Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in financial services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brennan Schlagbaum, owner of Budgetdog, LLC, located in Arlington, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I help individuals master the personal finance game once and for all. My customers are individuals earning over $100k per year from age 25-45 and need help with the following:

  • Pay off debt.
  • Invest.
  • No idea where to start.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Brennan, and I am a 31-year-old CPA living in the Dallas, TX, area. The Budgetdog story began right before I married my wonderful wife, Erin. At this point, we felt like we had life figured out because we were doing all the things everyone else our age seemed to be doing. We were both college graduates with jobs lined up. We were in the process of building our first home. Our wedding date was booked. The engagement ring was purchased. Pretty normal, right?!

By society's standards, YES, we were normal 24-year-olds "building our life." But, no matter how much I was assured that it was ok, I couldn't shake the oppressive feeling of the mountain of debt we were accumulating. Before we even said, "I do," we had a mortgage, student loans, car debt, and consumer debt. We were starting off our adult lives with over $300,000 in debt!!! I'm the numbers guy, and I couldn't live like this. I approached my wife about a plan to aggressively pay off this mountain of debt, and after a little back and forth and me learning how to say things, which she tells me is way more important than what I say, she was on board. We were then on our journey to what we thought was debt freedom, but what turned out to be so much more.

Fast forward to today. We have paid off all over $300,000 in debt, have paid off our house, and have entered a new phase of life parenting our beautiful baby girl, Logan Lee, without any of the typical financial burdens to weigh us down. Logan was born with Dravet syndrome, which is a severe medical concern that we are dealing with on a daily basis. We were lucky to be able to move across the country from Cincinnati, OH, to Dallas, TX, in 2023 in order to provide her with the best medical treatment in the world. My daughter may not know it yet, but our financial freedom journey had a lot to do with being sure we created a life that would give us the greatest gift of all – TIME. Time with my daughter is truly the result of the work my wife and I put in over the last seven years. During our own journey, it became clear to me that I was meant to help others realize and achieve the same financial success that my wife and I had achieved. I started @budgetdog with the hope of helping people understand and navigate their own financial situations and to educate as many people as I could so they never found themselves making so many "normal" mistakes.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

  • Seeing the actual results from clients in real time.
  • Reaching six-figure months.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Managing people and scaling using systems that work.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Understand time commitment, and it is not easy.
  2. Study decision-making, biases, and psychology.
  3. Outsource where possible.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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