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Want To Prosper During These Tough Times? Eliminate These Two Things

What if I told you life was pretty simple if you want to become financially independent? Would you believe me? What if I told you by eliminating two things you could exponentially accelerate your path to financial independence? Would you be skeptical and not believe what I am saying? I know I would for sure be skeptical to listen to anyone who told me if I did two things I would be able to become financially free at a much younger age.

Well my friends, you are in luck. Time to share the secret sauce.

What’s The Secret Sauce?

Okay, before sharing the secret sauce let me make one thing clear. These things aren’t secret. I did not come up with these by myself. This has been talked about in many financial independence books and podcasts well before I started this blog or TheYoungRetireeBy33 Instagram page.

Now for the secret sauce. Figure out what your two largest expenses are in your monthly budget and ATTACK THEM! That is right. It is that simple.

Do you know what your two largest monthly expenses are? If you don’t know what those expenses are, take 30 minutes right now to figure that out. Let me give you a little help because many studies have been done about this.

For the majority of people (90%+) their two largest expenses are housing and transportation. There is a chance food expenses are higher than transportation for some, but typically largest expenses are housing and transportation.

Cool, I Know My Two Largest Expenses, Now What?

Good, have them figured out? Now determine how to eliminate or significantly reduce both of these!

How to eliminate housing expense? Ah, I thought you would never ask 🙂 house hacking is by far the single greatest thing one could do to fast track your way to financial independence. What is house hacking? I also thought you would never ask. At a high level, house hacking is renting out portions of your home (single family or multi family) while living there. To read a complete breakdown of different ways to house hack, checkout this article I wrote a few months back. Want to get a full breakdown of how to house hack from beginning to end? I have teamed up with @househackingsuccess to help get the word out about the incredible course they have put together to walk a beginner through how to house hack. If you are interested in this course, click the link here. 

How To Eliminate Transportation Or Food Costs

The next biggest expense on a monthly basis for individuals are either transportation or food costs.

Why transportation? People love lifestyle creep. The second someone gets a raise at their day job, they have already figured out a way to spend it. A lot of times this comes in purchasing a brand new car and taking on a massive monthly car payment. I have heard and talked to people my age who took on a $600 a month car payment because they felt like they had earned driving that nice new car. I usually don’t give them my two cents because I don’t want them to feel like they didn’t deserve the car. Do you really need that nice new car? You will be taking on a huge car payment and also a higher insurance bill. Don’t forget, there are many more costs to owning a car than simply the price tag.

How do I attack my transportation costs? Don’t purchase that brand new car. Drive used cars that you can pay for in cash. When you get a raise at work, invest the excess cash. Trust me, you don’t need that new car. It can wait till later down the road.

Why food? People are lazy by nature. People want to always get out and about. This typically means going out to eat more often than we should. I mean, who wants to sit at home and cook every day. Interestingly, this pandemic has made things very interesting for many individuals who would previously go out to eat all the time. I feel pretty confident hundreds of thousands of people are going to be shocked at how much money they have saved during the pandemic by not going out to eat all the time. It’s a balancing act though.

How do I attack my food costs? As humans we enjoy paying for convenience. For the purposes of food that means eating out versus cooking at home. The problem becomes the costs to eat out every meal add up quick while eating at home is much cheaper. This isn’t to say never go out and enjoy a happy hour or going out to eat with your friends every once in a while. That is not the intent of attacking food costs. The intent is to think a bit more about how much you want to go out to eat versus eating in. Simple concept but much easier said than done.

Key Takeaways:

  • Want to become financially independent at a young age? Figure out how to attack  your two largest expenses. 
  • Take time now to figure out what your two largest monthly expenses are each month. Was I right that they are more than likely housing and transportation or food? 
  • Don’t buy that new car just because you received a raise at work. Don’t go out to eat for every meal. Keep things simple. 

