75% of Americans are Living Paycheck to Paycheck. What are YOU Doing About It?

Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? Reality check. That means that 3 out of 4 people you know and meet today are living paycheck to paycheck. It doesn’t matter how much money they make, the problem is the same, and in most cases, it comes back to how people manage their finances. They don’t.

It’s sad, but we go to school for 13 years from K through 12. Then many of us enter college for 2, 4 or more years of additional education. We study English, Science, Math and more. Somehow, we missed and are still missing one of the most important subjects, money.

If you want to be smart about money, you have to study. There’s no way around it. I went to school to be an engineer. Let’s clarify that. Mechanical Engineer. I learned about cars as a teenager and I read books about cars. I went to college for engineering and I learned math. A lot of it. In all, 17 years of math to be proficient as an engineer.

Revisit me at age 25 when I realized I was broke. 25. No money knowledge. No money studies. Just broke. Pure and simple. I made great money, and had nothing but $16,000 in debt and a few trinkets. The good news is, I made a change. I got money smart, and you can too along with the people you know and meet.

Meet Elena Perez

I’ve been blessed by all the stories coming from people who have read my book. Long time friends changing what they’re doing with their money to couples married for 35 years finally getting on the same page with money. It’s so exciting! This week, something new came up that I want to share.

Meet my friend Elena Perez, Financial and Insurance advisor for World Financial Group. I met Elena at a local networking group at Brentwood Baptist’s Connections Cafe several weeks ago. She’s a powerhouse. We chatted and she picked up a copy of The Millionaire Choice.

A few weeks later, we bumped into each other at a different networking group where Elena told me how she gave a copy my book to her friend who was in dire financial straits. After reading The Millionaire Choice, her friend had a plan and hope.

Last week, I discovered Elena had been buying copies of TMC (The Millionaire Choice) off Amazon and giving them away to people she meets. 7 copies so far. Wow! So exciting, but that’s a lot of money to pay for my books!

Yesterday Elena and I met up at Panera Bread where she picked up her first case of The Millionaire Choice (30 copies), at a really steep discount. 🙂

I love that Elena understands that 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. She cares. 90% of the potential customers she meets, aren’t ready for investing, but she’s doing everything she can to help the people and families where they are.

No one person can change America or the world, but together, I believe we can. Thanks Elena!

What You Can Do

I believe financial poverty starts to disappear when we’re all financially educated.

I grew up in a low income family. Our power was cut off. Our water was cut off. I was educated. I was an engineer working on million dollar projects, but I was broke. I followed in my family’s financial footsteps. That all changed when I became “financially educated”, and the crazy thing is, it only took me 90 days to figure out that I could become a millionaire. 25 years old. Broke, but realized I could become a millionaire if I did the right things with my life and my money.

I learned a lot of math in school. Once I started learning about money, I realized something. Money is really just a math problem. It’s predictable and if you do the right things with it, you can solve the money problem.

I don’t know your friends or family members. I don’t know the people you work with or the people you’ll meet today. I can’t impact their lives, but you can. Just like Elena. I want to make it as simple as possible for anyone to have a positive impact in someone’s financial life. Grab my free ebook Creating Millionaire Families or give someone a book. I don’t care if its my book or someone elses. Just make sure its a good one they can understand.

Take a little time. Make a little effort, and watch the impact you’ll have in someone’s life. I guarantee you’ll like the results.

2,000 Hours and a More Fulfilled Life

Have you ever thought about your life in the amount of hours you work in a year? Does that sound odd? More than any other activity in your life, you probably spend the majority of your time each year working.

Since graduating college and joining the workforce full time in my 20’s, my goal has been to increase my income while cutting my hours. Who wants to live their life on the job?! My first year as an engineer, I worked 55 to 60 hours per week. I made $39,000. From there, my income went up each year, while I worked to get my hours down.

During those peak years, I worked 2,800 hours per year never losing site of my goal to work less and make more.

Career and Income Growth

My career progressed as an engineer and eventually reached $47,500 a year while working 45 hours a week. Much better than my early years. My hourly rate was roughly $20.30. That particular job required me to average 45 hours a week even with my vacation time. That meant I had to work to make up my hours just to take a vacation. Yes. I know you’re shocked. I was too when I was reprimanded for not hitting my quota.

I changed jobs and careers by moving into technology. Looking for more opportunity, I found it.

The value of my 2,000 hours of work per year went up, up and up. Year after year, I found ways to increase my value. I studied. I worked. I grew more valuable to my company. My $20 per hour rate as an engineer soon jumped to $30, then $40, $50, and eventually breaking the $100 per hour mark. Eventually even that number would continue to increase.

