially solvent.
But at the same time, I gotta realize that my cousin’s quinceanera is a big deal. Right? And I’m expected to put some money toward
that. No, absolutely, and that’s what was missing in the traditional personal finance books that I had read. I read over 50 personal finance books and I had never seen one that addressed how to navigate money with your family because me as a Latina, as a daughter of Mexican immigrants, my money experie is very much always going to be tied to my family.
Always. Whether that means I provide a monthly allowance for somebody that needs support every month, or if I’m the first person they come to when there’s a financial emergency and somebody needs surgery, or if somebody has bad credit and they wanna buy a house and they want me to co-sign for them, I’m always being tapped into that ’cause I’m the one who’s quote unquote made it ’cause I’m the one that went to college.
That’s how they see it at
least. It’s funny, we end up with these, uh, inadvertent theme weeks. You’re here on a Monday, Stacking Benjamins on Wednesday, we’re talking to a researcher and writer Brian class who talks about how we’re not these individuals. You know, a lot of people have this atomic versus a relational aspect with a world, and he talks about how we all influence each other and we have very much, we’re, we’re much more of a knitted culture than in America.
We wanna believe you point this out in your book as well, that for your culture, it very much is a knitted community whole.
Yeah. It’s a sense of pride to be able to tap into community when you have any sort of financial hardship. Money is not viewed like it’s just yours. Money is communal. It’s for all of us.
So that’s why they are expected for you to open up your wallet if they need money for this or that. And I, in the beginning, just gave money because that’s what I was conditioned to do, to always say yes, because that’s what you do for family. But then I quickly started learning that I was digging myself in a hole.
And then when I had my own financial emergencies, nobody was there to bail me out because they were all broke, right? So who’s gonna bail me out? Yeah. So I, so I’m like, okay, I have to first work on building a solid foundation for myself where I feel okay, and if I have a financial emergency, I can back myself up and then I can contribute to the ability that I can to any sort of financial support.
And that’s what I do now. I still regularly help. If somebody needs an eye surgery, somebody that needs hip surgery, I will help with those costs. But it’s very much on my terms now, not because somebody’s twisting my arm and making me do it. That’s
fabulous. You have the, what you call your, your first gen five pillars.
Your first pillars, an emergency fund. Then budgeting, debt, credit investing. I would love, if you don’t mind, because you mentor everybody every day, let’s mentor our stackers on some of these, if you don’t mind. Yep. For it. Sure.
Be happy for it. Yeah. Well, the
first thing you know is that budgeting for a lot of our stackers, Gigi, is like putting handcuffs on people, right?
Like it is, you even say that a lot, like people
budgeting. That’s for people with money. Like you hear that, you hear that all the time. Budgeting for you though your dream of travel, like doing more and I don’t think of travel and doing more with budget. I think budget and restrictive. If I’m the average person listening to this, how did travel lead you to budget?
You know, it’s funny, the story is I actually went back to my former high school to do a career day. So again, with a bunch of high school kids and, and it was nice. It was one of the best days of my life to give back to those kids and I was giving them tips on how to navigate college. I told them all of ’em.
There were six classes that I gave the same spiel to, and I said. You need to study abroad. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, you have to study abroad, even if you have to take out debt for it, you know? ’cause I didn’t do it because I’m like, I have to take out additional debt. But I said, this is gonna be a once in a lifetime opportunity when you’re gonna be surrounded by people who are your age, have no responsibilities, you’re in a new culture, new country.
Like you’re never gonna get the opportunity to do that ever again. And I always thought that, oh, I’ll do it when I’m older and I’m bougie and I have money to travel. But then I quickly learned that a two week vacation is nothing compared to what a study abroad experience for three or four months would’ve been.
That immersive. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And yeah, everybody that I’ve known that has taken on debt when they were students to study abroad has never regretted it. Because of the experience, it’s a life experience. Right? So after leaving that session, uh, with the kids, I felt good that I was able to pour into them.
But then I felt a little sad for myself that I’m like, I never got that. I never got to study abroad and I still have this, you know, Wonderlust. And that’s when I started doing some researching like, how can I travel while I’m still young? I know that I can’t do it, you know, in college because I’m not in college anymore.
