My History With Money, Pt. II

Last post, I talked about the examples of managing money that I grew up around. I thought I would go to school, then come back to work in the family business. While in college, I slowly realized that those techniques would not lead to success. I watched the family business decline and came to the conclusion that if I continued on the track I was on, the best I could hope for was a low-paying job with the state and that did not fit in with my goals of owning my business and becoming wealthy.
Oddly enough, these observations drove me to the oil and gas industry. When I started there, the old-timers would ask me why I got into it. My reply was “Because I wanted a steady paycheck.” Their response was to laugh & laugh! It was funny because at the  time, the industry was just coming out of one of the worst slumps it had ever seen (early ’90s) and “oilfield” + “steady paycheck” did not make sense to them.
So I began my oilfield career and also began contributing to a retirement fund. I mostly contributed the maximum amount allowable. I never really missed it due to those savings occurring via payroll deduction. That being said, the money I did take home, I felt entitled to spend, since I earned it. And spend I did! I bought a huge house, lots of electronics to fill it, decided to open a recording studio in the house, had to do repairs along the way, and a host of other debt accumulation.
I was roughly $100,000 in debt. So I decided to do something about it. I sold the house for a small profit, removing about 87% of my debt, and moved in with a fraternity brother as room mates to cut my expenses. After about 6 months I had paid off the remaining debt and began saving money to build a house once my fiance and I got married.
That was when my financial conservativeness training began. My wife taught me that unless we could pay cash for something, then we did not need it, in addition to just because you want something, doesn’t mean you need it.
Fast-forward 15 years and through saving, strategic investment, a little inheritance, and core principles of not spending frivolously, we are pretty much set for retirement.
I turn 50 this year and could probably retire now, but I am concerned about health insurance costs. So, for the time being, I continue to work to keep the health benefits, while growing real estate investments and helping guide the growth of a business investment along with my partners.
I think the key things that helped to get us here are as follows:
  • Learning to not spend, especially when I don’t have it
  • Learning to not spend just because I have it


Saving money to allow us to strategically take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.
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My History With Money, Pt. I

What I grew up seeing around me.
What I wanted to do.

Today I am going to relate my experiences with Money from when I was a child to present day, in a loose chronological order.


My parents split up when I was approximately 10 years old and I don’t really remember a whole lot about our finances prior to that. What I do remember is that after that point, things were not easy.


We moved in with my grandparents, away from friends and family, started a new school, and began a different life. At the end of that school year, I began an unwanted tradition of working every summer on one of my grandfather’s shrimp boats and later in my uncles’ seafood businesses. Whatever money was earned went to help cover costs for my mother, my sister, and me to survive. I would get a hundred dollars at the end of the summer to buy school clothes for the upcoming year and that was the about all I would see of what I made.


My cousins of a similar age were doing the same work as me, but they got to keep all of their money, spending it on nice stereos, toys, etc., because their parents were making money and running a business.


I started learning about the businesses because it seemed like the way to not be poor. What I learned, besides the mechanics of actual operations, were bad money management habits.

Things seemed to be all about making sure you got your share out of the revenue, to the detriment of everything else…spending the holidays at hunting camps, spending the last bit of money you have, with no guarantee of future revenue.

This is not a good model to follow, especially if you are trying to maintain a steady income, much less, grow your income. Eventually, within a few years, both uncles were out of money, with no business to support them, because they only focused on the “right now” and had trouble planning for the long haul.

The takeaway lesson from today’s post is to not spend everything you make. Practice restraint and plan for the future. Short of winning the lottery like a former co-worker, you will not get rich quick. BUT, if you practice this as a habit, it should allow you to prepare for retirement.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

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Bayou Blue Dancing Lights – A Holiday Light Show Synchronized to Music