How did I get there? I grew up in a lower income area of Nashville. Just making $39,000 a year put me in an income category well past my parents. I found myself at these new levels of success because I did what all the other successful people do. Work hard. Invest in yourself. Learn more. Increase your value and contribution. And quite a bit of prayer. 🙂

The first big investment I made in myself was learning how to program. I spent $1,000 on server software so I could program at home. That $1,000 was an investment in my and my family’s future. After that, it was immersion in learning and books so I could do more of what the company needed. As the company grew, more opportunities came my way, and it was awesome!

Now What About Your 2,000 Hours

Now consider your own life and your own 2,000 hours of work.What do you want to get paid for it? Are you satisfied? If you are satisfied, great. I think of the 2,000 hours more this way. If I have to work 2,000 hours anyway, why not make more money while I do it? It’s a simple concept.

I have friends that are content with their life and job. 2,000 hours a year. $35,000 a year. $17.50 per hour. I have other friends. 2,000 hours a year. $80,000 a year. $40 per hour.

What are you getting for your 2,000 hours? Are you working more than 2,000 hours? What are getting for that? Is it worth it? More money. Less hours. More life. It’s a great goal.

If you want to increase your value, invest in yourself. Turn off the TV. Turn off Netflix. In fact, cancel Netflix. It’s a total wast of time. The average American watches 122 hours of television a month! That’s practically a full time job! Yikes! Too much entertainment will suck away your opportunities and future.

3 Questions

  • What can you do in the next year to increase your value by 10-20%? List several ideas and get to work.
  • Is your work/life out of balance? What can you do cut your work hours back to something reasonable? 2,000-2,300 hours a year. You’ll never get the time back with your family. Figure it out.
  • Where do you want to be in 10 years. If you move your life a little each year, you make huge moves in 10 years. Make it a goal to improve your life 5-10% per year and you’ll see amazing results. Don’t let yourself get stagnant.

The Stacking Benjamins Show

stacking-benjamins-itunes-logo smallIf you want to learn about personal finance from some very knowledgeable people in a fun and entertaining way, you definitely need to listen to Joe Saul-Sehy and his show, Stacking Benjamins. Stacking Benjamins is a top rated personal finance podcast who hosts well known guests such as Jean Chatzky, noted financial expert and Today Show contributor, Jill Schlesinger, CBS Business Analyst, and more.

This week, I got to talk with Joe on his his award winning show broadcast from his mom’s basement. I love the way Joe brings financial talk down to where anyone can understand it. Joe is more than just facts, figures and a bunch of financial jargon. His approach is disarming, uplifting, and encouraging. Personal finance, building wealth and becoming a millionaire isn’t all that complicated. We just think it is. The truth is, almost anyone can become a millionaire if they make the right life and financial choices.

Making The Millionaire Choice with Tony Bradshaw (iTunes)

Making The Millionaire Choice with Tony Bradshaw (Stitcher)

Guest Appearance on Market Wrap with Moe Ansari

market wrapI enjoyed talking with Moe Ansari on his show, Market Wrap. Moe has been covering the stock market and finances on the radio and internet for over 20 years. Every day, Moe gives a rundown on what is going on it the market with a bit of advice and forecasting sprinkled throughout the show.

Moe really dove into my book, The Millionaire Choice, touching on making the millionaire choice, debt’s impact on our ability to build wealth, getting money smart, why a money mentor and financial mentor are important and putting together your own millionaire plan. Thanks Moe. I appreciate the opportunity to be on Market Wrap.

The Millionaire Choice (iTunes)

The Millionaire Choice (Libsyn)

Will The Millionaire Choice become an Amazon.com Best Seller Today?

Will The Millionaire Choice become an
Amazon.com Best Seller Today?

3d-Bradshaw smIt’s been five months since The Millionaire Choice launched. The book, the story and the brand continue to pickup steam, and we’re still just getting started. Over the last two months, The Millionaire Choice has been featured on several podcasts and radio shows with the most recent being Market Wrap with Moe Ansari.

Will The Millionaire Choice become an Amazon.com Best Seller today? Truthfully, I don’t know and I don’t care. As much as I enjoyed writing The Millionaire Choice, it is just a tool. I like to think it’s a pretty good one for the purpose it’s been designed, helping people figure out money and building a millionaire plan.

I grew up in a low income home in a low income neighborhood. I know what it means to struggle with money. It sucks. Statistics show us 78% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. I want to make a difference on that number and many other financial statistics. I want to make an impact, but I need help to do it.

