For the past month I have been super excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Mr. MMM. I picked the perfect, inexpensive, yet hip event. There was a bacon & beer/chocolate & wine event at a local winery. No tickets or reservations required, just respond to the FB invite so they could make plans with their vendors. I did just that. THEN something happened.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re spending Valentine’s Day on your own or with a significant other this year. What matters is what you choose do with your time, and money, of course. Some of us are heading to an obligatory expensive dinner, some of us are celebrating at Sonic (here’s lookin’ at you, Mr. and Mrs. Groovy), while others are enjoying some solo time or adventures with friends. No matter what your poison, I propose that you treat yourself to one thing-big or small-that will enhance your financial future.
I’m sure everyone here has heard of Robert Kiyosaki. If not, he’s a entreprenurial guru who has written lots of books that explain the habits of the wealthy. He’s best known for his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. He explains how he learned as a young boy that in times of crises, assets feed you while liabilities eat you. Regardless of your income, the one thing that has the greatest influence on how quickly you reach financial freedom is your housing. Not only where you live, but how you live. Surprise! It’s another real estate post. Bear with me, I promise to take a hiatus from this topic after these few short paragraphs…
I noticed something this weekend. Even though we are on the road mostly not taken to early retirement, we do not want for anything. At the beginning of the month we sit down to make a map for our money. I use the term, map, because it’s a loosey-goosey budget. We certainly don’t take the Dave Ramsey approach of every dollar, on paper, on purpose-although we think it’s great for the people who can make it work. It’s way too restrictive for us and, inevitably, we can never foresee every little expense that will come our way in any given month (think: a doctor’s visit and medication, ugh). Instead, we choose certain items and events that we want to purchase or attend at the beginning of each month. After allocating cash for our fixed bills and investments, we devote a certain amount of money to be used for entertainment. After that, we analyze Each. And. Every. Purchase. Any leftover Benjamins get shuffled into our taxable investment account in preparation for our next buy-and-hold real estate purchase. Yes! I swear this gets me more excited than buying a new pair of shoes!
When I’m on the road-usually driving to or from work-I’m either widening my musical palate or listening to podcasts. This week on my daily drive I was listening to the Bigger Pockets podcast. Bigger Pockets is all about real estate investing. There is no need for an explanation as to why I love this one. Anyway, on episode 153, they were interviewing a woman who, along with her husband, is extremely savvy in the field of real estate investing. It turns out, they own 108 single family properties and are still aquiring more! That was, of course, impressive, but that wasn’t what HIT me when I listened to it. What HIT me was something she said about the freedoms afforded to those who retire early OR have the option to retire early.