Paycheck-to-Paycheck to Savings
What if we focused on our needs and generosity to get rich? Being “rich” is relative, but when paycheck-to-paycheck is how most people live. In this episode Zap shares practical ways to increase your savings (Hint: there is no MLM involved!).
The transcript and resources for this episode can be found below.
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Who is Zap?
[00:00:00] Cassandra: [00:00:00] Hey friend, it’s Cassandra, and this is needed and known the podcast where we discover how to transform average moments into a great life by learning, growing, and becoming better humans together. I interview amazing people who have improved their communication relationships. Perspectives in unique ways.
[00:00:18] I’ve always known budgeting was important, but for the longest time, I kept buying more stuff to keep up with my income. On this episode, I’m introducing you to my friend, Zap a SoCal realtor marriage mentor to newly married couples. And best of all has the most tangible inspirational budget instructions in my life.
[00:00:36] Y’all he has savings in the six digits. That’s hundreds of thousands. Get ready to take notes. And if you can’t, I’ll tell you where to get them at the end. Hey, Zap. Welcome to needed and known.
[00:00:49] Zap: [00:00:49] Thank you for allowing us to have this discussion. This is great.
[00:00:52] Cassandra: [00:00:52] No problem. I feel like you have so much wisdom to share.
[00:00:55] So I’m glad that I get to have you on my little show. [00:01:00] I wanted to just give our listeners a little bit of background about you. So can you tell us kind of about what life was like growing up for you and just a little bit of background.
[00:01:11] Zap: [00:01:11] Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up in the Southern California area started in San Diego because my father was in the Marine Corps.
[00:01:18] So he’s in the military. So I’m a military kid. And so we grew up pretty middle class. I would say with him being in the military, my mom used to work at a bank for a little bit, and then I messed that up by her having me, then she had kids. And so she was a mom that worked from home. Worked on me. And then we had three other in addition to me, three other kids.
[00:01:38] So my mom pretty much spent her time at home. And my dad was the breadwinner bread earner, as far as that goes. But yeah, we grew up in Southern California, pretty regular family, four kids, two parents, and moved from the San Diego area to the orange county LA area for a little bit, and then out to Riverside county.
[00:01:55] So I went to high school in Riverside county and then came back to San Diego for college. But [00:02:00] growing up was pretty, I would call it normal as far as Income and family life and just being the kid in Southern California.
[00:02:08] Cassandra: [00:02:08] Middle of the middle, except in Southern California. Okay. That’s great. And then, so then you went to college and we talked a little bit about this offline, but what, what happened?
Zap Learns About Money
I think the catalyst for me to really think about how to handle personal finances, finances, and be good at it was a really a deep desire to be more generous.Zap Martin
[00:02:21] What kind of financial experience did you take with you into adulthood?
[00:02:26] Zap: [00:02:26] Yeah. So I went to college and my degree, my undergraduate degree was, and economics and my graduate degree was in business. And that’s when I started to kind of learn about money, if you will, and understanding how money works really well.
[00:02:39]That combined with just my personal interest in personal finances, right? I’m not running a multi-million dollar business, but just understanding how to really work through finances personally and not be normal as far as. Someone who makes money, spends money and makes money spends money. I really wanted to kind of get a handle on, you know, I feel like there’s a [00:03:00] way to do this and do it well so that you’re not chasing the next paycheck and, and, you know, living paycheck to paycheck.
[00:03:07] So I think after college, I started to learn and get into it and just do a better job of that. And until today, which I think I’ve done a lot better job of it and trying to help other people learn what I’ve learned.
[00:03:20] Cassandra: [00:03:20] Exactly. I think that’s, that’s the greatest thing. It’s rare that you meet someone who’s willing to talk about money.
[00:03:26] Not that you share all your stats and figures. Right. But you’re willing to talk about like, what’s good and what’s not good. I’ve worked in so many places where like, And I know we’ll get into this a little bit more later, but like, you know, they offer a matching 401k and nobody taps into that in your life.
[00:03:40] And the statistics are crazy, especially for, I guess, not in my age group anymore, but like people in their twenties who don’t even do anything with that. So I’m really excited to talk more about that. So you started learning more and what. Did you have any debt from college and what, what was kind of the catalyst for it?