How can I do it? I came across the fire movement, I came across budgeting, and that’s what transformed my finances. Having this big dream to quit my job for a year, to travel the world and, you know, not have to be on somebody else’s time, being on my own time. And it made it very easy to budget, you know, because I was very clear on what my goal was.
So I knew that if somebody wanted me to spend money to go on a random Vegas girls trip, I’m like, that’s taking money away from my sabbatical fund. No, thank you. You know, it was, it was very easy. And I actually had a big map. I. That I bought on Amazon and I had it in my living room wall, so it was always visible and I had it with pins of the places that we wanted to travel, so I never lost sight of my goal.
It’s so important to, to do that because you know, especially right now, like the new year, people always set resolutions. I wanna do this, I wanna do that, but then they forget about it. That’s why it’s important to keep your goals visible. I really love like the vision boarding method ’cause it’s like just a constant reminder of how you wanna be intentional with your life.
And I hope stackers, you’re doing the same thing that Gigi’s talking about here, because keeping those goals in front of you, front and center, I mean, real life just smacks you, right? I mean, there’s that great, yeah, I think it’s a Mike Tyson phrase that, you know, goals are great until you get smacked in the face and uh, life tends to do that to us.
When you budget though, mince going away, like is there a certain type of budget you like? Do you prefer like a YN type budget or do you use any of the budgeting apps that are out there? Anything really catches your interest or some keys we
need. The one that really worked for me, it was good budget. I believe it’s still available, so it follows kind of the envelope method.
Yeah. But yeah, it’s all digital instead of actually carrying envelopes. I liked it because every time I would have a transaction, I would know. To have a transaction. You go and you book it on the Good budget app and it was free back then. I think it might cost like five bucks a year or something now. But it was very easy to use and again, that’s just what worked for me.
You know, some people might thrive with, you need a budget or doing something on a spreadsheet. People have to kind of test different methods and find out what works for them.
I like the idea of testing though. ’cause it makes it playful. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And then you feel, you feel free to screw it up.
Like I feel like too many of us, we put too much pressure on us to get it right the first time, Gigi. No, no,
it’s gonna, it’s gonna be trial and error for sure. So you find what works for you. What feels natural for you and what you can stick to is just like a diet, right? There’s so many parallels with budgeting and dieting.
You have to find what works for you.
All right? I’m a Detroit guy, so I’m gonna go forward into and talk about debt, but there’s a specific type of debt where you and I also, our cultures aligned. Being a Detroit guy, it’s all cars all the time. You talk about Latinos in their cars, you literally have a headline that says Lat Latinos in their cars.
For people that don’t know about Latino culture and cars, tell me about this a minute.
Oh my goodness. Well, let me see. This is kind of a teaser. My dad has four cars. It’s just him. He is single and he has four cars as a status symbol so that his neighbors can see on the man on the block. Was four paid off cars.
’cause where we’re from or in a lot of our culture, um, that’s how you show off your wealth or that you’re doing well in life by what kind of car or how many cars you have. And it’s something that I learned very quickly through reading personal finance books and know you should actually not see a car as like this luxury that you need to have.
You should have like, just something that’s safe, reliable, won’t leave you on the side of the road in some random day, right. And drive that baby till the wheels fall off, you know? So when I implemented that advice. From these books. It was great for my finances, but it wasn’t great for my relationship with my family because I was bullied for years.
I was bullied because why are you driving this crusty Corolla? You can’t afford a new one. You paid it off, you know, years ago. Why? Yeah. I never, every time I saw my family, they would not shut up about how I was so cheap because I wouldn’t get a, a well-functioning Toyota Corolla that had no problems, you know?
And I think I shared an anecdote too about how I was very proud when I finally paid off the car note, you know, five years after the making car payments. And the first question my, my uncle asked me, oh, so what’s next? Where are you gonna get next? I’m like, what do you mean? And he’s like, well, you paid it off.
So what’s your new car now that you paid this one off? It’s time. Exactly. That’s very much how it’s viewed. Yeah. You pay off a car and now it’s time for a new one instead of, again, driving that thing until the wheels fall off. It’s a very different mindset. And uh, even my grandma too, last time I saw her.