Dancing Lights!
Our light show running in the VERY VERY RARE snow day in South Louisiana!
About three years ago we got into animated Holiday lighting…it involves synchronizing you lights to music to put on a show. You can start with a basic AC controller (alternating current, for regular Christmas lights) and expand on up to where you can do the equivalent of a Jumbotron screen, displaying video and animation!
Now that New Year’s Day has passed, it is time to take down our Christmas show. The show ran from Thanksgiving night through 01-Jan-2018. Some of the elements of it were up since September, when we put up our Halloween show. I’ll touch on why that was in a later post.
The show starts out with designing a layout, then simulating that layout in the visualizer software. That involves a picture of the house and each string or group of lights on an individual channel to be drawn out in the visualizer and assigned to a channel on a controller.
What the LOR Visualizer layout looks like.
Once the show layout has been put together, it is on to selecting songs and sequencing the lights to the songs. This probably takes up most of the time involved in setting up the show. It may take me up to 10 hours to do a single song from scratch. We have some favorites and perennials, so it is easier to take some sequences from previous years and just add on the extra sequencing to cover new elements or additional channels added to the setup.
My basic setup uses Light-O-Rama (LOR) controllers. We started with one 16 channel AC controller the first year, then added a second 16 channel AC controller and a 24 channel “Dumb RGB” controller, (by “Dumb RGB, meaning that every light connected to a channel will be the same color, as opposed to a “Smart RGB” controller, which can address each individual pixel on a string of lights and turn it to a different color.), and last year during the off-season, we added a third 16 channel AC controller giving us a total of 72 channels. 48 of which are regular AC lights and the other 24 account for 7 RGB flood lights and the most recent addition to our show, a “dumb RGB” strip star, as  seen in the picture below.
Highlighting the RGB Star.
Overall we had a good run with very little problems this year. We were only shut down by rain twice.
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2018 Goals (A Hello World Post for this Blog)


If you do not know me already, my name is Clint Galliano. I live in Louisiana and have worked in the oil and gas industry for most of my career. But I also do other “stuff”. In addition to working in O & G, my wife and I invest in real estate and invested a door manufacturing business, which I sit on the board of.

I started this new blog because I wanted to start posting content mainly not related to my OFTAS Blog (Oilfield, Tech, And Stuff), and leaning more towards finance, business, and investing.

In addition, one of my partners challenged me to write more in 2018. I take it as a growth opportunity.

While 2017 was interesting for me and my family, I am ready to plow into 2018 and grow as a person and as an investor. I am going to set a goal of writing a post a week on this blog, minimum, for the whole year. I may post more, depending on current events.

Below is the list of topics I plan to cover:

  • Business Finance
  • Technology
  • Personal Finance
  • Automation
  • Current Events
  • Personal
  • Real Estate Investing
  • Holiday Lighting Displays
I hope You enjoy my posted and can benefit from them.
Leave me comment to let me know what you think about the topics!
Please remember to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a post.


If you have ever rented a home, you know first hand how stressful the process can be. Not only are you consumed with finding the perfect home, but the contract process can be overwhelming once you do. With so much information to digest, it is common to overlook important questions that you should be asking. Below are three important inquiries that should be confirmed before entering into a lease agreement:


When is rent due and how can payment be remitted? If you have rented a home in the past, you may have been fortunate enough to be provided with a grace period. However, it is becoming more and more common that property management companies are requiring rent to be paid by the 1st of the month and the late fee can be significant if it is not received on time.

It is also important to inquire how rent can be paid. Most property managers and landlords now have the capability to accept online payments. This can make paying rent extremely convenient and help to avoid any late fees, especially if automatic payments can be setup.


How are maintenance requests submitted and how long does it take to address the issue? One of the primary benefits of renting from a property management company is that maintenance requests are usually taken extremely seriously. Before signing the lease agreement, it is important to clarify how maintenance requests are to be submitted and what phone number should be used for emergency situations. Most property managers will want the issue to be submitted in writing and have the capability to accept the maintenance request online. It is also very important to ask how long it typically takes to respond to these requests and the timeline to resolve most issues.


How can the lease agreement be terminated? When entering into the contract, the last thing you are probably thinking about is canceling your lease agreement; however, the fact of the matter is your situation may change and it is important to outline the process for early termination. Most property management companies do have policies for this situation and will offer an early termination option. Before entering into a lease agreement, it is extremely important to confirm this policy and how much is charged for breaking the agreement early.

I hope that you never are in a situation where you enter into a lease agreement before receiving all of the important information. Always remember that it is better to ask a lot of questions and be comfortable with the decision than sign a contract and regret it later.


