In today’s episode, Brandon Neely shares some of his life lessons on money, and how this has shaped his life for the better…and worse! While some of these lessons may seem obvious, others may not. He made some very foolish money mistakes and also learned some valuable lessons along the way.  If learning how to build wealth is important to you, make sure you tune in to this episode!

Money. Wealth. Finances.

It doesn’t matter how much you have – or don’t have, you can’t escape it. Money is part of our lives and we all have an interest in it to some degree.

One of the key lessons Brandon learned through his journey is that Money requires being paid…attention to.  If we don’t pay attention to money it may very well impact our financial future in a negative way.   Money is not the most important thing in life of course,  Family is.  But having financial security is so needed especially in really tough times.

Here Are The Show Highlights of Brandon Neely ‘s Money story:


– Why you need to pay attention to this vital ‘money story’ and how it can shape your financial future ([1:30])

– Foolish money mistakes…and how to avoid them ([5:10])

– How to break bad spending habits and create new, healthy ones ([5:40])

– One vital ‘money-mindset’ shift in perspective necessary to succeed as an Entrepreneur ([11:00])

A transformative way of thinking about what you ‘leave behind’… and why it’s more important than you may have thought ([16:50])


Remember to download Grandma’s free wholesome wealth recipes book by dropping into Time-honored wealth strategies served with a helping of balance and trust.

If you’d like to see how Grandma’s timeless wealth strategies can work in your life, schedule your free 15-minute coffee chat with us by visiting…just like Grandma would want us to do.


Read Full Transcript

A hearty welcome to Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom with your hospitable hosts, Brandon and Amanda Neely. This is the only podcast for strategies to grow your wealth simply and sustainably like grandma used to. Without further ado here are your hosts.

Brandon: Hey, I'm Brandon and welcome to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom where we work with you to build wealth grandma would be proud of.

Amanda: Greetings, I'm Amanda, thanks for joining us today, this is a very special episode of the podcast. I'm going to be interviewing

Brandon about his story with money, and because I know you want all the dirty details I'm going to be digging it out of him, the truth about how money has shaped his life for better and for worse.

Brandon: Yes, there's definitely some positives and negatives in my life story with money. [0:01:02.5] So you promise to go a little easy on me though? Like hopefully?

Amanda: No promises, we'll see where this takes us. Are you ready?

Brandon: Yeah, I guess. I can spill the beans, tell you some of my crazy life stories, had all kinds of them.

Amanda: So let's start with a pretty broad question, what was the money like growing up?

Brandon: That is a very broad question for sure. So growing up, I don't know if people know me.

Amanda: Pretend they don't know anything about you.

Brandon: If you don't know me, I was raised by a single parent. I would spend a little time, actually not a little time, significant amount of time also living with my grandmother as my mom was doing a lot of work and so I would live with her for a short time and I would learn a lot about money both from her in some aspects, and then from my mom in another way where I was... She would go and do, she did sales and stuff. [0:02:00.9] So my sister and I would go with her to travel, she sold aerial oil paintings out in the country in southeast Texas, and we would go with her because that's what you did, we didn't have money for, I'm assuming it would be child care, even though I was a younger, you know, 10 or 11 year old so I don't need, I wouldn't need childcare of course.

Amanda: I think you need childcare until you are 13.

Brandon: At that time I would think I don't need it. And so I'd rather go with her to work. Some of that really influenced my growing up, was like seeing my mom struggle. We would be out from sun up until sundown, we'd make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and try to make a sale. That was a big thing, and we knew if we did not make a sale we wouldn't be going out to dinner or doing some of those nice things. [0:03:03.9] It was really motivational at some aspects, but also really hard, and then seeing my grandmother, stay at home mom or grandmother, and that also influenced me in another aspect. I saw two different things.

Amanda: Yeah, tell me a little bit more about what you saw with your grandmother as opposed to your mom, how was it different.

Brandon: I think some of it goes into my mom was divorced, she was the provider, whereas my grandmother and my grandfather were married, and my grandfather was gone a lot, and my grandmother stayed home and took care of the house. And so there was a lot more, felt like balance and sustainability in that aspect, because there was two of them. There was more, she could take care of us, she could do a lot more at home, whereas my mom had to be a provider and really had to work for the money, where I guess my grandma did in another capacity. [0:04:02.1]

Amanda: Okay. So you graduate high school, you're an adult now. What was your story with money like as a young adult learning how to do this thing called adulting?

Brandon: So because I was raised in a like poor family, adulting and figuring out college was all on me. Like my mom wasn't going to be able to take care of it, I knew that. So adulting was, "Well, how am I going to pay for college? Bright idea, I'm going to join the military." and that people, my health was bad growing up, and so if you know anything about me, you know that if you tell me what I can't do I'll probably do the opposite, that's what a lot of people do.

Amanda: I can tell you that for sure.