[00:03:59] Zap: [00:03:59] Yeah, that’s a great question. So I did have debt coming out of college and I. Kind of like most college students, right. It came out with debt. I think the catalyst for me to really think about how to handle personal finances, finances, and be good at it was a really a deep desire to be more generous.
[00:04:15] One of my kind of prayers to God was if there’s a way that I could help people kind of freely and not. You know, not feel like I’ve got to eat noodles at the same time. You know, can, can you make that happen please? And so honestly, I think God just kind of answered prayer and said, okay. And it’s not like he handed me a bunch of money.
[00:04:34] It’s really what he handed me. It was just wisdom and discipline to do that well, and I just took that discipline and kind of organize it in a way that’s shareable with other people so that they can kind of take that same idea and concept and go, oh, this is. Possible to be generous and to be you know, to share with other people or not, you know, like I said, not eat noodles in the process.
[00:04:56] Cassandra: [00:04:56] There you go. Or in the UK beans on toast.
[00:05:02] [00:05:00] Zap: [00:05:02] Right.
How to Exit Paycheck-to-Paycheck
What most people tend to do is they make their decisions about spending in reverse. So they’ll start with all other stuff first, like, oh, that looks cool. Let’s buy that. Or let’s do this.Zap Martin
[00:05:03] Cassandra: [00:05:03] So you mentioned living paycheck to paycheck and I was reading a statistic and it said like three and 10 people. Are in the kind of that steam of paycheck to paycheck. And I think that’s pretty modest. What, as you’ve talked to more people about money and about gaining wealth, kind of what, what’s your feel for that and what are, what are some first steps that I can take if I’m, you know, I’ve maxed out my budget and I don’t feel like there’s anything else I can do.
[00:05:28] Zap: [00:05:28] Right. That’s a great challenge. And I think there’s a lot of people that are the paycheck to paycheck and not because they necessarily want to me, but because they don’t know how to kind of exit that. And so there’s lots of steps. I’ve actually developed an acronym. If I can share that. I don’t know if it’s too early to share that, but an acronym that kind of help and it’s TISHA EXTRA, which is the extra and each letter stands for something to do.
[00:05:55] So the T stands for tithing. The I stands for investing, the S stands for saving the H stands for housing and the A stands for automobile. So what I told people is. Everyone has a TISHA, so to speak, right? Whether you know it or not, because no matter what. You know, what, what you make, you are gonna give tithes and your tithes may be zero, right?
[00:06:20] You’re going to invest, you’re investing maybe zero and you’re saving would be zero, but you’re spending money on housing, whether that’s renting or that’s a mortgage payment, and you’re probably spending money on a car, whether it’s your bus pass, or if you drive a Lexus or Mercedes, you’re still spending money on gas and breaks and things like that.
[00:06:35] So tracking what those things are, will help. As a starting point to understand, you know, your personal budget and how much money you’re spending. And so I start with that with people to say, you know, tell me about your TISHA. So I can understand how you’re spending money. And then from there, that’s when we can kind of make adjustments to people spending so that we can get away from that paycheck to paycheck.
[00:06:57] Cassandra: [00:06:57] Yeah. And I think one of the first things, when you start talking to somebody about this, the first thing that they say is, well, I’ve looked at my budget and there’s just no room. Like I have, I have no space. And so that, I think that TISHA is a great place to start for.
[00:07:11] Like, let’s just get down to like what. The big, they’re usually the, kind of the big, bulky things, right? Like your cell phone can be adjustable. Like our cell phone bill might not be anything close to the same as your cell phone bill. And that’s something that’s kind of like an adjustable utility. Right, right.
[00:07:26] Do you really need, is the question? Can you live at Starbucks and use their, their internet? You know, so I, yeah, I think that’s kind of a great place to start and I love that you can do that. So I, I map out my, my TISHA And I’m not, you know, I’m not investing, I’m not giving, I’m not, I’m not doing anything except paying my.
[00:07:48] Paying my rent. And, you know, I, I remember, I remember when we actually did this and we looked at the percentage is what I is, what I ended up looking at of how much went to [00:08:00] automobile and, and our gross. And that was that was a little scary, you know, this we’re talking almost 10 years ago, so Okay.