If you have never rented a home from JJR Holdings before, you can expect a totally different experience than renting directly from an owner. There are definitely pros and cons when renting from each, but the benefits from renting from JJR Holdings will far outweigh the drawbacks. One of the key differences between each is the cost associated with leasing the property. Although each property manager will charge different amounts, below is a list of the some of the typical fees that are associated with renting a home from a Salt Lake City property management company:

Application Fee– This is charged to a tenant when applying for a property. This fee typically covers the cost of the background and credit report when screening a prospective tenant. JJR Holdings currently does not charge this fee.

Lease Origination Fee – This is charged to a tenant when a new lease agreement is created. This fee typically covers the work associated with underwriting a new lease agreement. JJR Holdings does not charge a lease origination fee.

Late Fee– This is charged to a tenant when rent is not received on time. This fee is a flat $50. It is assessed when rent is not paid by the end of the courtesy grace period, after the due date.

Service of Notice Fee – This is charged to a tenant that has not complied with the terms of the lease agreement. This fee is associated with the process of JJR Holdings property manager posting a notice for the tenant to correct the lease violation or risk eviction.

There can be other fees associated with renting. I always recommend inquiring about all of the applicable costs before entering into a lease agreement.

If you are a tenant that is interested in renting a home in Houma or Thibodaux, please consider renting from JJR Holdings. You can preview a list of our available properties here. For additional advice, check out this article from


Avoid Home Rental Scammers

Moving to a new city can be a life changing moment for most people. It is important to know how to avoid scams when looking for a new apartment, in an area that you are unfamiliar with. Here are something’s to be aware of in order to help you avoid those scams.

There are a lot of scammers that take and use a real listing from, a real home rental or real estates and claim it as their own, they will take these already written listings and make a few modification, by changing the email address or other contact information to include their own information. They might even use the same name as the original poster and only change the picture and contact information, just to confuse you.

The best sign that the listing is a scam is if they request you to wire money over. There is no reason for you to wire money over, not matter what the reason may be. Some reasons could be paying a security deposit, vacation rental, or application fee, there is never a good enough reason to wire money, because once the money is wired there is no way for you to get that back. So beware if a listing for a rental home is asking you to wire some money for a security deposit, or application fee it is most likely a scam.

Another thing to always remember is, if the deal is too good to be true then it probably is. Most scammers will take all of the real information for a home rental listing, but list the price below the average rental rate in the market, that is an easy sign tell whether or not the listing could be a possible scam.

These are some of the basic things that you must look out for when looking for to a home rental, the best way to avoid these kinds of mishap is to hire a real estate agent, and discuss your concerns with them. If you choose to continue the search by your self always be aware that if they ask you to wire money, that is a safe assumption that the listing is a scam, and remember that if they deal is too good to be true, then it probably is.


You might be asking yourself – what is renters insurance and why should I pay for it? Unfortunately, there is a common misconception for renters that they don’t really need to carry this insurance and that it has no value. Unless you have ever been in the unfortunate situation of having to make a claim, you might not fully appreciate this as a necessity.

Below are three reasons why every tenant should have a renters insurance policy:

Reason #1: Renters insurance covers your personal property – If you stop and think about everything you own and assign a dollar value to all of your possessions, it will probably surprise you how much you own. A renters insurance policy will help replace your items in the event of theft or destruction by a fire.

Reason #2: Renters insurance covers liability from negligence – Consider this scenario…it is a windy day and you don’t have the time to sweep the driveway. An individual slips and falls and breaks a bone. Since your negligence caused the injury, you are liable for all of costs associated. Another situation where renters insurance would be critical is if a fire was caused by the tenant’s negligence. This would also result in the tenant being responsible for the cost of replacement of the home, which many individuals would not be able to cover without renters insurance.

Reason #3: Renters insurance covers additional living expenses – Have you ever thought about what you would do if a fire or natural disaster made your current rental home un-livable? Renters insurance will help pay for your living expenses under this scenario. As a tenant, this peace of mind can be priceless.

If renters insurance is something that you may be interested in, I would recommend contacting your local insurance agent for more information.

If you are tenant that is interested in renting a home in Morgan City or Thibodaux, please consider renting from JJR Holdings. Search available rental properties in Morgan City and Thibodaux by clicking here.

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