October 13, 2019

Blogger’s Note:

The past year and this year have been filled with challenges in my life. If you’ve been coming to pursuitofexcellence.me, you’ve seen more posts concerning debt free me and articles I’ve found interesting. My source material for my blog posts is from the articles I read. I’m sharing this information so any visitor can read articles I’ve enjoyed at their convenience. Going forward, I’m going to post a blog reviewing an article or multiple articles as it happens, and the articles will be on a wide variety of topics and not focus strictly on finance at times.

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below


Once in a while, friends or family want to borrow money. How should you handle this? Be careful. Over the years, a hundred people asked me to borrow money from 50 bucks to tens of thousands. I have granted only two requests.

A lot of ill feelings will come up over borrowed money that isn’t paid back. It destroys relationships. Happens all the time. If you do loan money, charge a lot of interest. This person is asking to borrow money because he has exhausted all other options. The answer is no. The answer to the question “Can I borrow money?” should pretty much always be no. There are a couple of situations in which the answer is yes.

It’s very important that if you are going to lend money to friends and family that there are 3 key points to keep in mind:

1. The amount is small enough that non-repayment would not change the relationship. 

2. Charge interest.

3. There is no charity — only investment.

The first point is important, and the amount can vary from person to person. If you lend money you should write it to zero immediately. Assume the money is a gift and that you will never see it again. If lending the money won’t change the relationship, then it’s ok to do it. It will degrade the relationship if done over time again and again. And here’s the thing: Even if I’m not weird about it, the borrower might be weird about it. He will be weird about it if he can’t pay you back. He will avoid you like the plague. The second point is if you do lend money, then charge a lot of interest. The point is if a traditional lender will charge a higher interest if you’re a risk of not re-paying and payday lenders will charge as high as three hundred percent then you need to also, because it is about the time value of money. It’s about the opportunity cost of not being able to take that amount and use it for something else.

The general principle here is:

a. Assume it’s a gift.

b. But pretend that it’s not.

If you do end up in a non-repayment status, then internally let it go. Finally, when you lend money, understand that you are investing. You expect something in return, which leads back to the 2nd key point. If you treat the situation like you’re investing in someone then you understand the risk, you take in lending money. With charity, you’re giving and expecting nothing in return. So I don’t give. I invest. Which is the primary reason I’m 2-for-100 on lending money. I don’t believe many people are very good investments. If someone is a good investment, he’ll show you his virtues, not flaws.

He’ll say, “You should invest in me because I’m great and you’ll get your money back.” Not, “I’m down on my luck and I’m a loser.” Pretend you are a capitalist (which you are). Invest in this guy.

Where most people typically go wrong is that they loan money when in reality it is charity. And then they expect something in return. That’s where the resentment comes in.

I’ve lent money to at least five people in my life, and currently I have one person that is currently in re-payment status with me. The above article really resonates with me. In this scenario, I get a passionate about teaching people how to self-lend and encourage the discipline of savings.


We are all Steve Martin. “I love money. I love everything about it,” he once said. “I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gas-powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.” Yes, like the iconic comedian, the American consumer loves to consume. Maybe an electric dog polisher and a fur sink are a bit extreme, but the U.S., with its relatively low savings rate, definitely has a spending problem. We find ourselves asking where does all the money go? The chart below in the article depicts average American spending as depicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2018, based off the average American earning $78,635, Americans are spending 80% of their income. Obviously housing cost is a factor and eating out & entertainment has been increasing. What’s important to notice in this article is that the average American’s savings is minimal compared to their level of spending. The previous article and this article highlight the importance of leveraging the ability of self-lending to make yourself the lender.

If you need me to check your financial pulse or if there is something I can agree with you in prayer about, contact me.