She was mentioning how her neighbor, their granddaughter’s, doing very well and she’s like, yeah, she pulled up in a brand new car. They always mentioned the car. It always goes back to the car. So that’s why it was very important for me to include that in the book. Well,
but okay, so how do we find that middle ground?
’cause I love the fact that you pay homage to your culture doing that. And certainly in Detroit, a car is a status symbol and certainly an American car, right, is a status symbol, which by the way is different in different parts of the United States. Driving a German made car is, you know, a status Italian car, whatever it might be.
If I’m trying to find that halfway, where do I meet this culturally halfway, how do I not get into a bunch of car debt and still have something where I fit in?
I mean, for me, honestly, I had to learn to, well, I did try to educate my family on actually, this is why I’m still driving this 7-year-old car.
’cause of the extra money that I’m have now for not having a car payment. I’m using it for savings, or I’m using it to pay off debt, or I’m using it for investing. Um, you’d think that’d be enough of an explanation. It’s not. It would still bullying me. And again, say, you’re being cheap. You have a nice office job.
Why can you treat yourself to something better? So that route didn’t work. So what I had to learn was just to put up with the bullying and, and just zone out. And what’s that advice? I, I hate that advice, but internally I’m like, don’t take advice from broke people. Right. Because just like they don’t know what they’re doing with their money, they’re gonna judge me ’cause I’m moving differently.
But you know what, when something happens, again, I’m the first person they come to, you know? So yeah, I just, I just had to learn to tune it out and be like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure, sure, sure. I mean, are you gonna buy me a new car? Be like, are you gonna buy me a new car? No. Okay, then shut up. You know. Well,
but the general advice that I like is, Hey, listen, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna teach you that.
The Toyota Corolla is great. Yeah. But what I can do is tell my family, please avoid card debt like that. What are you gonna buy now? Whatcha gonna buy next? Could be part of the problem.
Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. So any traditional personal finance book will tell you to buy like a, a two to 3-year-old reliable used car.
Right? That, which is why I went for the Toyota Corolla. But you know, most people would be surprised to know that both the cars I’ve ever owned were brand new from the dealership. Which again, that goes against traditional personal finance advice that says you don’t do that because as soon as you drive it off the law, it depreciates in value.
Right. For me, my circumstances were different, even though at that point I knew that wasn’t the smartest financial decision. I also knew that I was a single young adult living in LA four hours away from my family. And if my car had any sort of mechanical issues, I wouldn’t know how to deal with them. You know?
’cause my dad, I’d be able to rely on him if I was closer to home. Yeah. So I’m like, I need something brand new that isn’t gonna give me issues for a long time so that I feel safe in my car. And even if that costs more money and if it’s not the most financial savvy, that’s fine. But then the deal here is.
I’m gonna drive it to the wheels fall off. So I had it for 10 years until I moved to Chicago.
We do the same thing in our family. Gigi, I drive a late model car. I’m not worried about me being on the side of the road, but Cheryl I worry about, so we make sure that she has a car that’s probably within five or six years of new, about every five or six years.
We’ll turn it over. We kind of do the same thing that you talk about, avoiding car debt by having a fund that feels like a car note. Mm-Hmm. But we’re prepaying it. You know what I mean? That’s so smart. So we go to the car dealer, but to your point, it’s a new car. We do the same thing full. Well knowing that, you know what not maybe the best quote financial move, but lifestyle wise, if it’s us, great.
I don’t want, if Cheryl’s on the side of the road, that’s horrible. Not good for anybody. Right? No, let’s move on ahead. The Latina pay gap, which I knew was horrible, but you point out that 54 cents for every $1, a white non-Hispanic man makes. Holy cow. Yeah, you put, nobody wants to work until they die. A lot of people though you say culturally don’t think of investing.
Like, don’t think investing is for rich people to do, but this, you talk about the pay gap 54 cents to every dollar we have to invest.
You have to, I list that as one of the reasons why as a Latina, you cannot afford to not invest because of the pay gap that exists. So yeah, a lot of that is, you know, unlearning that fear or overcoming that fear about the stock market is risky and, and explaining what the stock market really is so people feel more comfortable putting their money there.
We also are the second longest living demographic. I believe Asian women live longer than Latinas, so that means we need more money, right? ’cause we’re living longer. So yeah, it’s, it’s very important for Latinas, especially Latinas to invest.
