A bit of one of the Duke’s story…

Net worth – your total assets less your total liabilities. A VIP KPI (key performance indicator) we track in our financial kingdom construction project. Coming from college, I fit right in with the average American that graduates with student loan debt and an auto loan. As I began reading more and more personal finance books and articles, I decided. Screw that! NO MORE DEBT!

The journey continues in a positive path but still, I want to throw my computer screen each month the auto-pay notification email comes through. Like most millennials…I immediately want this shit over and done with. Personal finance doesn’t work this way. We are in it for the long haul!! Thankfully long-term gratification hasn’t totally been denied from my mindset and I look forward to eventually paying the full balances off. One reason we began this blog was to show the world they are not alone. People in similar situations with similar goals exist, and we are working together to accomplish what we want to in our lives! Thanks to other bloggers and the books I read, all isn’t lost with taking on student loans. It was an investment A knight holding shield and armorand one that is paying its dividends as I continually go to battle each month:  Mono e Budgeto. The war is far from over, but many of battles so far have been won in my favor. Today a milestone of mine has been reached!! The war begins to turn in my favor!

I finally reached the point in my life that my assets > liabilities. YES A POSITIVE NET WORTH!!!

I was and am still willing to continue sacrificing to move forward from getting over the net worth hump to getting over the debt one!


Accumulating wealth takes sacrifice. Sacrificing those designer fashion shopping sprees. Missing out on expensive dining experiences. Hang drying clothes to save a few coins from being destroyed at the Laundry Mat. Walking or biking to save money on gas. Preparing food each week, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or finding recipes on budgetbytes.com. Cutting cable and Netflix watching. Taking walks and checking out books from the library. Our Sacrifices come in all shapes and sizes, and they add up as we work to build our castle.

If you haven’t been called crazy then you haven’t been sacrificing enough :). Joking aside, people who have different goals will perceive yours very differently. I mean why would you hang dry your clothes in 2017? Why would you skip out on Starbucks each morning? How can you not explore all the great restaurants in your city?

As Duke’s we don’t believe in the extreme frugality of Mr. Money Mustache in our lives, not because its wrong, more that we want the process of becoming wealthy to have enjoyable experiences included as we continue living below our means.

Many will argue against this, and I totally understand. Each dollar does indeed count towards the goal of financial freedom. If you enjoy your line of work, have less responsibilities, and can still accomplish your milestones, then it’s an individual decision to let loose the purse strings in order to experience the world too (even if it means working a little bit longer).

Overall we are on the moderate side of the fence in frugality, save more, spend less, and get the most of every dollar you spend in the experiences you live for!

Keep in mind, if you make the decision to spend on experiences – keep the cost low and budget appropriately. These experiences are not an excuse to miss your financial milestones !


It was right after college I picked up The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy WOW. It literally transformed the future vision I had for my life. There are many high income earners in our great nation who aren’t rich. That concept still amazes me that people who make so much money can squander it so easily. That people who studied years to become surgeons, won’t take hours to learn common financial moves to prepare for their retirement.

I’m not here to judge, never that. Just as we talked through in our Drake Case Study, in our free nation, citizens can spend their money how they want. I definitely appreciate the wisdom and the gift of the book that helped me change the direction my life would have taken.

If you haven’t read it. I will give one high level concept in this article, and we will review them more deeply in our review.

The general consensus from Mr. Stanley’s studies is that most millionaires in America are not the flashy, high spending, jewelry wearing, Lamborghini drivers we see on TV. They are self-made, self-employed business owners who have consistently lived frugally to build their wealth over the years. They dress in quality clothes, drive average cars, live in average neighborhoods, and would not be judged as a millionaire from the outside in.

It’s that mindset we believe in here at Dukes of Dollars. We believe in living a life full of rich experiences, frugal in our decision making, and stable in our future. We believe in being your best self, living with integrity and kindness. We want to share this lifestyle and our learning with you along our way. Through it all, we want to encourage you to change your life like we have. Grow your net worth into a positive one. Your future self will appreciate you for your early efforts in the years to come…

Concluding thoughts

Milestones such as getting over your net worth or debt humps makes the roadmap worth while. It is the little things and little wins overtime that make us successful in building the kingdoms we envision. Celebrate these milestone wins as you reach them, then continue to build with the right mindset. If you commit to your own personal journey, you will also win the monthly budget battles and begin to claim victory over your balance sheet!