This week, I’ve included David Goggins – STAY HARD – The BEST OF Motivation – Motivational Video from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG


Month End: April Snapshot

At the end of April, I’m truly amazed at what can happen in just a month. While having dinner at a Mexican restaurant one night, my sweet wife and I came into agreement about taking a bold and risky move. I made a withdrawal from savings to pay to zero the SVF line of credit. Although this line is my debt, it was on my wife’s credit, and I didn’t want it to impact her credit anymore. The plan is to not just replenish the line of credit to what it was, but to charge myself a high enough interest that will not only put the self lending principle to practical use, but recover the interest that would be in the savings account even if it hadn’t been removed from the account. The way you can achieve this goal is by charging yourself an interest at least 5 times or more high than the current interest rate of your savings account. For example, the current interest rate in one of my savings accounts is 2.25% annual percentage yield, so I’m charging myself 15% (6.67 times) and calculated payments based off a 12 month term so I have a minimum payment that is manageable, and if necessary I can stretch the term by 24 months for more cash flow. Your maximum term when using the self-lending principle is 24 months. Anything longer than two years lowers your commitment to finishing what you start.

Paying off this line of credit was also necessary, because we needed to get a new car. Our cars were over ten years old, and we had maximized the usage out of each car. We know how to take care of our cars, and I noticed that more and more money was being poured into her car. It’s in a situation like this one, that I think it’s a good time to look for a new car. We decided to get an SUV, because this type of car would be good for the day we begin to have a family for the sake of transporting children, groceries, and other necessities. Thankfully my, father-in-law was able to find a fantastic deal on a 2018 Ford Escape. Personally, I didn’t want that kind of vehicle, but the car had less than 1000 miles on it because it was used by the dealer only. It was a mid-level SUV, but it had extra amenities on it that added to its overall value. I liked that the vehicle had Bluetooth capability for hands free driving, it had the necessary storage space for groceries, and it had overall better gas mileage than my car and her car. However the most important point is that we were able to get the car at half its MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), and have purchased on a 5 year loan at an interest rate less than 5% for a monthly payment of less than $300.00 This flexible term and payment will give us the ability to consider home ownership and at the same time not hurt our budget. Our overall net income or disposable income is still high enough that we can still stay on track on paying off our existing debt. Once my debit is paid off, I can easily switch gears to go after this car loan.

When you are considering a major purchase such as a vehicle or home ownership, you need to look at it from as many different levels as possible. Not just the personal intangible features, but just as important, the financial impact it has on your budget. For me a major purchase is anything that I can’t pay cash for and or it’s $5,000+. In my opinion, some don’t have $5,000 in liquidity easily available to make a purchase. When making a major purchase that may involve getting a loan, ask yourself: Can you truly afford it? Keep in mind that having a good credit score will help you get a loan at an interest rate that will be more in line with your budget. If you have poor credit history, then you could end up paying more in interest over time. Knowing your bottom line is critical and having a peace about your decision will prevent buyer’s remorse.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income while reducing debt, or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need me to check your financial pulse then, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through contacting me

This month’s video is Kevin Hart FIGURING IT ALL OUT (This will change the way you think!) from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”



I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Three Lawn Mowers

Growing up I hated cutting the grass. It wasn’t a labor of love…it was simply a labor. Even into my young adult years it was something I didn’t enjoy and didn’t have a heart for. I think my hatred toward manual labor was in some way influenced by the feelings I had toward my Dad. One summer when I had moved back into my parents’ house after no longer living with a roommate, I was cutting the grass and decided to take a break. I went inside and forgot to go back outside to cut the grass, and later that day I went outside to find the lawnmower had been stolen from our front yard. Understandably my parents were upset, and at the time we didn’t have the money to replace the lawnmower right off hand, so they decided to start using a lawn care service.

A few years later I started dating Jill and she noticed that my parents were using a lawn care service and knew that the service wasn’t really a necessity if they had a lawnmower. She suggested it to her Dad (Bob) and so he gave me one of his lawnmowers that he no longer used. I accepted it, and my parents weren’t as willing to receive it because they were happy with using the lawn care service. Instead of telling Bob that they didn’t want the lawn mower I simply stored it in a plastic outdoor shed. Bob would often inquire about that lawn mower and I would evade the topic by making a quick comment.