So a lot of people in our stacker community just starting out very worried about investing.
What’s your first move,
Gigi? Yeah, so my first move was the advice somebody gave me on my first job, which I am so thankful for. I was a 22-year-old baby. I was working at Progressive Insurance, had no idea what I was doing. And one of my coworkers, you know, was open enrollment and she’s like, you signed up for the 401k, right.
I said No. I’m like, isn’t that for retirement? And she’s like, yeah. And I’m like, I’m 22 like that. I worry about that when I’m older. And she’s like, no. She says, you have to do it now. ’cause she says right now is when it’ll make the most difference while you’re young. And she says, and our employer offers a company match, which I had no idea what that was.
She had to explain it to me. Um, so thank God her name is Andrea. Thanks Andrea for pulling me to the side and really seeing that I was a lost 22-year-old in this is its corporate space and you know, my, my parents never had jobs that offered them any sort of workplace benefits like that. So again, how would I have known about 4 0 1 Ks or anything like that?
And I always am a big advocate of my community getting started investing there, uh, through a workplace retirement fund because it’s takes the, the least effort. You know, opening a Roth IRA, it can still be a little scary, right? Sure. Making sure you’re clicking on the right buttons on the website, where with your employer, you just simply opt in and they’ll take care of, you know, withdrawing the money from your paycheck every time.
So it’s, it’s just so much easier. I
like where you start there though, too, with the Roth. IRA, I mean, number one, just open the investment account. I feel like for most people that I’ve helped, man, once they just, we’ve so much fear. But when you actually put your fingers on the keyboard and you open up that account, like the fear melt, you’re like, oh, this was easier than I thought it was gonna
It’s three simple steps, right? Open an account you can invest in because you can’t invest in the stock market from your checking account or your savings account. So you need an investment account and then you need to add money to that account ’cause it’s not gonna grow unless you add money. And then the third step, which is the one where people get a little bit more intimidated, is where you have to pick your investments, right?
But there’s good investment options for people that aren’t as, you know, investment savvy, like target date funds or, you know, uh, index funds and all that fun stuff.
You dive into that, but you also dive into some investments that you wouldn’t start with. A lot of people, of course, uh, look at this crypto thing and think maybe that’s it.
You warned them against, uh, maybe starting off there.
Oh my God. Yeah. I, ugh, the crypto bros is what I call ’em. Yeah. And my community has asked me a lot over the years to make content on crypto, and I say I’m not because I know who I’m trying to serve. I’m trying to serve, again, the first person in their family to graduate from college, to be in corporate spaces, to be making more money than their parents ever did.
And the last thing that this person needs to be doing is investing in crypto. They can’t afford, you know, to experience the volatility of crypto. So that’s why I say you’re much better off investing your money in regulated assets, traditional assets like stocks and bonds, mutual funds, all that stuff. Um, so yeah, they’ve, they’ve asked me and, and they have definitely piped down since the collapse of FTX, you know, see how that all went down.
I don’t get those requests as much, which I’m thankful for, but I’m sure it’s gonna come back. It’s cyclical,
right? Sure. Well, after Bitcoin, it’s such a good year last year, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s coming back. Yeah,
yeah, yeah. My friend just showed me his portfolio. He’s like, you gotta jump on his, I’m like, I’m good.
You know? Good for you. And he’s, he’s rich so he can again afford to lose the money. I’m like, I am good. Thank you, Anton. I appreciate the free financial advice. Well,
I wanna go one more place, which is, you also caution people about investing in life insurance. You worked for a life insurance company. You saw some of this happening.
intern. Yeah. And I like to clarify because I’m like, I was just a helpless kid and I was trying to get work experience, but I very quickly saw what these people were doing and, you know, I don’t wanna generalize ’cause I, I, I actually have now met life insurance agents who also do portfolio management and, and there are some good people out there.
But when somebody just sells life insurance, that’s when I’m, my little spidey senses go off, right? Because again, what I was exposed to as an intern for this company was, Hey, write down a list of all the people you’ve ever met. Through your life, you know, whether it’s an old boss, an old teacher. Yeah. And then what they do is they get access to all these people.
