We want to introduce you guys to two friends of ours, Marques and Shyra, who are also Trailer Cash Academy students. They are a super financially savvy couple who’ve done amazing things with their own finances. They’ve cleared over 6 figures worth of debt in under two and a half years.
We’ve also had the pleasure of being guests a couple of times on their podcast called Black, Married & Debt Free. You might want to check those episodes out too.
Their whole podcast is about giving you tons of tips on getting in a better place financially and becoming financially free.
So in this blog you’re going to learn about 5 financial tips for anyone that’s just starting their investing career. And we want you to apply that to your mobile home investing business.
Did Marques and Shyra go to school to get
a finance education?
This type of knowledge is obviously really important. We wanted to know what path it takes to learn all of this, or if Marcus and Shyra went to school to learn it.
”I would say that we come from the school of hard knocks. We found ourselves in a difficult situation and that is what really jump-started or kick-started our financial journey.
Our journey goes some years back. We were married in 2007. We both entered our marriage with debt and we continued to go deeper and deeper into it. Until we hit our financial rock bottom.
It was being in that crisis that let us know that we need to do things differently. After that we figured out and implemented several strategies to turn our situation around.
And as you shared, it took two and half years for us to pay off the debt. And then we went right into real estate investing. And now we’re looking at jumping into the mobile home game as well.
So for us, it took being in a harder place for the alarm to sound that we needed to do something different.”
How did you guys make it out of your financial crisis?
Two and a half years is a long time. Anyone getting involved in mobile home investing or real estate investing can understand what that means. But that’s how long it took for them to just simply get out of debt.
So we wanted to know a little bit more about how they did that.
“That’s a good question. So we have some steps that we’ve curated, right?
The first step is to take financial and personal inventory. And that deals with the mindset. So that’s when you address any of your limiting beliefs. Just the things we were raised with.
If you’ve never seen wealth, sometimes you don’t even know if that’s something that you can shoot for.”
”The second is you look at your finances, right? And that’s what we did. It’s taking a look at what’s coming in and what’s going out.
And when we did that, as I shared, we did have ‘more mon than we had money.’ And so it was a very tough time for us. But I think through the journey and through the course of it all, it made us stronger.
Because, I sat on the sidelines for many years when it came to the finances of our marriage.
But the reality of it is that we’re stronger together. We’re better together. And so we were able to access that better part of US, when we’re both involved in the finances.
We each play our role. He has a role. I have a role. He’s good at things that he’s good at, and I’m good at the things that I’m good at. And so we work together.
It starts with you, as Marques was saying. Taking that personal inventory, looking inside yourself and saying, ‘How did I come to accept this situation that I’m in?’
Then it’s also looking at your budget. And then taking steps and implementing different strategies to get to a better position.
For us, it was knocking out that debt, and now we’re in the wealth building phase. We can look at our income and know we have a plan for it. That’s our income, our bills, subtracting the two and seeing what’s left over.
Some people take the money, they go spend it, they do whatever. But we like to plant our seed whether that’s investing in the stock market or in real estate or acquiring rental properties.
So it’s about the financial literacy piece. It’s just like many professions, whether you’re a teacher or you’re a doctor, you have these continuing education units that you need to get, because you need to continuously be growing.
When it comes to financial literacy, it is a lifelong pursuit. It’s like a relationship, it’s a lifelong pursuit.
I think that through the journey we’ve grown a lot, as a couple and we’ve gotten that much better.”
”I think as long as you’re doing something, that’s leading you towards your goal.
You hit a phase that’s what we like to call the maintenance phase. And I think it’s important when you’re in that phase to just be consistent.
You might be in between results, but you just have to stay consistent. So I think that was important for us too. And that’s important for anyone who’s seeking to do anything in business.”
We’re big into self-reflection. You have to reflect. You have to look and see how you can become better.
Because whenever we’re facing any type of crisis it’s so easy to point the finger at someone else, including your spouse. It’s so easy to do that, but it’s about really taking time out to ask ourselves ‘How can we become more? How can we become better? What skill sets do we need to improve? How can I lead myself before expecting my spouse to change’
Even just looking at the goal. Let’s see where we’re at. Let’s look at the truth. It may not be pretty. It may not be what we want to see, but we have to face the truth in order to overcome and get to the goal.
We love how Marques and Shyra came together and really found those roles that work for them. Knowing their strengths and knowing who plays which part is important.
Especially in a marriage, it is sometimes easy to step on each other’s toes and say, ‘I could do that better. I could do that better.’ But instead we need to learn to say ‘No, I’m going to let you run with that because I trust you. I know that’s your strength. And I can take this over here.’
We get so much further by playing our parts than trying to compete with each other. And I know we did that for a while. But once we found those roles, the game changed.