Brandon: Yeah. And so my health, they had said that I wouldn't be able to do like something as complex or hard as the Marine Corps, but I I did it anyway. [0:05:00.0] I did the Marine Corps because I thought, "Well, I'll have a job, stable job and I should be able to have the benefits of college and all of that stuff." however I did make a few mistakes along the way within the military that really helped hurt me financially, but I learned a lot of work ethics, and that's was partially a reason I joined the service, was because I didn't know anything about adulting, paying for college, all that stuff.

Amanda: So I imagine the Marine Corps, a pretty strict environment. What about like right after you get out of the Marine Corps and you're done, like what was money like then? Did you have anything left over after leaving the Marines, were you starting from scratch and then how did you figure out?

Brandon: Yes, so I guess I was starting from scratch, I had a car some point and tried to, you know, build a little bit, but then I would spend more than I made, or maybe this, you know, keeping it the same like you're a young person and the military person, so then going to bars and and those kind of things were important, it seemed at that time. [0:06:18.4] And so I would spend a lot more money on things that seemed important at the time, but they weren't really. And so that was partially what I did, and I had gone into college at one point, and tried to figure out, "Well how am I going to pay for these credit card bills?" So instead of cutting expenses from going out, I cut my habits for eating down, meaning I would just eat like cereal at night because it's cheaper and I would do that, as opposed to going out to dinner or whatever. And somehow like cooking, bachelors if you guys have this cooking for just yourself seems a little much for me. [0:07:07.4]

Amanda: So what you just said was that you ate cereal because you wanted to save money so that you could go out to the bars on the weekend.

Brandon: Pretty much, yeah. I would still try and take care of my student debts in some aspects, but ultimately I wasn't really... It was too overwhelming, I didn't have a plan, I didn't know how to establish a plan, and so I defaulted and said, "Well, let's plan for Saturday night.", that's what I did.

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Amanda: As you are an adulting and figuring out what money is like as you just described, what has happened that has transformed how you thought about and used money to get you to like where you are today? [0:08:24.6] Like what are some of the big things that happened that switched you from eating cereal and drinking lots of beer to not, that's not what you do now. Like what are some of those things?

Brandon: So around that time that I was having that lifestyle, my family, I originally through high school years lived in New Orleans, and my sister still lives in New Orleans. And it was about 12, 13 years ago that Hurricane Katrina hit. [0:08:57.6] And when Hurricane Katrina hit, I lived in the north, I lived in Chicago, but my sister was affected by it, and she lost everything. They had a suitcase that they came and she lived with her two daughters, my two nieces, they were like 4 and 5 at the time or something like that, and they moved in with me and really like that whole like lifestyle of partying and that kind of thing transitioned quite a bit, because, well family's here, you got to take care of them and what's important, things, what was important like Saturday night was not as important anymore because really they lost everything. That really made me think a lot about mortality even, like dying, like I didn't think that my family would be gone that quickly, and they didn't die.

Amanda: But they could have.

Brandon: But they could have. [0:09:59.4] And so that really made me realize how we think we're going to live forever but it's very possible we won't.

Amanda: Yeah, and even though they didn't die, your sister and your two nieces, they, the only things they had were what they could carry on the train with them from New Orleans to Chicago. They lost their apartment, your sister lost her job, there's no job to return back to. Literally they had family to help take care of them and what they could carry with them, a couple bags.

Brandon: Yeah, and it also makes me realize like how important family is, because some people didn't have that to get back above zero, maybe they were like living on the edge in the first place, and so that really made a huge shift in my money mindset.

Amanda: So from there, I mean I knew then, we were dating when that happened, and from there I think you were starting to take things more seriously, we were thinking, you know, getting married so you're thinking of family that way too, but then about a year later you got this crazy hair brained idea to become an entrepreneur. [0:11:13.3] How did becoming an entrepreneur impact your story with money?

Brandon: So as an entrepreneur, a lot of us have a lot, I guess hopes and ideas, and we're very idealistic. We think we can take on the world, and so when we started the business and the idea of the business, we were like, "Oh yeah, we're not going to be those 80% that fail, that's not going to be us, we're going to be the other people." even though we didn't have a rich uncle that could help us and finance the business, we just thought we'll live on PB&J, I did that before when I was a kid, I could do it again. So that was something that I moved in towards and wanting to create an asset, wanting to create something that was uniquely us, something that we maybe could sell, maybe not, but it would grow into more revenue theoretically. [0:12:13.7] But I didn't realize how hard it would be and how difficult it would be to make that dollar into $2 and how much you would spend to even start to make a dollar.

Amanda: Yeah. So what did you learn about money as an entrepreneur that you'd want to pass on to other entrepreneurs?

Brandon: I wouldn't tell them to be ready to live like you've never lived before. I mean if you have to do the PB&J thing, thing that is if you're really committed to your business, but also develop a plan and a strategy, not just a business plan, but a financial plan that's going to help you figure out how are you going to take it to the next level and then ladder up to the next level and then to the next level. [0:12:55.6] And most people, their business and their personal finances are so blended and they aren't thinking strategically, they're just trying to get maybe even as a business they can Saturday night in another kind of way, just not partying.