You know the game, right? Yeah. Oh yeah. And then they, they, they bring me the, the cute kid trying to get learning experience, and then I’m supposed to be job shadowing while they’re really selling to my people. So I, I actually never got to this place where I, they got to access my people when they had me write down the list.
I’m like, what is this list for? I figure it out and actually quit. I quit the internship, but I don’t like that. I find that so predatory, you know? And it’s so predatory. Yeah. It’s, it’s, and I, and you know, and life insurance can be a great, uh, investment for people that have already optimized their other investment options.
Right. But it’s not the place to start.
It’s thing number 9,762. In some ways, crypto can be too, right. I mean, everything else is funded. You’ve got this, uh Yeah, sure. Money to take to the gambling casino. Go put it in. Sure. Gamble in crypto. Sure. Yeah. Yep. The book is called Culture and Clash Lessons from the First Gen Mentor for Managing Finances and Cultural Expectations.
I’m so happy to see this project come to life, especially being one of the people I feel like that knew that it was coming from the outset. Gigi, we can get this where we get it everywhere. Yeah.
Thank you Joe. Thank you. And you were really one of the people from the beginning, you know, uh, we talked about how does the book tour process work?
Is it something that makes sense? And you said abort. Abort.
Do not go to 40. Do not go to 40 cities. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah. No, and I actually do plan to probably do like a five city, you know, where my biggest people are at and that’ll be fun to interact with people. But, but yeah, definitely not something big and it’s, thanks to your advice.
But yeah, the book is available for pre-order now and it’ll be launched on the 23rd of January and it’ll be available on all major online retailers, so Amazon, Barnes and Noble bookshop.org, IndieBound, all that good stuff,
which is stackers the day. After this comes out, people are looking at this, they’re like, wait a minute.
That’s tomorrow. Yes, that’s tomorrow. Yeah. So the
book will be out tomorrow. Yep. And um, again, you can shop at your favorite online retailer, or you can also visit my books website, ura and cash.com, or I’ve linked all those online retailers where the books are being
sold at. Awesome. We’ll link to it in the show notes and as long as one of those five cities, Gigi’s Texarkana, we’re good.
is Matt from Gainesville, Georgia, and when I’m not delivering all this consumerism in a big brown package parcel, I’m Stacking Benjamins.
Super. Thanks to Gigi for joining us, and again, you’ll find, uh, her. Social media handles where she helps so many people. On our show notes page at Stacking Benjamins dot com will also dive deeper, of course, with Kevin Bailey in the 2 0 1 our newsletter, Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1, where not only get the newsletter, we also communicate with you about things like the book club, which, uh, fired up this week.
And, uh, when we, when we go around the country when we have meetups, we’re gonna do a couple meetups this year, uh, hopefully in 2024. So if you get the 2 0 1, you’ll know all about those. Four cars. OG is a little far.
That’s a big number for one driver.
they all work? Uh, yeah. Oh yeah. Oh, not only do they work, they are, they are like what car you buy matters and keeping it up matters.
And it’s funny how being a guy from Michigan and living a long time in, in Detroit, you can appreciate that Doug. I remember living in, ’cause you and I when we lived in Michigan, didn’t live that far from each other.
Well some of us still live in Michigan
and I remember the commute’s a bear for Doug everybody.
But I remember in the little suburb town that we lived in, like you would always kind of look sideways. Less so now, but back in the day you’d look sideways at somebody driving even a car. Just not, not from Detroit,
right? Yeah. And then you had to sort of console yourselves later on, I’m saying like into the nineties or so with, well, it’s foreign, but all of the, the suppliers, a lot of the suppliers for that vehicle are from our local area or from, you know, the
Anyways, it was made in South Carolina,
so. Right. Yeah. And a huge percent of the content is coming from companies that are all around us and you know, so, uh, yeah. I remember Volkswagens and North American headquarters were, uh, outside of Detroit for a long time before they moved recently, but, so you started seeing a ton of all of their
Did they move? I didn’t know they moved away. That was a beautiful headquarters
building. It is. And they left some, some functions there, but yeah, I wanna say they went, they went south as well. I can’t remember where, but they might’ve, might’ve gone to, to Texas to your neighborhood. Might have. I can’t remember.
