Cash Confessional: How a 27-year-old uses “house hacking” to make $145,000 each year and may retire at 35

Cash Confessional: How a 27-year-old uses “house hacking” to make $145,000 each year and may retire at 35
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Our Cash Confessional series, in partnership with Bank of America, takes a personal and anonymous look into how people of all ages and incomes spend their money in the span of seven days.

NEW! Want to be featured? Go take this new 28 question, anonymous survey. We’ve recently redone the survey to give participants more freedom to showcase their financial decisions and personality — without having to track weekly expenses. To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here


Age, relationship status and living situation?

I’m a 27-year-old female college graduate. I have a boyfriend, but we don’t live together.

Income?

I will make $145,000 this year.

This is from three sources: $41,600 from my regular salary, $68,500 in commissions (on top of my salary), and $35,000 from my rental properties.

Do you think you’re compensated fairly at work? 

I think I’m very well compensated for a young, 27-year-old female who has only been out of college for 3.5 years.

My first job out of college was corporate and I absolutely hated it. I made $32,000 a year.

Do you rent or own?

I own three properties currently. I live in a house and my boyfriend lives in one of my other houses.

We are both “house-hacking” which means our roommates pay the mortgages.

My boyfriend only pays $200 to live in his house, and I only pay about $100 to live in my house.

The future plans (within a year or two) are to move in together in a house in Huntersville. This will be a new home purchase as well. Then both of the houses we are currently living in will turn into full-time rentals.

Most expensive night out this month?

I am very disciplined with my spending because I have big goals for myself, so I keep a tight budget.

The most recent date night was celebrating my best friend’s engagement. We went to the new restaurant that just opened in Charlotte called Gyu-Kaku in Uptown. It was AMAZING! The meat was delicious. We left fat and happy. It was $120 for four people, a great deal for the quality of food. Definitely recommend.

One thing you’d like to purchase that you can’t currently afford?

Another property. It’s an addiction.

I’m always searching for good deals and running the numbers in my head. I love it. It excites me and gives me a rush.

My plan is to put my income taxes toward another property at the beginning of the year. I want a multifamily unit next. I go back and forth between wanting to buy more properties and wanting to contribute to my Roth IRA.

Best purchase you made this month?

Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil! I was SO excited for this to come in the mail.

It’s by one of my favorite bloggers Negin Mirsalehi.

It’s amazing for your hair.

What was your best and worst financial decision?

Buying my new Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s a waste of money, and I honestly think about selling it all the time.

jeep grand cherokee charlotte

What’s your credit card reward strategy?

I need to focus more on the large rewards for signing on with a new card. Currently I’m not utilizing this as much as I should be. But I plan to get new cards next year for the entry rewards to fund my vacations.

How much debt do you have?

I have about $20,000 in debt, but in my defense, it’s because I’ve been purchasing properties and renovating them.

I will receive a large commission check next month, so I plan to pay off half of the debt with it.

No. 1 most stressful thing about your current financial situation?

Always wanting more. Not necessarily more money, but more wealth. And what I mean by that is I’m always pushing myself to be better and go further.

I always told myself I was going to be a millionaire, and I very much believe I’m on the right track for that.

My mind is constantly racing thinking about the next property I want to purchase or the next move I want to make. It’s all a game to me and I love it.

My most used app on my iPhone is my calculator, literally. I wouldn’t say my finances stress me out, but sometimes I am impatient and want things to happen quicker than possible.

Reoccurring monthly expenses?

  • Car payment: $387/month
  • Car insurance: $200/month
  • House: $100/month
  • Groceries: $250/month
  • Health insurance: $184/month
  • Phone: $121/month
  • Loan: $270/month
  • Utilities: $90/month (I split with two other people)
  • Security system: $25/month

I try to keep my expenses as low as possible, hence why I want to sell my car. $600 a month down the drain is really bugging me.

Do you budget or track your spending? 

Yes, everything. I recommend every single person create a budget for themselves. This is a must in life. It’s terrifying that most people don’t have a budget. I just use Excel right now.

Are you saving for anything specific?

Always saving for another down payment on a house.

I plan to buy at least two more properties in 2020.

Where did you learn how to manage your money?

I honestly just started reading as many books as I could get my hands on and listening to podcasts every single day instead of the radio. I believe you have to be super resourceful in life and you have to continue learning every day. No one is going to help you with your money except yourself.

Also, find a mentor, and if you can’t meet that person in real life, then buy their books, listen to their speeches/podcasts, follow the steps they took. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Some of my favorite books that were really helpful: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Anything by Dave Ramsey, The Richest Man in Babylon, Tax Free Wealth, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Work Optional, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

What are your top three financial goals?

My current goal is to own 10 rental properties — including multifamily units and single family units.

  • I want to retire by age 35, and that doesn’t mean quit working, that just means freedom to do whatever I want and work wherever I want. If I want to take a two-month sabbatical and travel, I could do that.
  • Pay off all the properties I currently own.
  • Reach $200,000 in income a year. My goal used to be $100,000, but I hit that and now I’d like to shoot for double.

What do you consider “rich” in Charlotte?

South Charlotte. Those big, beautiful million dollar homes is rich Charlotte to me. They’ve obviously done well for themselves and probably invested throughout their lives.

I do believe there are a lot of people in Charlotte living well above their means, and I can’t understand it. I think people need to sit down and really think about their future, not just who they want to impress right now. Instagram and Louis Vuitton won’t pay the bills for the 99 percent.

[Agenda related story: At what age do people become millionaires in Charlotte?]

Are you motivated primarily by money?

I don’t know if it’s really about the money. I just think of it all as a game.

I’ve been very strategic about every move I’ve made in my life. I’ve definitely made tons of mistakes and I’ve partied way too hard along the way, but I’ve always come back around to my inner goals and passions and worked hard to achieve those.

It’s rewarding to work toward building an empire.

A lot of times on the weekends when my friends are going out, I’m remodeling a house, ripping up flooring or painting kitchen cabinets. I have definitely put in the work to get where I am. I think it’s grit. Some have it and some don’t.


Build your financial know-how with free tools and information to help you make more confident decisions. Visit the Bank of America Better Money Habits site today.

Need 1:1 guidance on getting your finances in order? Schedule an appointment with a Bank of America specialist today or stop in your local financial center.

NEW! Want to be featured? Go take this new 28 question, anonymous survey. We’ve recently redone the survey to give participants more freedom to showcase their financial decisions and personality — without having to track weekly expenses. To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here

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