[00:08:09] Zap: [00:08:09] 10 years ago, time flies. So it’s
[00:08:13]Cassandra: [00:08:13] It was a little bit scary and I, I. Yeah, it’s a little bit scary. And especially when no part of that budget is anything for car maintenance.
[00:08:21] Zap: [00:08:21] Yes. Yes. So, can I piggyback off of that? So what what’s great about TISHA is that and again, I just use those, those acronyms.
[00:08:31] Right. The T I S H A. And then I want to talk about EXTRA, which is E for eating, X is for x-ray, which is medical related bills. The other T is for taxes and the R is for recreational activity and the A is for just all other things. So what’s great is once you categorize your spending in those things, what you’ll notice is you’ll get questions and I get questions like, Hey, I have a gym membership.
[00:08:54] Where, where does that go? And I can say, well, that could be all other things. It could be a recreational, right? Some people want to throw it in the medical, the x-ray. And I said, you know, you can still work out. And exercise without a gym, right? You don’t need a gym. So I wouldn’t quite call that a medical expense, but I would call that maybe recreational or, you know, under the all other category.
[00:09:16] And what most people tend to do is they make their decisions about spending in reverse. So they’ll start with all other stuff first, like, oh, that looks cool. Let’s buy that. Or let’s do this. Then they’ll say we need to take a vacation or we need to do recreational things. And then they’ll get to their taxes and their food and their.
[00:09:34] Housing and cars. And then the last things they think about are saving money, investing money in tithing. So what I really try to encourage people to do is reverse the order and go in order of TISHA. I asked first, so try first think about investing and think about saving and then think about paying your rent mortgage, car taxes and everything else.
[00:09:56] And so. Even the mindset shift of going in order of tithing investing and saving first, like make those, your first priorities. Once you get paid, make those the first three spending priorities. It changes the way you look at things. And then. You know, if you’re doing that well, by the time you get to recreational and all other things, you may run out of money, but at least you won’t ever have to go paycheck to paycheck.
[00:10:20] Cause the goal of TISHA is that if you’re giving first and you’re investing in saving second. You’re creating this buffer that keeps growing and growing and growing. And when I first started teaching how to get into too much detail, but when I first started doing TISHA myself, you know, I had no buffer, right?
[00:10:36] If I was paycheck to paycheck, if anything went wrong, it was bad. But as I started following that dynamic of TISHA. And I invested a little bit and saved a little bit, and those things grew pretty soon. I had a thousand extra dollars and I had 5,000 extra dollars and I had 10,000 and 50,000. And then pretty soon you get to a hundred thousand extra dollars and that’s when you can really be generous or really invest more.
[00:11:00] [00:11:00] So it’s a really cool thing to go to watch. You know, obviously myself, I can watch from the times I had, you know, I was happy with a hundred extra dollars in my bank account, you know, and now it’s. It’s in the six figures of extra dollars in the bank account. It’s just continue to grow over time because as the more I tie than invest in save the more that space, the more I have that wiggle room and space.
[00:11:21] So it’s, it’s great.
Percentage Spending Budget
[00:11:23] Cassandra: [00:11:23] So I remember you saying something really interesting. You said. If you don’t know where your money went, how can you tell your money? Where to go?
[00:11:33] Zap: [00:11:33] Exactly.
[00:11:34] Cassandra: [00:11:34] Anybody I talked to about budgeting, they’re like, But the food, how much do you spend?
[00:11:39] I have this many children. They’re this old, I am this spouse. We do these things. Where did the money go?
[00:11:45] Zap: [00:11:45] Yes. A lot of that goes into food. Definitely. The food tasted delicious does taste great. Which is great. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, one thing I think to kind of piggyback on that is. [00:12:00] I think about TISHA EXTRA, for example, and just any, you know, I use, again, those, those letters as an acronym, but my budget or my plan is a spending plan.
[00:12:09] Right. So what’s great is if I make $5,000 a month or if I make. $50,000 a month. I have a spending plan that’s based on PR and you mentioned it percentages, right? So if I say, and no matter how much I make, I’m going to give 10% of what I make to charity or to church, or, you know, going to tie that I’m going to give that away.