Oh gee, you remember your first car? I
do. Yeah. Worked hard all summer to get it. I had to paint the entire house. It was a bad trade. Yeah. For 600 car. You lost. I lost, I lost out on that deal. How long
did it take you to figure out that you lost that deal?
Well, I was gambling that maybe I wouldn’t have to do it all and they would still give me the car.
And then we got down about the last two weeks before school started and my dad was like, boy, you have a lot of painting to do and there’s not a lot of days left to paint. And uh, he was, he called my bluff. I called his bluff and then he called my bluff calling his bluff. And, and then we finished it up.
turns out dad was a better bluffer. I don’t get the impression your dad fell for a lot of bluffs. No. From other stories
you’ve told. No, he’s not a
bluff. Faller as it works, Joe, I gotta, I have a great first car story, but let’s save it for the back porch. Ah,
someday deal. Sounds good. Hey, let’s, uh, move up to our new segment.
Better call Saul. See, hi. See, hi and og A time when we take a question from a stacker. And today, you know, I wanna shine a spotlight on our Facebook group, which is a great place to meet other stackers, to be around like-minded people. Stacky Benjamins dot com slash basement. And I thought today we’d take a, a question that was asked there.
Mason asked this, he said, we recently closed on a house back in November. I got a letter two weeks later that another servicer, two weeks later, another servicer bought my loan. Nothing’s really changing, but I thought it was odd since it’s a brand new loan. Appears they bought it before we made our first payment.
I know loans get bought and sold as commodities, but is it common for that to happen that quickly? Oh gee. Common for your loan? Servicer to change that fast? No,
I’d be really concerned that they’re probably gonna come take the house any moment now. Oh God. Something is amiss in your paperwork. And that’s the kind of, uh, don’t unpack whatever you do.
’cause there’s, it’s extremely common for this to happen, especially if you go through a loan broker of some kind as opposed to, you know, walking into a Chase branch or, you know, a big, major bank. And even what’s funny is that the big major banks will write your loan and they turn around and sell it to their buddy across the street at Wells Fargo or something.
And you’re going, what the heck? I thought I was in business with Chase now. And, and what’s even freakier about all of this is not only does it happen, uh, very quickly and randomly, but what it could also happen again while you’re still dealing with the loan, right? Like, you could be 10 years into it and get a letter that says, yeah, your loan is now payable to, you know, x, y, Z bank instead of ours.
’cause they’re, they’re constantly, I. Big banks are constantly kind of moving those around on their, on their balance sheet, so totally common. Totally. I guess legit, the only thing that you wanna pay attention to if that happens to you is make sure your payments are credited on time. Make sure that your records match their records at the end of the year.
You know, if the transfer happens in the middle of the year, some companies will assume all of that data and then send you the, the tax forms at the end of the year. Some will say, Hey, we, we bought the loan in August. We’re, we’re only gonna take care of August through December. You gotta find out your January through July stuff with somebody else.
And there is an on occasion, some pretty marginal quality servicers out there from a client service standpoint. Might have some arcane rules like. You can’t pay extra on your mortgage unless you pay an extra full payment or, you know, something like that, that you just have to pay attention to. So for the first couple of months after your mortgage gets transferred, log in, make sure the logins work, make sure your payment’s being credited correctly.
Make sure your time of paying the mortgage matches, their time of receiving the mortgage. That sort of thing. Just kind of double check everything, in fact did get transferred over. And then, uh, and then you’re fine. Trust,
but verify. Famous. Maybe lots of people ask questions like that in our Facebook group, the basement.
If, uh, you are on Facebook, great place to join us. Stacky Benjamins dot com slash basement gets you right. There. And if you’re not here to ask a question about loan servicing, probably why Mason didn’t call that one in. Just wondered from the collective group there. Uh, exactly. If other people had similar for him though.
Experience, sadly, nope. No. Yeah, no shirt for him.
It’s always bittersweet because I love that people that are basement members think of the group that way for both fun and for serious stuff. But e, every once in a while I read those and I’m like, dammit, just call that in. It’s a perfect question. Why did you put this in the basement and skip the
Well, in this case I think it was a matter of just wanting a lot of different opinions and it was funny. Mason ended up getting what OG said, not quite so eloquently, but what OG said about Oh very. Yeah. 20 different people.