Later Bob realizing the one he gave me was a little dated, decided to buy another lawn mower. This newer lawn mower was worth far more than what he paid for it and he offered to store it until Jill, and I had our own place. Around this time, I had proposed to Jill and we would one day be married. I declined and brought it back to my parents’ house. They were upset with another lawn mower, reminded me they were happy with their lawn service, and told me they had no room to store it. Instead of going back to Bob and telling him they didn’t want it and had no room to store it, I asked a friend of mine if I could store it at his place

Derek was glad to help, and I transported the newer loan mower to his house. A few weeks later he calls me and tells me the lawn mower was missing. Derek had let the brother of a friend stay at his home, and this person ended up selling the lawn mower to purchase drugs. Derek apologized for what happened and paid me back for the value of the lawn mower. In hind sight, I could’ve asked him to call all the pawn shops to see if the lawn mower could be located. After this incident, I didn’t have the courage to tell Bob what happened to the lawn mower, and he would often ask about that lawn mower.

Late last year, Jill and I are married, and my parents are now moving out of their house. By this time, I had consciously blocked the truth of the lawn mowers from my mind to avoid disappointment. Jill’s parents helped with my parents’ move and at this time the 2nd lawn mower had been moved out of the plastic shed and placed under the carport. Seeing the lawn mower slowly began to remind me of the events. My parents had sold the plastic storage shed, and since the house was sold, asked me to take the lawn mower with me. I didn’t have the room for it in our apartment and was going to ask Bob to store it in one of his sheds. I decided to delay asking him, and so the lawn mower was moved to our next-door neighbor’s carport. He had recently passed away, and so around Christmas I decided to take the lawn mower to Bob’s house.

With my parents I rode over and unloaded the lawnmower. Upon seeing this lawnmower, Bob instantly recognized that this lawnmower wasn’t the one he had bought for me. Instead of coming clean, I backpedaled and didn’t tell the truth about that third lawnmower. Jill knowing the story about the lawnmower told her Dad. My Dad was upset because he believed that I had placed the blame on him, but I assured him I would clarify everything with Bob. On New Year’s Day, my parents had Jill’s parents over for a New Year’s Day meal. At the end of the meal I apologized to Bob about what happened with the lawn mower but didn’t explain what happened even though Jill had already told him. He wanted to hear it from me. A few days later, I went over to Bob’s house to help with installing a system, and he pointed out that I didn’t tell him what happened. At this point I finally did tell the whole truth about what happened with the third lawnmower, and the truth that my parents didn’t want the lawnmowers to begin with, and I confessed that all of this could have been avoided if I had told the truth even if it disappointed him. Recently, I found out that the 2nd lawn mower wasn’t usable because water hadn’t gotten into the tank and it was unable to be fixed and only good for parts.

The lesson of the story: Tell the truth even if it disappoints someone, because it’s better to disappoint someone now vs hides it and deal with a big mess and even greater disappointment. You can’t please everyone and that’s ok.

Month End: February Snapshot

At the end of February, all my credit cards have been paid to zero. After discussion with my wife, and explaining the benefits of the installment loan, I got a $9,000 installment loan, and used $1,840 which is a combination of my normal debt reduction payments plus an extra amount to pay all my credit cards to zero. This moment is the 1st since my early 20’s that I’ve been able to pay my credit card debt to zero. I thank God for this moment, and even shared the zero balances with my wife in celebration.

In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about the benefits of using an installment loan to consolidate debt. My wife understandably had her reservations with me getting into more debt, so let me clarify the specific conditions in which using an installment loan for debt consolidation is ideal in my opinion.