[00:12:29] I’m going to take 5% of what I make, I’m going to invest it. And again, a lot of people ask me, well, should it be gold or stocks or Bitcoin, or how should I invest it just investing the 5% in anything that you’re familiar with is a good start. You know, once you get to the. Big dollars then, you know, consult with people and, and see what’s best for investment for you.
[00:12:48] But, but I wouldn’t get tripped up over what that investment looks like when you’re just getting started. The important point is to take 5% and invest it in something that you’re familiar with. That’s making you some kind of [00:13:00] return and then the saving. Again, I identify a percentage so that if it helps out, because if I have a big sell I’m in real estate, so if I sell a house or have a big sale and I, you know, make.
[00:13:11] Twenty-five thousand dollars or $50,000 in that cell. I don’t just go, Hey, it’s time to take a vacation and spend 10 K on a vacation. I say, oh, I’ve already, preassigned where my money’s going to go, because I know 10% of that 25,000 goes to tiding. You know, 5% goes to investing. 5% goes to saving, you know, 7% goes to car and what’s cool is let’s say for example, I need a new brakes.
[00:13:34] Well, now I have a, you know, a bonus cause I just, you know, sold the house or sold a couple of houses and I can say, oh, I have some extra money to give towards my car and that can be preventative. I can go, let me get new brakes. I’m getting oil change. Let me. No, go ahead and, and change the filter or whatever it is I need to do while I have this bonus.
[00:13:51] Instead of just again, jumping to that, recreational or jumping to that, all the other stuff spending, because I have a plan how to spend my money, no matter how much or little money I made.
[00:14:01] Cassandra: [00:14:01] Yes. And that’s the thing that I love is the working off of percentages. It did it, like you say everything that you say it gives you freedom.
[00:14:08] I remember the first time I went back when my husband Simon and I met, we had an, an older car. And so, you know, I knew going into it, there were some things that needed to be fixed and you know, you’re like, I’m, I’m putting it on the credit card and then paying it off within the next few months and putting it on the credit card, the next thing on the credit card.
[00:14:28] And I remember the first time that I went in and I was like, I, I, I looked assignment. I was like, we’re putting this on like our debit card. Like, this is, this is a cash transaction, essentially. Like, it just feels different. And like I’m not going to be paying this off for a few months with interest. So You know, you think I managed to talk myself out of it for a long time of like, oh, it’s just a few percentage points or, but it just stacks up and then you pay it off and then you put it back on and you pay it off, you put it back on and then you’re, you’re in this perpetual wheel.
Investing with Credit Cards–WHAT?!
[00:14:57] Zap: [00:14:57] So, and you brought up something that’s very important. I think that a lot of people who, who feel like, Hey, I want to be an investor, but I don’t have a lot of money yet. How can I be a good investor? One of the things I’ll share with people is if you have any kind of credit card debt, whether it’s a 5%, 7%, 10%, if you pay that down, then you are an investor you’re investing in reducing the amount of money you’re giving to someone else versus you’re keeping yourself.
[00:15:24] So I’ll tell a lot of people who are you know, asking me about again, complicated. You know, stocks and bonds and real estate and investing and these kinds of things. And I’ll say, well, how much do you have in debt? And all 50,000 here and 10,000 there and whatever. And I go, what’s your, what’s your interest rates?
[00:15:39] Oh, 5% here at 10% there. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I was like, you can start investing and what’s great about investing in paying off your own debt, especially consumer debt, right? Like credit card debt for. For what I call it, doodads things that are kind of like toys and fun things is it’s risk-free right. If I know I’m going to be paying down a 10% [00:16:00] interest rate, that’s that’s, there’s no risk to that.
[00:16:02] Versus if I’m putting my money in the stock market, I could lose, right. The stock market could go down. Or if I do real estate, I, I could, you know, the house may not sell for as much as I want it to, but if I’m paying down an interest rate, that’s a guaranteed return in my favor. Every time I make. A payment to pay down that interest rate that’s you know payment in favor for me.