I know one person can’t change the world. The reality is, one person can only do so much, but together we just may be able to turn the tide and create a different future. A future where everyone is financially educated and has their own millionaire plan. If we’re going to change the world, it takes a tribe. A tribe to reach people and help them make their millionaire choice. Will you be part of the tribe?

Today is the day you can start helping to make a difference in the financial landscape of America. Pickup a copy today for yourself, a friend or family member. With 78% of people living paycheck to paycheck, I’m sure someone you know could use it!

Buy at Amazon.com

Reviews

“I’ve read over 50 books on money and personal finance. The Millionaire Choice is one of my favorite. It was easy to read and had a lot of great financial information.”
– Jeff Fields, CIO ServPro

I loved reading this book. It is written in a conversational style and explains how you should manage your money by using personal examples. It is very powerful in the sense that it allows you to see how a brother and a sister took two paths that transformed their lives for better for one of them. Excellent read, highly recommend it!
– Anca Pop, Cryptocurrency & Cybersecurity Advisor

“Tony has a gift for breaking down wealth building into a clear and actionable plan. Millionaire Or Not tackles both the numbers and the human behavior required to reach seven-figure net worth. He provides great advice in a highly personable writing style.”
– John Mitchell, COO Groove Rings

Read More Reviews at Amazon.com

Guest Appearance on The Practical Wealth Show with Curtis May

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 11.50.50 AMHuge thank you to Curtis May for hosting me on his podcast The Practical Wealth Show. One of the best things about helping people figure out their money is meeting people who have the same passion and heart. Talking with Curtis felt like I’d know him for years. Curtis has an amazing passion for helping people fix their finances and starting building wealth.

The longer I’ve worked in the personal finance space, the more I’ve realized that there’s a huge need for people of all races and color to step into the space and get involved. Right now, like it or not, the financial space if filled up with a bunch of white dudes…myself included. It was refreshing to speak share notes with one of the few Black Americans working to make a difference in the personal financial education space. Keep it up Curtis!

Episode 72: Becoming a Millionaire is a Math Problem (iTunes)

Episode 72: Becoming a Millionaire Is A Math Problem (Web)

Guest Appearance on Retire Well. Retire Happy. with Ann Nelson

RetireWellRetireHappyPodcastI had an amazing conversation with Ann Nelson on her podcast Retire Well. Retire Happy. Ann bases her show just outside Townsville, Queensland in Australia. Ann resides in a part of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef and she’s been an avid diver having done a few night dives (which I haven’t done…yet.)

Ann has been working in the personal finance and advisory business for many years helping people prepare for retirement and a strong financial future. There’s a real financial problem surfacing in Australia as many women are preparing for retirement unprepared. Ann is doing her part to make a difference in people’s lives.

Episode 111: Learn How to Have Success with a Mindset of The Millionaire Choice (iTunes)

Episode 111: Learn How to Have Success with a Mindset of The Millionaire Choice (Web)

Guest Appearance on Change Your Story, Change Your Life Podcast with Louis Di Bianco

Change Your Story

Thanks to Louis Di Bianco for having me on his show, Change Your Story, Change Your Life. Louis has enjoyed a great life as both actor and voice actor. He believes in the power of story and how sharing our own life stories can create power and breakthrough for others.

Louis grew up in the Bronx, a world full of gangs, but never became part of that world. It was all around him. He witnessed it and even connected with a few of its members. But for Louis, another world was calling. A world of education and storytelling. Louis survived the gang world and streets by becoming a storyteller. Louis was a great host and I’m honored to have been a guest on his show.

Episode 170: Millionaire Choices (iTunes)

Episode 170: Millionaire Choices (Web)

Guest Appearance on Living with Money Podcast

Living wtih Money

Thanks to Tim Mullooly for having me on his show, Living with Money. Tim and Tom started the Living with Money Podcast in 2018. It is a fantastic show and boasts many successful and knowledgeable guests from the financial and business world like Ali Gray and Jessica Venables of Your Best You.

Tim lives in New Jersey where he and his siblings are continuing to help people with their money and investments through the financial advisory and investment business his father Tom started 2002.

Episode 55: Tony Bradshaw, The Millionaire Choice (iTunes)

Episode 55: Tony Bradshaw, The Millionaire Choice (Web)

 

 

Money and Faith

I had an interesting conversation with a friend that is helping me promote my new book The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. When I settled on the title for my book, I knew there would be people who loved it and people who, well, didn’t like it. Money is a sensitive topic for people, so a book about a controversial topic like building wealth to become a millionaire is naturally a bit controversial. I confess. It’s one reason why I love the title.