Marques & Shyra’s 5 Basic Financial Tips
Just a short while back Marques and Shyra posted a video where they gave out some great financial tips. We figured why not take this and spin it around to make it relevant to our community of mobile home investors.
So here are their 5 tips, and we’ll let Marques and Shyra explain what they mean.
Tip #1 Spend less than you make
“I think that principle, for one, it applies to when you’re trying to get out of your debt. But you can also apply that to anything”
“You don’t want to live beyond your means. You don’t wanna be over leveraged. If you’re doing mobile home investing, you don’t want to get too far in over your head with your investing habits. You want to make sure that everything has a good ROI.”
“When you’re managing your money you don’t want to be paying out more than you’re getting in. So that’s definitely something that I think is key to accomplishing anything whether that’s in business or when you’re trying to get to any of your financial goals.”
“I think that’s one of the easier steps. It’s something you can implement immediately.”
Tip #2 Let Your Money Work For You
Invest in income producing assets. We think this is very important.
We took this route, starting out with mobile home investing. We focused very hard on producing passive income with cash flow from our mobile home units.
We wanted to get Marques and Shyra’s opinion on whether people need to focus on generating revenue for their business first or try to just get that passive income first.
”I think that it depends on what the goal is.
Because when you’re investing in the market, they give you two options, right? Depending on what you’re investing in.
One of the options is, do you want to receive the dividends? Do you want to receive a payout, whether it’s quarterly or whatever? Or do you want to take that money and reinvest it? You have the option.
So it depends on what your goal is. For our investments, we still work a 9 to 5 right now and the passive income that we receive, we don’t live off of it. We reinvest into our business. So it really depends on what you want to do.
But passive income is key because eventually you’re going to need it. How else will you retire? If you don’t have streams of passive income, you are going to work until you no longer can work.
So passive income and creating those streams of passive income is critical to being able to reach a level of financial independence where work becomes an option. You want to always have that in the back of your mind. How you decide to use a passive income is up to you, but have that long-term goal in mind.”
“It’s Assets Over Income.
Now the thought process behind that is there’s a lot of people that earn big money, right? 6 figures plus, a year. But the reason why I say invest it into income producing assets is because your money being held in a sock drawer or in the bank won’t even keep up with inflation.
So you have to invest just to be ahead of the inflation. Your money is worth less year after year. So it’s best to put that somewhere that is continuously generating money. And then eventually you want to get into a passive income stream. That’s the goal and that’s the thought process behind it.“
A lot of us were raised to think that any money coming in we need to save and save and save. But funnily enough you’re actually shooting yourself in the foot by doing that. You’re actually losing money year over year by just keeping it in the bank or keeping it in a sock drawer.
“That’s something that we had to learn too. It’s like saving is good. I was taught the same thing, Jay. Save your money.
And while that’s good, it’s not moving for you. So take that great income that you’re making and invest it.
An asset doesn’t necessarily mean just putting it into some type of stock or index. You can invest in courses, you can invest in businesses etc. You just want to put it into something that can potentially earn you money while you are asleep.“
”And it’s important to have reserves. So you’re going to need to have some cash reserves, especially now in the middle of a pandemic where there’s so much volatility in the job market or whatever.
You want to have your reserves but, thinking long term, there is no way that you’re going to SAVE a million dollars. For many people it is a mathematical impossibility.
In the market, on average, your money doubles every 7 years. So you want to make sure that you are investing in the market. Get your money out there working. Don’t let it sit. Your money should be working harder than you.“
Even if you’re investing in yourself, investing in your future. It’s hard to see that number go down, but it’s all about that long-term vision
One of our mentors told us that money is like a loaf of bread. If it’s just sitting in front of you for 1 month, for 2 months, for 3 months, it’s just going to become rotten. There’s not going to be any type of nutritional value in it.
You’ve got to keep it moving. You gotta eat that thing, move the money.
Tip #3 Save for a rainy day to cover emergencies
Having said that, you want to have some type of savings for a rainy day to cover emergencies and expenses.
But we wanted to know what Marques and Shyra recommend for someone that’s just starting out, or just starting a business, and they’re short on money. We wanted to know how much they need to have set aside for a rainy day.
”I think it depends on what the business is. So I think that the number will vary depending on the situation.”
“It’s whatever makes you feel comfortable and not too comfortable. It’s whatever makes you feel comfortable that you’re okay should an emergency arise.
It goes back to using your ingenuity, your creativity, to earn enough that makes you feel comfortable. That’s one thing that we really are heavy on, is side hustle.
So if I really want to get into the mobile home business and I need X amount of dollars to do that then I should have a season where I’m hustling up that money so I can do that.”
“I think that it’s really important that you don’t put your goal or your dream on hold.
You can be doing something, you know what I’m saying? So don’t put your dream or your goal on hold, make sure that you’re always moving towards it.