Follow 👇🏼
@TheYoungRetireeBy33

Always remember @TheYoungRetireeBy33 3 Core Principles:
1 – Your money should make money for you
2 – Start early to realize the power of compound interest
3 – Eliminate your largest expense by house hacking

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Build Your Credit When You Are Young – Guest Blog Post!

I am excited to have my first ever guest blog post from @everylittlebit.counts. 

Here we go!

When you’re in your late teens, early twenties, your credit is the last thing you are thinking about. If you are in school, that is priority number one, hanging out with your friends, girlfriend or boyfriend and enjoying life, and rightfully so! But taking baby steps to build your credit will go a long way. Your future self will thank you.

When you are young, it is easier to build

When you’re young and living at home, it is much easier to build your credit. You have fewer expenses and there is no reason to be in debt. Your debts should be immediately paid off (unless you have a car loan).

Why is it important?

Building your credit is important because later on in life when you apply for a car loan, line of credit or more importantly, your mortgage, it will be difficult to get accepted and get the best rates if you have no credit history.

Get a credit card

Hear me out first. If you have a part time job, have a savings account (even if small), you should apply for a credit card with a maximum limit of $500.

I was against credit cards when I was in my late teens. Having worked for a financial institution, I gained knowledge and I realized it was somewhat important to have one to start growing my credit.

Credit cards are not the problem; it’s one’s lack of knowledge on how they work, which is something I strongly feel should be taught in high school, but that is a story for another day.

Having a $500 maximum limit will allow you to make some small purchases. If used correctly and paid on time it will slowly build your credit score. If you are not working or struggle with money, do not apply for a credit card. Everyone’s financial situation is different.

In October 2017, my credit score was 832, which is considered very good. This did not happen overnight. It took time, patience and paying my bills on time.

Side Note

Even if you hate credit cards, they are needed to reserve and give a security deposit at hotels. During flights, if you need to buy food or gifts, the only accepted method of payment is via credit cards. Credit cards are not the issue. The issue is people don’t control themselves and they don’t understand how they work.

Get a cellphone plan

Another way to slowly build your credit is to have a monthly cellphone plan. The monthly amount is not important but what truly is is having regular monthly payments withdrawn from your account. This will slowly grow your credit and show you can make consistent monthly payments.

Apply for a line of credit, even if you do not need one

When you really need money, banks may be reluctant to give you the loan. The key is to apply for a line of credit when you do not need it. When the moment arises that you truly need one, you will already have it. The same can be said for a credit card. Apply for one when you do not need it.

Bad Good

Build good habits

Practice the following spending habits towards building a good credit:

  1. Pay 100% of your credit card debt as soon as possible. My trick is I pay my credit card every two weeks. It allows me to keep track of my expenses and know where I spent my money;
  2. Avoid using more than 30% of your credit limit. Most experts recommend it (on a $500 limit, you should not use more than $150);;
  3. Check your monthly statement. Even if you paid your full amount, check your statement for any errors.

Summary

  1. It is very difficult to apply for a mortgage without a credit history. One of the ways to build your credit is to have a credit card (with a small limit) and pay its balance in full monthly;
  2. If you buy or lease a car, make sure you are able to afford the payments;
  3. With time and a good track record, your credit score will increase. When the time comes and you need a mortgage or a large loan, the baby steps you took to building your credit will pay off.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Also, if you haven’t already, go checkout their blog here!

 

 

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Tenant Backed Out Of Lease Three Weeks After Signing

Time for another learning opportunity for my real estate investing journey. This was the first time I had ever had someone sign a lease and proceed to back out prior to moving in. I am continuing to learn more and more about real estate investing as new situations continue coming up. I enjoy some of the ambiguity in how things are happening and always learning new things. So here is what happened.

Finally Closed On Trifecta!

I finally closed on Trifecta and it was time to begin executing on my game plan. If you have not seen Trifecta before, you can see the initial post I had of the before and after pictures here.

Trifecta will be my second go at house hacking, but this time, the strategy is a little different than house hack #1. This is the first multi-family property I have ever purchased. It is a small multi-family triplex with a 2/1 unit in the front and two 1/1 units stacked on top of each other in the back.