[00:16:22] So it’s just a way to, risk-free invest in it’s good practice, right? If you’re disciplined to pay that, then you’ll be disciplined to save it and then you’ll be disciplined when you invest it. And so it’s just great. It’s just a great pattern and habit to get into.
[00:16:36]Cassandra: [00:16:36] I love that because it’s an easy pattern, right. It’s a great starter pattern. Cause you don’t. It’s not painful. It’s not as painful as saving when, you know, you could go travel or saving when you know, or, you know, using your money wisely when you’re putting it on the credit card. Because you’re like, if, if you’re, if, if you’re scared of it or if you’re hesitant, You can just rack your credit card up again.
[00:17:00] If you really want to, like, it’s, it’s just a different, it’s just different. So I love that and it feels a lot better than any vacation I’ve taken on it. And I love vacation and we know this, we live, we love to travel. But gosh, it feels good to go, oh man, we need new brakes. There’s a budget for that. I mean, it stinks. Nobody likes to pay for stuff like, yes. Should we get to pay for things I’ve been saving for this, but you’re like, It’s just, it’s a little bit better.
To Rent or To Buy?
Cassandra: So one of the things that we, we no longer live in Southern California but one of the things about living in Southern California is rent is really expensive. And so we were constantly trying to figure out if we should rent or should we buy? And the end solution for us was you should get out of debt first. You should not have a real revolving credit max situated. We weren’t maxed out. So that was problem for us.
[00:17:54] So my question for you is how do I know, or how does a listener know if they are, should buy and ignoring the current economy and the current market, but. Well, how do I know for me personally, if it’s a good time to buy or if I should keep renting or what, what are things that you would advise me as your friend to do?
[00:18:15] Zap: [00:18:15] Great. And that’s a great question. I get that question about rent versus buy I’m renting. And I want to talk about both of them as not one is better than the other, because I think it’s depending on your situation. And so I’ll give you times where I think it’s great to rent. One time, I think it’s great to rent as if your rent is.
[00:18:33] In your budget. In other words, for me, you know, my TISHA, if my housing allowance is we’ll call it, you know, 35 to 40% of my total income and renting fits in that 35 to 40% comfortably, then I should rent. If my rent is low, I’ve talked to people who, you know, they have, for whatever reason, they they’re friends with their landlord and they just lived there a long time and they pay their bills on time.
[00:18:56] So the landlord doesn’t raise the rent. That’s a great time to rent. What I would suggest as far as transitioning into pers possibly thing about buying a house is if your mortgage payment or your property, or principal interest taxes and insurance. Can still fit within your TISHA budget? In other words, whatever percentage you have for housing, if you can be an owner and still fit in that percentage, then I would suggest let’s look into buying because again, it fits into your spending plan.
[00:19:25] And so, in other words, don’t, don’t crazy. Adjust your spending plan and go, well, normally I’m a 35, 40%. You know, renter, I want to go to a 60% homeowner because I just want the, you know, the status of being a homeowner because you’re, you know, you’re destroying your, your budget, your TISHA, so to speak. And so so that’s what I would say is if you’re whatever your percentage is, if that fits into renting, I would continue renting.
[00:19:47] And, you know, as you make more money or as you’re growing and that percentage, because again, the more money you make, the more that percentage is going to grow and you can afford to own within that same percentage. Yeah. Please, move towards ownership and that way you can make that decision. So does that make sense?
[00:20:04] I would, I would kind of consider, consider my percentage for housing to make the decision, whether it’s housing and ownership or housing and renting.
Three Risk-Free Beginner Investments
Every month you owe someone money. You’re reverse investing.Zap Martin
[00:20:12] Cassandra: [00:20:12] Gotcha. That’s no, I think that’s really great. You have shared. With me and with others before about investing as well. And so you, you talked a little bit about that, but you have these three ways that you can get in for risk-free, which I thought was super fascinating. And like we talked about credit already. But can you elaborate on those?
[00:20:32]Zap: [00:20:32] Yeah. So, so three, three easy ways that you can start investing right away. The first one I say is, again, is paying off debt. Anytime you owe a debt, that’s costing you money. It’s basically, you can’t even stay at zero you’re you’re sinking.