So don’t say ‘I don’t have enough money to get started.’ You’ve got something. You have to have a starting point, but continue to work and build towards that goal.”
Maybe you don’t have what somebody else has to get started, but there’s plenty of ways to use your mind, use your service, and use your hands, to be able to create money out of no money.
It’s about just having that mindset of being a creator.
From time to time, we tell ourselves these stories like ‘Oh, I don’t have money. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time.’
We say it so many times that we start to believe it. And then the universe gives us exactly what we speak into existence. Because that’s what we believe.
Instead we need to reframe the statement like ‘Right now, the CHALLENGE for me is getting more money. And what I need to do is increase my skill sets. If I don’t have money, I should have a little bit of time. I’ve got at least 1 or 2 hours a week. I could put my head in a book. There’s so much free information out there on YouTube or Google. I need to put my butt to work, to get this knowledge so I can go ahead and apply it and then reach that ascension level.’
Tip #4 Pay off your debt to strengthen your financial foundation
When we started our mobile home investing business, we actually leveraged some of the 0% interest credit cards that were mailed to us. And a lot of people, they look at that as just a negative, but we feel like that’s leverage.
We wanted Marques and Shyra’s opinion on debt, and good debt versus bad debt.
”We love this topic. Let’s talk about it.
Shyra and I are the hosts of ‘Black, Married and Debt Free’ right? When we paid off our debt we looked at each other and we were like, this is what we are. We’re black, we’re married and we’re debt free.
Now, when people hear that name, they immediately assume we’re a team, we have no debt, no credit cards, none of that.
But as we evolve, we are learning that debt freedom for us was foundational. It just got us to level one.
But to create wealth, leverage and credit could be strategies that you use to create wealth. Debt freedom is just the cornerstone to start building wealth and we really see that now.”
”Because the thing that we both learned, after we paid off 6 figures worth of debt, is that the very next day we had to get into our cars and drive back to work and our life didn’t change.
We continued to be in the rat race, just as everyone else was.
There’s different levels to building wealth and for a lot of people debt freedom is a part of that. When you pay off your debt it opens up a ton of options. And so we immediately went into real estate.
So good debt or bad debt, I don’t like to label it. It’s debt, you know? We have two rental properties and I look at our debt as debt on our business. We don’t carry personal credit cards or anything like that.
But I think that our society does a lot of debt shaming, and we need to stop that. I think that there are ways to do things responsibly and strategically.
And if you don’t plan to take on debt responsibly and strategically, then you probably shouldn’t be taking it on. So it depends on the individual situation and the goal. Just make sure that you’re using wisdom and that you’re just not racking it up.”
It really depends on what you’re getting in debt for. What is this? Are you leveraging it to build assets and to create income? Or are you buying shoes and stuff that depreciates?
So many young people need to hear that. Unfortunately, there are so many of us that are just given bad information, only because some people weren’t properly educated.
Jay says his family literally taught him that we should go out and use debt to go get cars and things like that. And then the strategy was to go and file bankruptcy. So that strategy gets passed down through the family and it’s horrible.
But yeah, we love to use cash. Cash is great. But you can grow in scale so much faster by leveraging debt in a smart way, once you run the numbers.
Tip #5 Keep your financial priorities straight. It’s okay to say no
That’s true. Some of the deals out there, some of the best ones are the ones that you pass up. But not everything is for you. Not everything is in alignment with your short term or long term strategy.
We asked Marques and Shyra to go into this a little bit more for us.
“Shyra has me reading this book, The Art Of Possibility, and I’m glad she told me to check that one out because it really speaks to how we compare. And that is a dangerous game.
When you see what others have, what others are doing, it serves you no purpose to really compare your situation to someone else’s. That’s what we meant by that statement there.
It’s about running your race. When you’re doing anything long term, like running long distance for example, it’s important not to get caught up in what others are doing. Because if you see somebody jetting out ahead of you and you’re trying to catch them, you’re not running your race.
You’ve got to find your groove and that’s how you finish successfully in the end. So we just really wanted to remind ourselves and remind others of that.”
That goes to say that you have to trust the process. Your journey is your unique journey. You have to embrace that. That is yours. Anything you want takes time. Everything you want is going to come with trials and tribulations.
We’re so grateful to have great people like this we can call our friends. We keep friends like this in our circle, because what we do is add fuel to each other’s fire. We don’t hate each other. We figure out how we can serve each other and bring more value everytime we interact. We’re always sharing any gems we pick up along the way with each other.
For anyone interested in following Marques and Shyra to get more information, check them out on all social media and on Youtube. Look for ‘Black, Married and Debt Free.’
They’ve also created a masterclass that is titled ‘Get Out Of Debt And Start Building Wealth’ where they do a deep dive into their strategies and practices that they use to get out of debt. And they talk about some things that they’re doing right now to build wealth. One of which is being a part of the Trailer Cash Academy!
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