  1. Your interest rate is going to be lower than the rate you are paying on your credit cards
  2. You can have control of the term of the loan (36 months, 48 months, or 60 months)
    1. This control is important, because the longer the term the lower your payment will be.
  3. There is no origination fee, or it is financed into the loan.
    1. If there is an origination fee, it will affect your monthly payment amount
  4. Make sure your payment amount will be the same or lower than what you’re currently paying and when it will be to fit in your budget

In my situation there was no origination fee, the payment would be less than what I normally pay on my debt around the 15th of month, and I had enough credit card debt paid down that this would fit with my debt free plan and even accelerate it. I would recommend that you not take out multiple installment consolidate credit card debt if you don’t have the discipline to not use your credit cards and know how the installment loan payment will affect your monthly cash flow. Remember that with installment loans the payments are fixed, however installment loans may improve your credit score, because they have a different weight on to the credit bureaus vs. (credit card) open/revolving credit. Based on this re-structure, I should be able to pay off the lines of credit by the end of this year, and hopefully pay off the installment loan by next year.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income while reducing debt, or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through contacting me

This month’s video is The Greatest Motivational Video for Success & Gym – VALOR – 35 Minute Motivation Speeches from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”



I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

February 23, 2019

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below


WE ALL DEVELOP certain behaviors thanks to the influence of our work — nurses tend to wash their hands more often than is necessary and firefighters check the stove buttons a little too often. Bartenders are no exception. Over time, we carry the things we repeatedly do at work into real life. From knowing exactly how you like your Negroni to refusing to split a check, here are seven habits you pick up bartending. The seven habits are having extreme selective hearing, always prepared for any situation, the ability to order clearly, knowing how we like our drinks, having respect for expiration dates, being a radio dictator, and never splitting checks. Bartenders can listen for certain sounds such as a door opening, and even the sound of ticket printing. The other side, bartenders are also good tuning out conversations such as the conversations of the bar guests. The ability to prepared for any situation is critical especially if the night suddenly turns into a busy one. Bartenders by repetition and instinct learn intangible skills that can’t be easily translated onto a resume, nevertheless these skills can be useful in many different environments. What’s important in life is being able to acquire skills and use them across various industries and that’s how you can become an asset. Personally, I worked as a bartender at restaurant, and my first job was as a janitor at a major theme park. The customer service skills I learned in these two different industries, I use for success in my current career.


You might think that the impact of aging on the brain is something you can’t do much about. After all, isn’t it an inevitability?

To an extent, as we may not be able to rewind the clock and change our levels of higher education or intelligence (both factors that delay the onset of symptoms of aging). But adopting specific lifestyle behaviors–whether you’re in your thirties or late forties–can have a tangible effect on how well you age. Even in your fifties and beyond, activities like learning a new language or musical instrument, taking part in aerobic exercise, and developing meaningful social relationships can do wonders for your brain. There’s no question that when we compromise on looking after ourselves, our aging minds pick up the tab. Over time your body will build up toxins such as tau proteins and beta-amyloid plaques that can affect the aging process and cognitive decline. There are other factors that can aggravate the aging process such as lack of sleep, alcohol, and stress. The key to resilient aging is improving neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons. The author of the article came up with three methods to encourage resilient aging in the brain: get your heart-rate up, change your eating patterns, and prioritizing sleep. Aerobic exercise such as running or brisk walking has a potentially massive impact on neurogenesis. A 2016 rat study found that endurance exercise was most effective in increasing neurogenesis. It wins out over HIIT sessions and resistance training, although doing a variety of exercise also has its benefits. Even if you don’t like to exercise alone, try doing some form of team sport or something with a form of social element which can increase neurogenesis. Evidence has shown that intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, and time-restricted eating can also assist with neurogenesis.