[00:20:45] Cause every month you owe someone money. You’re reverse investing. But in fact, when I talk about TISHA and I, the I, and tissue’s investing, I call debt a negative investment. So, if you think about, you know, being level of zero, if you owe someone money, you’re starting underneath the zero and then coming, you’re working your way back up to zero.
[00:21:06] And then once you start investing that money, then you can get positive returns after you’ve paid off all your debt. So the first thing is to pay off debt again, it’s risk-free, it’s guaranteed. The second thing I call is free money and people go on free money. Yeah, sign me up right up. But there’s so many jobs.
[00:21:23] There’s so many people that have jobs that if they ask or inquired, Hey, do you have any kind of matching funds matching 401k matching for three B some kind of matching fund and where I used to work? What was that a church actually The rock church in San Diego, they matched that. And so I asked, well, how much do you match?
[00:21:42] And he said up to 5%. And so I would give 5% to my 403b and they would match that 5%. So that’s free money. Like I don’t have to do anything special. I don’t have to like. You know, be investing wizard. They just match that fund because I work there because I’m an employee there and it’s part of their compensation plan.
[00:22:03] And so if you work at a place that matches funds definitely do that because it’s going to be essentially free money. And again, no risk money, the best investment you can make. And then the third one, I call it discounted money. So if you, for example, have a 401k or four oh three B or something where you can get a tax deduction.
[00:22:23] On giving or some, you know, your IRA, you can get a tax deduction. These are just different things that you can give to so that it reduces the amount of. Taxes, you have to pay. If, if you’re itemizing deductions, I don’t want to get into taxes too deep, but it’s, it’s just a, it’s a way that you can, the government gives you a discount on your money by you know, deducting taxes.
[00:22:44] So as a homeowner, I deduct the mortgage interest from my home loan and that’s a discount, right. Instead of. Instead of making, let’s say $50,000 a year. If I have mortgage interest that I pay, I can maybe my net or my income for taxes instead of 50 K might be 45 K. So I saved that $5,000 in taxes out own pay.
[00:23:05] And so that’s another way again, to invest that is no risk. Doesn’t cost you anything. So yeah, to recap, I would say again, debt paying off debt is the best way to start any free money or matching funds from employers. And the third is discounted money by things that the government gives you some kind of discount by 401k for three B IRA, mortgage, interest deduction, things like that.
[00:23:28] Cassandra: That’s awesome. That’s so great. It’s such an easy, I don’t have to know about CDs or anything complicated. I can just start real basic. If that’s attainable. I think
[00:23:38] Zap: The majority of people, if you did those three things, you would see how much space you have. Right? A lot of people say it on paycheck to paycheck. If you just did those three things that alone would, would push you out of that paycheck to paycheck world. And then you’d be open to do more, you know, either recreational things or more investing or more giving or more, whatever you want.
Credit Deals like 0% Interest
…They are not doing that out of the goodness of their heart.Zap Martin
[00:23:59] Cassandra: [00:23:59] What are your thoughts on that? 0% interest or things like that. And I’m sort of setting you up there.
[00:24:07] Zap: [00:24:07] yeah, so that’s great. So my first thought is there’s always a reason why someone wants to give you a deal. Right. So if anyone’s coming at you with 0% interest for the first 12 months, or first 24 months or 18 months, they are not doing that out of the goodness of their heart.
[00:24:23] They’re doing because some study or some economic or some person counting beans and with an Excel spreadsheet says, you know what? 75% of these people that we give the no interest loan won’t pay and then we’ll make money later. So the challenge is. It’s always going to be a majority. It’s like Vegas, right?
[00:24:41] The biggest doesn’t win because they give most of their money away. They wouldn’t because they keep most of their money and they give a little bit of money away to keep people coming. But they’re always on the winning side of that equation and insane for people with the low interest or no interest loans.
[00:24:55] They’re on the winning side. So the challenge is people think, well, I’m going to be [00:25:00] the exception. Right. I’m going to be the one person that signs up for this no interest loan, and then I’m going to work the system and then I’m going to get out and I’m going to do it. Well, you know, the challenge is most people aren’t good at that.