Amanda: Like people that have like normal jobs, they live paycheck to paycheck, there's a lot of entrepreneurs that live sale to sale, or like high season to high season or that kind of thing. So what lessons about money did you learn as an entrepreneur that you'd want to pass on to non-entrepreneurs? Like let's say you're talking to your grandkids, what lessons would you want to pass on to them?

Brandon: I would still go back to, you know, just because you're not an entrepreneur, it doesn't mean you don't develop a plan and a strategy. And your family is a business in some aspects, like developing a strategy and a way to grow is really important, and so even if you're not an entrepreneur to develop an idea, learn about money because most people, if you don't realize this, you're being marketed to all the time, people want your money, but yet we don't even know how to control our own money. [0:14:12.5] And so developing a plan and a strategy is huge, and I think that's what I would tell my grandkids is have a plan, like have a strategy, learn, and always be a learner as
things change.

Amanda: Awesome, sounds like great advice. So thinking back to your grandma again, what are some of the main lessons that you learned about money from your grandmother?

Brandon: So, I mean living with my grandmother and my great-grandmother, I felt like I learned a lot of valuable lessons about not just money, but family, and you know, we would if we spend money, it wouldn't be spending money to go out, it'd be spending money to make the meal, so we would all have dinner together and that kind of thing. [0:15:03.2] She would do a lot of gardening just taking care of the house, kind of things. I feel like back then there was very simple. It was just what I knew, but what I would say is like she taught me what it means to be living simply, living with enough, and having those priorities of family.

Amanda: Yeah. So of where you are right now with your money, what do you think your grandmother would be most proud of?

Brandon: Well knowing, again, because of being raised by her in a lot of ways, she would be proud of the accomplishments that I've achieved, because again, when she was part of our life, she has since passed on, I was a sick child, and to be able to have been in the Marine Corps, to launch a business, to help people in their own financial journeys, she would be super proud of that, and knowing like out of all of her grandkids I was the one that I could live there for the long period of time. [0:16:08.0] So she really impacts my life from the picture that hangs in our office to a clock that's in our living room. I see her impact in my life even to this day, even though she's passed away, I think about five or six years ago. I think she would be looking down saying that I didn't just stay with my mindset of being broken and poor and unhealthy, but I was in a different growth mindset, I guess you could say, and that I overcame those obstacles and I've accomplished some great things, and I've still got a lot more to go.

Amanda: So speaking of growth mindset, as you think about your future with money and sort of where you're headed, what ways do you want to build a more wealth that your grandma would be even prouder of? [0:16:58.7]

Brandon: I think about the legacy thinking as we've built this, like the thinking behind me, so our son and even our grandkids and what...

Amanda: Which we don't have grandkids yet.

Brandon: We don't have grandkids. When we do, maybe. What are we leaving to them? I have a clock and a painting of hers. What are some of those things that I'm going to leave to my family that they're going to take and remember me by, and then really like continuing to grow and leverage their resources that I'm building and accumulating to build more for making a bigger impact within our family and the world. I think she would really value and like that the impact we've had on other people besides our family.

Amanda: Yeah. Thanks for sharing, Brandon, I'm glad you were willing to open up about all of those things from growing up in poor situation to kind of staying poor because your prioritizing drinking over anything else, you know even willing to sacrifice your physical health to do that, to now kind of being in that mindset of thinking multiple generations in the future and how what you do today impacts your grandkids is I think huge and that's something that I think a lot of us as we look back over our story, maybe we can see a similar trajectory that when we were younger it's easy to just live hand to mouth kind of so to speak, and as we get older we start to think more about legacy kinds of things. [0:18:40.5] For some people that journey takes 60 years, and I think it's really cool that journey took a lot fewer years for you, and so I'm encouraged by that and your life and I hope our listeners will be encouraged by that too.

Brandon: Yeah, and hopefully they don't have to experience a hurricane or something like that for it to happen.

Amanda: To them or to their family. [0:19:01.3]

Brandon: I don't wish that on anybody, but it was thing that really made a big switch for me personally. So next week Amanda's going to share some of her stories, so I get to dig a little deeper into her story with money, which I know quite a bit, you know, since we've been married for a while, and so I'm really excited to maybe she'll share about her band lifestyle, who knows. She didn't do all the partying like I did.

Amanda: True. And if you have any questions or Brandon about what he shared today are, or if you want to talk with him, all you got to do is go to and click "request a meeting" and you can set up a call with him, ask him more question, say, "Hey, I'd love to hear more about X, Y or Z." or, "Hey, I grew up in southeast Texas too, what was your experience like?" You know, whatever. Or if you want to hear more of his lessons about money or share your philosophies with him, I'm sure he'd love to do that, and forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you can get next week's episode. [0:20:07.3] So until then, until this next episode, keep building your wealth simply and sustainably for your own future and the future of our grandchildren's generation.

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