Yeah. And I read through the, a lot of the comments on that and the only thing I don’t recall seeing is that what a lot, having worked for Rock previously Quicken, what I learned when I was there is that a really large portion of how mortgage companies make their money is by selling your loan.
It’s not on the closing fees or the interest rate. It’s once they package it up into a tranche and sell it in the secondary market. So, I mean, it’s not only common, it’s like it’s the way the industry works.
If you have questions, not just about uh, how the industry works, but you’ve got questions about, you know what, my uh, financial picture isn’t working the way that I want it to.
OG and his team are taking clients. And so in 2024, if you need to make better decisions overall, head to stacky Benjamins dot com slash OG and that will lead you to OGs calendar. And that’s the first step into seeing how to improve your team to make better decisions in 2024 and beyond. Stacky Benjamins dot com slash og.
All right, time for us to move over there to the back porch. Man, we got a, a few things coming up. Doug Wednesday. Brian class is coming up. You know, Gigi talked about how in her culture, about how things are interconnected, even if you don’t have any money, your money’s everybody else’s money to some, to some degree.
That is just, that’s just a part of the culture. Well, Brian’s gonna talk about how, regardless of your culture, how we’re all interconnected, he is, uh, a researcher talking about flukes. Why the decisions you make matter, why, how something happening halfway across the world. You guys ever heard of the Butterfly Effect?
The Butterfly Effect? Yeah, the Butterfly Effect Black Swan events. A couple of these things. Brian is gonna continue that part of the story. Gigi started today. Well, why do things
with wings get to have all the fun? Why are they
the, I don’t, it’s a conspiracy. They’re taking over slowly.
Why can’t it be the hippopotamus effect?
I jumped into the water and created these waves
and I keep eating those Costco hot dogs. No matter what that dude
says. Yes. Oh, there are waves. It’s
gonna be gonna be the, that effect. I have something for the back porch, but Doug, you do too. Doug, you mentioned you have a car story. No time, like the present.
Oh, alright. I mean, this is probably my single greatest story, but, you know, if you wanna burn it up today, that’s fine. I’ve been saving it for like 1500 episodes. Oh God no. In fact, I, I probably have told this story before, like an episode 274, I don’t know. But, uh, no. My very first car was a lightning fast.
Chrysler Horizon Light blue, of course, I think zero to 60 in like 17 seconds, which was pretty sporty for the day, and a hatchback, so it was all aerodynamic. And of course I couldn’t get the loan myself. Uh, but, but what I appreciated about my dad was he made me get the loan. He just co-signed it, but he made me go through that whole process of, of getting a loan and having to pay it off.
So that was great. Even at the time I thought, this is probably good parenting. Like you don’t wanna admit that about your parents, but that was pretty good. So I pay on it. It was $110 and 43 cents every month for not that long, probably like 18 months or something. In fact, it was probably less than that because start to finish and, oh, there was a finish was probably a year, so I.
Was over at my girlfriend’s house car had a problem, could not get it to me, put it in gear, stepped on the gas to back outta the driveway. It was not budging like the brakes were seized up on it. It’s late at night. I had to rush to get home from my curfew, and so I call inside the back door of her house.
I’m like, can I take your dad’s car? My car isn’t working. I said, I’ll leave the keys under the mat in case your dad needs to move this in the morning. So I grab the keys, I drive her dad’s car home, wake up the next morning, go to the breakfast table, and my dad says, we just got a really weird call.
Somebody over near your girlfriend’s house. I. Called to say that they just found a whole bunch of stuff all over their lawn, including your bank book. Here we are back to like checkbooks and stuff and which had my information on it, which is how they ended up calling our house and a bunch of tape cassette tapes and stuff.
Lost Bobs Seeger’s greatest hits in that whole debacle. Well, my car got stolen out of my girlfriend’s driveway. There were some kids having a party next door, heard me call in to the back of that, you know, open the back door, can I take your dad’s car? I’m leaving my keys. And they’re like, game on. So they had taken my car, they got it to move good on them.
They must’ve been a bunch of little amateur mechanics and they, joy ride rode the thing. But, uh, I didn’t know this, you know, that whole day I was probably Saturday spent the day out with my girlfriend just driving around, like we might just see it sitting somewhere. It was nowhere to be found. Uh, probably another 10 days go by.