[00:25:12] And so I would encourage you not to even just get sucked into that because that’s not an investment it’s strategy, large and not, that’s not an investment strategy. Now I have a credit card and I’m, you know, very obviously Mature with it. And I think through it, and I make wise decisions, but I wouldn’t call myself normal.
[00:25:31] You know, in the sense of that, the majority of people don’t don’t do that because it’s hard. It takes a lot of discipline, the same discipline it takes to, you know, pay for things cash instead of. Save it, or instead of using a credit card to pay for things you can’t afford or borrowing money to pay for things you can’t afford.
[00:25:47] So so yeah, I, I would advise against it. Again, I’m not saying that 0% for the first 12 months is not a good deal, but what, just to keep in mind there whoever’s advertising that is doing it for a reason.
[00:26:00] [00:26:00] Cassandra: [00:26:00] So we’ve talked about borrowing for a house and that seems to be okay in the TISHA EXTRA. As long as we’re accounting for everything that goes into a house, right. Because I’ve done the Zillow estimate. Right. And they’re always like, if you put 20% down and it’s like, well, are we, are we putting 20%? Is that really what we’re doing? Cause that accounts for PMI, it accounts for a lot of other things.
[00:26:24] Right? So excluding a mortgage loan, if we want to buy something fun or. You know, just any of the fun things, boats and RVs and all of the fun things that I need in my life. How, how do I go about borrowing for those and where do I get the best interest rates and give me the scoop?
[00:26:41]Zap: [00:26:41] Right, yeah. So borrowing is super interesting because, and I’m not saying I’m not against borrowing.
[00:26:48] I think borrowing is something that you know, that you can do. I just think that borrowing for something that is not mandatory or not urgent is. Basically me [00:27:00] telling God, for example, I’m not going to wait for what I want. I’m not going to wait for your timing for what I want. I want it now. And I want the things now.
[00:27:12] I can’t afford them right now, but I want them right now. So borrowing is kind of a sign of generally, instead of impatience, if you’re borrowing money to just spend on something that you can’t afford yet. Cause you’re impatient. They saying, I want to, I want this now, even though I need to be waiting to get this.
[00:27:28] So so I say that kind of just as a caution, almost like a heart check for borrowing, because a lot of people will say, I really want, for example, in vacation and are I deserve. If vacation. And so I can’t quite afford it yet, but I’ll borrow it by even putting it on my credit card or borrow money or not pay back someone who I owe money to yet, because I’ll just wait and pay them back later so I can spend this money on my vacation.
[00:27:52] So that makes sense.
[00:27:54] Cassandra: [00:27:54] Yeah, it really does. It, it’s a self victimization is what you’re doing really is. You’re like, you know, I have to have this thing I really want to go to Europe now is the time there’s no other time in the future to go. Which, which could be true for a very small portion of people.
[00:28:12] Right. But like the on average you can, you can put it off and you can actually save and then you’re spending cash and you’re not paying for it later and miserable back at your job miserable because you have no money because you just got yourself the more debt. Right. Exactly.
[00:28:30] Zap: [00:28:30] So, right. So, so I, yeah, I’m, I’m kind of anti-borrowing money. Yeah, it gets your, you gotta pay for it. It’s like more expensive, right? If you have the cash, then it’s less expensive. So they borrow. They don’t have the cash. That’s the challenge is if you don’t have the cash, though.
Needs Versus Wants Litmus Test
Again, if you’re, if you’re like, Hey, I’m hungry. Can I borrow some money so I can eat.
[00:28:54] Then I would just ask someone to give you money because most people it’s kind of cool. And there’s this that I don’t want to get too, too deep. Cause I get excited about this stuff is what’s cool. Is if you truly need something like, Hey, I need medicine for my child or I need you know, food to eat most. People around, you will give you what you need.
[00:29:16] Right. But if you’re like you don’t need a vacation, you just really, really, really want a vacation. And so, you know, grasping at things that you want and talking about them as if you need them, you know, and that’s kind of my test when I talk to people who come in and you should through marriage, some kind of marriage counseling about money and there’s some disagreement and I’ll, I’ll ask like, oh, where’s the disagreement.
[00:29:37] And it’s like, well, money. And I’ll say, Hey, if you can tell me that whatever it is you need, someone would be willing to give it to you? Then you probably need it. But if, if it sounds ridiculous for someone to give you money for, you know, if you said, Hey again, I need a vacation and I was okay, I’ll give you money for it.
[00:29:55] I’ll just give it to you. You don’t have to borrow it. I’ll just give it to you. That this sounds funny. So that’s kinda, my, my litmus test is, is if you feel like it’s weird for someone just to give it to you, then, then you probably don’t need it.
[00:30:08] Cassandra: [00:30:08] That’s a great litmus test. Did you get that from somewhere? Is that the ole Zap Martin brand?
[00:30:13] Zap: [00:30:13] Yeah, Martin brand from just trying to, trying to explain to people the difference between I need and I want, and it’s hard because everybody’s like, well, you don’t understand that I’m filling in the blank. I’m younger than you. I’m older than you. I’m a female, I’m a male, I’m a husband, I’m a wife. My parents are different than yours, like, you know, whatever reason that I don’t get their scenario. But yeah, I I’ve just used that before and told people, Hey, I, I will, if it can, if you walk up to me and say, man, I’m hungry. I don’t have anything to eat. I will buy you dinner, but if you walk to me and said, man, I can really use the steak right now.
[00:30:47] I’m just going to not buy you. Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A’s great. Like it feeds you, right? I mean, Ruth Chris is great, but Chick-fil-A still feeds you your hamburger.
[00:31:00] So I just think that the challenge of many people mentally. I assume that they, you know, again, either have the right or this deep desire to have something. So they fast forward, they, they cheat, they skip line and say, I’m just going to borrow the money for it. So I don’t want to make this borrowing being a, be the last thing we talk about, right.
Cause it’s so much fun to be generous.Zap Martin
[00:31:20] I don’t want to end on a negative note. I want to end on a positive note. And so I think the benefit of being disciplined financially, and again, in my case, I just use the TISHA. It’s a spending plan. To have a spending plan is you get to do cool stuff. So I’m going to talk about some of the cool things that I would have never gotten to do.
[00:31:36] Had I not had the spending plan? One is my wife and I really love to work with married couples and we have a little group of newlyweds married the first two or three or four years of marriage. And we do a couple annual events or we just pay for stuff for them. Right where there’s a little retreat or we you know, just buy them dinner, invite them over Christmas parties.
[00:31:56] And we never would have got to do that. We would’ve never had that extra. Had we not done TISHA EXTRA. Another thing is, again, I mentioned I’m in real estate is that house I bought in Las Vegas, actually, where it was a probate sale, long story short, there was a renter in one of the units that I bought and he did not want to move his.
[00:32:16] He was an older man in his seventies. He’d been living there for 15, 20 years. He loved his neighbors. He begged me, he said, Mr. Martin, please don’t kick me out. I love living here. My friends are my neighbors. I don’t want to go anywhere, but. I’m on a fixed income I’m on social security and basically he could only pay about 80% of what the market rent was.
[00:32:37] Well, what’s cool is I have the space to not kick him out. He still he’s been living there like five years. Right. And he tells me he’s so cool. He tells me, Hey, social security gave me a raise. I can pay eight more dollars a month in rent and I go, okay, Ron, you can pay the $800 a month for rent. Right. So it’s just a cool thing to have the ability to not be so tight.
[00:32:58] And so like, like you’re [00:33:00] grasping something so hard because you don’t want to lose it. It’s so nice to just relax. Be generous, have fun and have this space. And so this is the discipline really creates the space to be more loving, to be more giving, to be more kind. And I think that’s why it’s worth it to to have a spending plan and to be disciplined with your finances.
[00:33:19] Cause it’s so much fun to be generous.
[00:33:21] Cassandra: [00:33:21] Zap, thank you so much for sharing your generosity plan with us.
[00:33:25]Zap: [00:33:25] Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
[00:33:27] Cassandra: [00:33:27] Thank you for being a great listener and making Zap feel needed and known when to talk more between episodes. Follow me on Instagram at needed and known for more information about Tisha extra go-to neededandknown.com/podcast until you need me next time. Bye!