Let’s face, if given a choice, do we want to live in a world filled with wealthy people or a world filled with people in poverty? It seems like a pretty simple question to answer, but if it is, why is the topic of building wealth so taboo in some circles?

As I pondered that question myself, I realized something about people and wealth. A large number of people have a warped view about wealth. They believe two things about wealth. One, I’ll never be wealthy, and two, wealth and wealthy people are bad. I’m scratching my head. Both of these viewpoints on wealth are dead wrong. Let’s explore them.

I’ll never be wealthy. Actually, if you keep thinking like that, you won’t become wealthy. Anyone who thinks like this won’t. To become wealthy, you need to take certain actions.  First, you need to start learning about money. Learn how to make it. Learn what to do with it once you make it. Learn how not to waste it. Learn how to multiply it through investments, real estate, and more. Anyone can do it. It’s a repeatable process. You just need to do the process. It’s why I wrote The Millionaire Choice. To show people the process.

Wealth and wealthy people are bad. Seriously? Who taught you this? Where did the idea come from? Sure there are some real scoundrels who have lots of money. I can name quite a few, but for all the bad people with wealth, there are some really good ones. Isn’t it the same no matter what walk of life people are in? Poor people, middle class, and upper class. There are good people and bad, and it’s a wonderful thing that majority of people are good. Don’t let a few rich bad eggs ruin your view of wealth and becoming wealthy.

Money is a neutral thing no matter what amount. A small pile of money is no more or less evil than a big pile of money. Money is not “evil.” Gold is not “evil.” Many people fall prey to the common misquote of “money is the root of all evil.” The official quote is “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”, and it comes from the Bible in 1 Timothy 6:10. I totally agree with this statement. It goes hand in hand with the wise proverb “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, but we’ll save that conversation for another day. Money is not evil, and large sums of money are not evil.

It’s been said that money just makes you more of what you really are. If you’re a jerk and scoundrel with a little money, you’ll be a bigger jerk and scoundrel when you’re rich.

So why do people in certain groups get so hung up when we start talking about becoming wealthy, how to become wealthy, studying money, or aspiring to become a millionaire? Well, I believe there is a lot of confusion in these groups. More specifically, the Christian groups that I grew up in. Wealth and aspiring to build wealth is frowned upon, and sadly for those that have developed some level of wealth, life in those circles can be difficult.

But let’s explore wealth in the Bible for just a moment by taking some very prominent figures and statements made about their wealth.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Genesis 24:10
“And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.”

Let’s put this verse in perspective. Today, cars are the primary mode of transportation. In Abraham’s day, camels. Abraham’s servant took 10 camels of his masters camels. That means he had even more camels. Cars. Camels. Do you know anyone with 10 cars and more parked in the garage? Abraham was a wealthy dude. There are lots of other references to his gold, silver, sheep and other holdings.

Genesis 26: 13-14
“The man [Isaac] became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.”

Isaac was a wealthy dude and apparently, he built his wealth over time.

Genesis 30:43
As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.

Jacob was a wealthy dude. Runs in the family, but Jacob didn’t get rich off Daddy’s money. In fact, Jacob hadn’t even seen his dad in many years when the Bible says he became wealthy.

King David
David was wealthy. Extremely.

1 Chronicles 22:14
“Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.”

In perspective, that’s 3,300 tons of gold, and 33,000 tons of silver. By comparison, the United States has 6,500 tons of gold at Fort Knox. By today’s standards, David had about $137 billion in gold, and almost $15 billion in silver. Not bad for the guy after God’s own heart.

King Solomon
I love this one. It dispels all the negative wealth myths.

1 Kings 3:12-13
“Behold, I (God) have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

In this verse, it is God that decided to make Solomon rich. And everyone said, “Whaaaaat?” Seriously, this should put the discussion totally to rest. Wealth is not bad. Having wealth is not bad. It’s what you do with it and how you live your life that matters.

Don’t believe me? Well take a look at Jesus’ usage of money as he talked about servants and talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Why would Jesus use an example of rewarding someone who managed money well and multiplied it while punishing someone who mismanaged their money and punished them? It really makes you think.

So here’s some food for thought to all my friends in the Christian circles. What is wealth for? That answer is simple. Enjoy life. Help others. Serve God. Money isn’t evil. Wealth isn’t evil. In fact, an argument could be made that if you don’t build wealth, you’re probably not stewarding your life or your resources properly. How so? Well, wealth is a natural byproduct of hard work, knowledge and wisdom. If you don’t end up wealthy during your lifetime, it’s may just be because you didn’t steward your resources and life as well as you should have. Just maybe.