The Plan For Trifecta

The plan for Trifecta is to long term rent the 2/1 unit long term. I have never gone about finding a tenant for an entire unit. Most of my past experience has been with finding tenants to rent out a bedroom in a home or my Airbnb’s.

I believed renting out the 2/1 long term was going to be much easier to find potential tenants than renting out by the bedroom. I posted the home with pictures in the normal locations I post things for rent. I usually stick with Facebook Marketplace, Zillow, and Apartments.com. Those are the sites I have personally found the most luck with.

Finding A Tenant

I was getting interested tenants immediately after posting. This was a good sign. Not only was my listing standing out online, I also had it competitively priced for the market. I screened and showed the place to four different tenants and found someone who would fit well.

A Dream Tenant To Find

This tenant was going to be moving down from South Carolina in a month. She was a registered nurse and works remote so had a solid source of income. Perfect credit score and no debt. Essentially the dream tenant you could ask for. There was one catch with her though.

Around the time she reached out was when everything with COVID-19 started escalating. The start to the lease was going to be a month from when we connected. I was willing to wait a month to hold out for such a good tenant, especially in these times.

We went through and signed a 12 month lease. Two days after signing the lease the tenant calls me early in the morning. Ut oh…this can’t be good.

The Florida governor just decided to put up blockades on the border to prevent some people from driving into Florida from some of the more highly impacted areas of the virus. The tenant explained this in a little more detail to me and proceeded to ask if I could push out her move in date another two weeks with everything going on.

This is an extremely tough time in our economy and in the world in general. There is nothing either myself or her could do about the situation and there is a lot of uncertainty in general. Being the empathetic person I am, I agreed to put a clause in the lease allowing for the move in date to be pushed back another two weeks.

Current State Of Signed Lease

So I now have a signed 12 month lease for this tenant who isn’t moving in for another 6 weeks potentially! What did I get myself into?! I had agreed to wait for this tenant and it was time to just wait it out.

The tenant sent over the security deposit upon signing the lease and she was officially locked in. For my rentals, I require one month’s rent as a security deposit. This is the standard I use in all my long term rentals. This is a refundable deposit depending on damage upon moving out of the home.

Three Weeks Later…Another Call From The Tenant

Three weeks go by and I receive another call from the tenant. This time, with some worse news. Things with COVID-19 were continuing to escalate in the US. New cases per day were continuing to ramp up, social distancing was starting to become a commonly used term in daily conversation, and only essential businesses were allowed to be open.

What a weird time in our world’s history to be alive, but also a really interesting time to observe all the things that are going on.

We are three weeks away from the tenants move in date and I get another call from her. This time, with not so great news. She called to let me know that there is just no way she feels comfortable putting in her 30 day notice at the current place she is living to move down to Florida. She apologized for everything and we went our separate ways.

Sounds Bad Right? Well, Kind Of

Sounds like a pretty bad deal right? Yeah, it definitely is not the best. I thought I found a high quality tenant who I wasn’t going to have any issues with. Would more than likely pay rent on time every month, not cause damage to the property, and had great job security.

Here is the bright side from my end. I was able to keep the security deposit from the tenant based off the contract we signed and agreement we had. So now I get to keep a months worth of rent for someone who won’t be moving into the home and I can put the listing back up online!

Within two weeks back on the market, I found another tenant who was ready to immediately move in. Was an interesting story how all that worked out. Will post about it in the near future with some real numbers of how the lease is setup so I can continue to reduce my expenses even more!

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding a high quality tenant is extremely important. Waiting a few weeks for them to move in could be worth potentially placing a bad tenant in the property. 
  • Structure your lease agreements so you keep the security deposit if they for whatever reason don’t actually move in. I always recommend the security deposit to be one months rent. 
  • You always have a choice to view things as a positive or negative. I could have viewed her not being able to move in as a negative. Instead, I decided to view it as a positive, and it actually became a positive!