- Brian "Q" Quinn and James "Murr" Murray, who star on TruTV's "Impractical Jokers," say achieving success later in life helped them avoid money mistakes.
- "We always lived kind of old school, like the money was going to run out," says Brian "Q" Quinn.
- "We didn't start making money in TV until I was in my 40s."
It took years for James "Murr" Murray and Brian "Q" Quinn, stars on TruTv's "Impractical Jokers," to achieve success. When their reality TV show — where the comedians and lifelong friends from Staten Island, New York, compete to embarrass each other in public with outrageous dares — launched in 2011, Quinn and Murray already had established careers.
"We didn't even get on TV until I was 36 and we didn't start making money in TV until I was in my 40s," says Quinn. Prior to selling their TV show concept to TruTV, Quinn worked at the New York City Fire Department where he served for eight years. "We all grew up pretty blue collar," he says.
The values Quinn learned by growing up with little to spare helped shape his money habits. "We always lived kind of old school, like the money is going to run out," he says.
The same was true for Murray, who is now 45 and used to work in TV production: "For most of our adult lives, we had no money," he says. "Up until two years ago, I had never owned a house and I'd never owned a car."
That helped them maintain a conservative mindset around spending, Murray says: "I think I was for sure smarter in my financial decisions because I wasn't successful until I was older."
"As you get older, the biggest thing I always tell people when talking about money is you don't need most of the stuff you buy," says Quinn. "Keep that in mind, because having money problems is the worst thing in the world."
Quinn learned this lesson the hard way: by racking up high-interest credit card debt before the success of "Impractical Jokers." "I have never felt fear and panic in my life like when I owed that credit card bill," he says. "It really scarred me. I just won't do it anymore."
It took Quinn years to pay back what he owed, but he didn't give up. "What I ended up doing is just working and saving every dime and putting it towards it. Like all I did was prioritize the credit card and just pay it off, pay it off," he says. "The lesson I learned was, don't ever go into credit card debt again."
Aside from having fun pranking each other on TV, Quinn and Murray have found a fun way to grow their wealth: investing in real estate.
Together, they have bought and leased out real estate in Florida, Virginia, and New York.
After a few years, they were able to sell these properties for a profit, Murray says.
"It's always about keeping your eyes on the future," says Quinn. "I mean, how many cautionary tales about people blowing all of their money do you need to hear?"
As you get older, "you just get to a certain age where where stability and peace and quiet are more important than anything else," Quinn says.
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