Try any of the following, after checking with your doctor:

  • 24-hour water-only fast once a month
  •  Reducing your calorie intake by 50%-60% on two non-consecutive days of the week for two to three months or on an ongoing basis
  • Reducing calories by 20% every day for two weeks. You can do this three to four times a year
  • Eating only between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. as a general rule

Prioritizing sleep and ensuring you have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important. An easy way to know if you’re getting enough sleep is when you’re waking up at the same time every day of the week vs. needing to lie-in or taking longer naps. Try practicing mindfulness or yoga nidra before bed at night, a guided breath-based meditation that has been shown in studies to improve sleep quality. There are plenty of recordings online if you want to experience it. It’s important to work on each of these until they become a habit, but of these three I find that the Principle of Rest is very important. Your body needs at least one day of rest. It may be some form of leisurely activity or extra sleep, but make sure you rest.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer, contact me.

This week, I’ve included RESET Your MINDSET | The Secrets Billionaires Pay For (It Takes Only 1 Day) from the Video Advice YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Month End: January Snapshot

At the end of January, I found the year starting off to be a year of great joy and transition. My wife and I are believing to have a baby and bringing a new life into this world requires the ability to make transitions. This year has already seen changes even in my workplace. We’ve hired on three new people within my area, and I think these additions will help in our long-term growth and sustainability. This month was filled with having to manage time and tasks and assist in training the new hires. If you haven’t had the opportunity to be in some type of mentor role then I suggest you try it. Personally, being a mentor seems to add something to my life. I believe we were born to be in relationship, to discover our purpose, and make a difference.

I didn’t expect to receive a bonus this year. Honestly, our year didn’t end as strong as I had hoped, so I was extremely thankful and surprised when I did receive one. It exceeded my expectations, and with the bonus I was able to achieve a level in savings that I have never had before. Last year I made decisions to consolidate my finances, debt repayment strategy, and focus solely on just paying down debt. I chose to simplify my process, communicate more with my wife, and truly began to steward my money better. The result is having more than I’ve ever had in savings, eliminating over $19 thousand dollars in debt, and in general a more controlled management of my finances. Despite these achievements, there were still financial challenges this month. We had to replace a fuel pump and had other expenditures. Unlike previous events, we know we have options on how to handle expenses as they come up. The truth is in life you will always have an unexpected event that will cost you. That’s life. Your best response is to take deep breath, have faith, consider your options, and choose the best path. At my current pace, my goal this year is to pay off all the remaining credit card debt, and next year focus on paying off the lines of credit. I still have one credit card that I use and pay off monthly. I use my credit card vs. my debit card because I have the discipline to pay it off monthly. I like to collect the rewards from the credit card and it protects my bank account from ever being compromised if the card’s information ever got compromised.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income while reducing debt, or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

This month’s video is MONK MENTALITY – Jay Shetty – One Of The Best Speeches EVER | MOST INSPIRING! from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”

Deuteronomy‬ 28:12‬ NLT‬‬


I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

January 1, 2019

My last blog post was June 2, 2018. Throughout the year, I tried to commit to my schedule of a blog every two weeks on a Saturday. Honestly, I couldn’t commit to it. 2018 was a Year of Restoration. When you restore something, there are times when you must cut it, break it, bend it, and even burn it to bring it back to what it is meant to be. A restoration can also can be considered a resurrection. Something brand new rising from glorious ruins. Today starts a brand-new year. A Year of Great Joy. I had two blogs and I consolidated both domain addresses into one domain address. It was like having two sides of the same coin. Throughout 2018, I had to focus on what’s most important, and I’m thankful for 2018.

I wanted to go back and catch up on the blogs I hadn’t posted. I’m letting the blogs I didn’t write go and focusing on today and starting from day one. The format will stay the same, but I’ll be using articles that aren’t just finance and business focused.  The articles are for leaving a legacy, and hopefully they’ll help you. I’ll blog at least once a month. In the end, we’re better together. Let 2019 be filled with joy.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer be sure to contact me.

This week, I’ve included FOCUS , LISTEN, LIFT – Best Gym Training Motivation from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.


“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG