A $500 Paper Clip, Simplifying Index Tickers & Laying the First Brick 🧱

March 14, 2023

Happy Tuesday, wealth builders!

To build a house, you start by laying just 1 brick… 🧱

Obviously 1 brick doesn’t make a whole house, but nothing ever begins without that 1st single brick.

Next comes brick 2, then bricks 3 & 4. It still looks nothing like a house yet…

Then bricks 5, 6, 7 are laid and so on and so forth until eventually you’ve built something huge and magnificent! 🏠

Thousands of bricks make up a house, and while each one plays an important role, there is none more crucial than brick #1. Because without that first single brick being laid, the entire house wouldn’t even exist.

Too often we want huge and magnificent things in life without putting in the leg work. More specifically, we delay or never take that all important first step. (Ironically, the first step is usually the easiest to take, because there’s nothing to lose or screw up at the beginning)

Anyway, not sure what lofty goals you have in life… But we want to encourage you to take that first step. Lay Brick #1. The secret to getting ahead, is getting started.

OK, now let’s talk about money money money! 👇👇👇


Calculate Your “Hourly Rate” 💵

Take your annual salary, divide it by 52 weeks, then divide it again by the number of hours you work each week. This will give you your “hourly rate”.

Knowing your hourly rate is super helpful when it comes to time management and making the best financial decisions possible.

You can determine whether DIY tasks are worth your time vs. hiring help. It can help you negotiate pay for freelance jobs or decide whether certain side hustles are worth your time. It can also stop you from impulse purchases, knowing how many hours you have to work to afford certain items.

The more you understand how valuable your time is, the better financial decisions you might be able to make! Give it a try! 😉


Ridiculously Expensive, Regular Stuff… 🙈

A listener sent this to us the other day, and at first we thought it was a joke… Did you know that PRADA sells a $500 “paper clip”!?

This led us down a bit of a rabbit hole, here are some other ridiculous things we found…

As funny as this all seems, the reality is that many people do fall into social pressures to purchase stuff that’s more expensive than necessary. And while fancy things might boost your happiness temporarily, it’s not a sustainable or fulfilling way to live life.

Here’s an classic passage from one of our fave books, The Millionaire Next Door:

”It is unfortunate that some people judge others by their choice in foods, beverages, suits, watches, motor vehicles, and such. To them, superior people have excellent tastes in consumer goods. But it is easier to purchase products that denote superiority than to be actually superior in economic achievement. Allocating time and money in the pursuit of looking superior often has a predictable outcome: inferior economic achievement.

Related stuff:


Don’t cut back, get cash back 📲

The cost of eggs has risen 190.9% since 2020!! And we’re all trying to figure out where we can cut back a little bit…

That’s where Upside comes in. It’s a free app that gets you cash back on everyday items, like groceries, gas, and at restaurants. You just go about your normal business while Upside earns a little bit of cash back here and there along the way.

Upside users earn 3x more cash back than other apps and rewards programs. On average, frequent users earn $340 a year.

Pssst! 🤫 Get an extra 25¢/gal cash back on your first tank of gas. Download the free Upside app and use code: “BHBusiness25”.


Index Fund Cheat Sheet

If you’re confused about all the ticker symbols and codes when trying to buy index funds, you are not alone! This is a common point of confusion for investors.

So we whipped up this cheat sheet to try and help. It shows the highly diversified and low cost funds we commonly talk about on the show. The truth is, many index funds track the exact same index as each other, they are just offered by different brokers and have different names…

A couple notes:

  • Each fund has their own expense ratio (always check before buying).
  • Typically, it’s cheaper to buy the fund offered by the broker you already use. (If you’re with Fidelity, buy Fidelity funds)
  • You’ll notice Vanguard is listed twice. That’s because they offer ETFs as well as mutual funds. There are minor differences between mutual funds and ETFs (maybe we’ll take a deeper dive into that another day) but for now just think of them as different class shares of the exact same portfolio.
  • If you use a broker we didn’t list, that’s OK, you can still usually buy these funds (or similar ones) – look for Vanguard funds as they’re the most prevalent.

Related stuff:


Circling Around the Interwebs…

3 Year Cruise 🛳️
For all you cruise lovers, you can jump on this cruise ship for about ~$30k per year and travel the world. Not a bad deal actually, with free medical check-ups and even a business center onboard. Apparently they will support remote working (although I’m not sure how much you’ll actually get done stopping at 375 ports around the world!)

Bumped 🛩️
Here’s a cool webpage from the Dept. of Transportation showing airline rules for “bumping” or overselling flights. Knowing your rights could come in handy if you get bumped and need to negotiate some compensation.

Social Security 🧘‍♀️
new study finds most retirees are claiming SS too early, forfeiting some fairly big benefit increases. If you can help it, delay taking SS benefits until age 70 — this gives you the maximum monthly benefit amount.

Revenge 🛍️
One of the worst trends to come out of the pandemic… revenge spending. Think “since I was deprived of X, I should now go and splurge on Y”. Sadly, like most forms of revenge, this mentality usually backfires, hurting only yourself. Beware of buying based on emotions!

Car Insurance 📈
Annual premiums for car insurance are on the rise, and in some states up more than 15%! Something to consider budgeting for if your policy is coming up for renewal. (Also it’s a good time to shop around insurance companies!)

Gift Cards 💳
new survey finds that Americans are sitting on about $21 Billion in unspent gift card money! Reminder to y’all… Unspent money loses value with inflation each year, and there’s a chance you’ll forget to use them or the card will expire. USE your gift cards!


Terry, 39y/o from Davis, CA 🍇

Occupation: University Administrator
Salary: $105,000

Paycheck deductions: ~$1,500
Mortgage: $3530 (split with hubby, who makes almost the same amount I do)
Other Debts: None!
Living expenses: ~$4,000

Leftover savings each month: ~$800!!

How are you investing your excess savings each month?
$260 into Roth (in addition to $200 in 403B and mandatory pension contributions of 8%), extra goes to any unfilled buckets in Ally, right now that’s saving for a new mattress and a trip to Greece in a couple years.

Biggest “craft beer equivalent” splurge:
Monthly house cleaning service. Best $150 I spend every month.

Best savings hack/advice:
Save credit card cash back to spend at Christmas, helps keep from running up debt at the holidays (Citi 2% and AmEx for groceries).

Recent money win? How did you celebrate?
Half fail/half win – we bought a house and had a baby in 2022 which totally messed up our taxes (in a good way), we were refunded $14,000 and filled some vacation buckets in our Ally account.

Biggest money challenge right now?
Deciding where to put the “extra” money. More retirement? Extra to the mortgage (3.4% rate, so probably not, but I like the idea of paying it off early…) Travel? Home improvement? Serious privilege here, but first world problems are still problems.

Anything else you want to share?
Love ya’ll!

**Editor’s note:  We love you too, Terry! Congrats on the baby — so cute!!  For any of y’all readers who want to be featured in this HYM segment, fill out the form here and we’ll be in touch!**

Cheers for reading! Now get out there and continue building your empires, brick by brick. 🧱

Best friends out 🍻

Ps. We’re aware of all the SVB stuff going down and will cover more on this week’s Friday Flight!

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2 comments on “A $500 Paper Clip, Simplifying Index Tickers & Laying the First Brick 🧱

  1. Brooke Cusick Mar 19, 2023

    Just listened to you on your Sunday show! I’m your newest fan!!!