Ryan O. Mack has had to learn to be frugal out of necessity. He grew up in a working class neighborhood of Mckeesport, PA (just south of Pittsburgh). Although he didn't lack the basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, he quickly realized that, in order to have anything beyond the absolute basics, he would need to work and stretch what he earned. So, since the age of 14, he has been working and stretching his dollars. Throughout his various jobs and travels he often met people who complained constantly about the cost of living (utility bills, food expenses, low pay, etc.). He would visit friends who expressed displeasure about how high their electricity bills were while having almost every light, television and radio on - even when they were the only person in the house! Some of his friends and co-workers struggled financially but still had to have the latest model appliances, automobiles and furniture. He would always preach, "You know, you can look just as good for a lot less money." Ryan would often describe to co-workers how he had slashed his heating bill by 60 percent. A co-worker once complained about having to spend over $600 on a washing machine. Ryan responded by explaining how he paid only $210 for a "gently-used" washer and dryer, both of which are still running strong after over six years of use. After years of shopping smartly, Ryan has become known among friends and colleagues for his sensible saving and spending habits. And years of living lean and cutting costs has benefitted him. Money saved from his frugal lifestyle has enabled him to diversify into the real estate/rental property business. People used to tell him, "Why be tight? Spend it because you can't take it with you!" But in the next breath they would ask, "How can you afford to get into the real estate business?" Ryan continues to tell people that "you have to learn how to keep more of what you earn because it takes money to make money." He currently resides in the Tidewater area of Virginia but spends much of his time traveling between Pittsburgh and Maryland managing his real estate business.
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