I. I go in the bank to make my last car payment. The old lady behind the teller, behind the counter’s like, oh, good for you. You paid off your car. You must be so happy. I’m like, yeah, it’s awesome. If I knew where it was, this car’s disappeared. She didn’t know how to answer that. So I had to make the payment, last payment, and the car was gone.
And, uh, about three weeks later, I get a call from the township police department saying, we found your car. More, uh, precisely. A fisherman found your car. Oh,
no. It was in this, in the, in the neighborhood, not far from her house. Was this something between a pond and a lake and, uh, one of the residential roads was kind of up on a hill and there was a gap between houses and they were joy riding this thing and somehow got it to go between the houses down the hill.
Out into the lake and some fisherman who’s, who’s floating over it with his trolling motor hears the, the, the, the, the, the, as the prop goes over the roof of my car. How the people living nearby didn’t see it. I don’t know. So they had to send a dive team out, a dive team, uh, to hook it up and, and, and the tow truck that, that cables were hooked to, just shredded these people’s lawn they call me in to say, we got your car.
You can pay the cost to like repair the lawn and for the dive team and for the tow team. Or you can just sign the title over to us. So I go take a look at it. The engine blocks crack because it was running super hot and they hit the water, you know, and the, their seaweed hanging off of it. And I’m like, yep, you just got yourself a new car township.
So, uh, I paid it off and it turned into a submarine.
I honestly have never heard that story, but that’s pretty good. Yeah, that’s
pretty epic. You’ve never heard that story. We talk like four times a week.
I don’t think you’ve ever said that. I don’t think, I think you really did save that for. 1,480 episodes or whatever.
Yeah. Nice work. So, uh, yeah, it sucked. It sucked. But, uh, that was my story of my first car.
Wow. And on that note, Doug besides, uh, don’t use your car as a submarine,
his second car, he learned how insurance
works. Yeah, I only had,
and it’s funny you bring insurance up, uh, or as you say, insurance because uh, when we were buying it, my dad was teaching me all about that and he is like, look, nobody’s gonna steal this car. You just need CLPD. You need public liability. Public damage, but you don’t need theft insurance on this thing. Oh, okay.
Good. Thanks dad. Yeah, thanks dad. That saves me money. Appreciate that.
More good parenting. Yeah. Andy learned his lesson. Don’t listen to your dad. I remember mom saying that to me one time.
Get the warranty. Doug’s at best by, they’re like, sir, would you like the three year? ’cause you’re like, yes, yes. Extended warranty. I
do. I even have to have the product. I just want all the insurance to sell me.
I just want the extended warranty.
Do you have extra theft? What happens while he is buying the car? He is asking what happens. This ends up in a pond. What happens then Ask
gig for a friend.
Uh, I don’t know. I don’t know how to transition. Doug. What should we have learned today? Everybody take out your paper because it’s time for our to-Do list what’s on the to-do list. So
what’s stacked up on our to-do list for today. First, take some advice from Gigi Gonzalez, that hot car. It’s probably not as much of an asset as you think, but if it is important to you, just don’t finance your hobby.
Or to quote SNL, you could be living in a van. Don’t buy the river. Second. That was a horrible impression. Second, writing checks. Limit that practice whenever possible. And what’s the biggest to-do on our list? Make sure you get in at least two hours of stretching exercises before you perform a hip hop dance compilation in front of the in.
Entire town really kills the mood when a performer has to be carried off the stage and helped to his car by other grown men. Oh, geez. I mean that poor guy, you know, whoever. Whoever that was. Thanks to Gigi Gonzalez for joining us today. You can find her book, Cultura and Cash. Wherever books are Sold. Will also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com.
This show is the Property of SB podcasts, LLC, copyright 2024, and is created by Joe Sulci High. Our producer is Karen Rein. This show is written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe Kate Yen, Karen Rein, and Repine and Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called the 2 0 1.
You’ll find the 4 1 1 on All Things Money at the 2 0 1. Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Wonder how beautiful we all are. Of course you do, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Check out our YouTube version of the show Engineered by Tina Eichenberg. Then you’ll see once and for all that I’m the best thing going for this podcast.
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