It wasn’t long ago when I was collecting coupons, drilling into household expenses with a fine tooth comb, and worrying about travel expenses. I was working full-time as an engineer with a competitive salary, yet, I was moonlighting as a tutor and lifestyle model. I was working 70+ hours per week to pay for all my daily expenses and my student debt.
”Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
– Ellen Goodman
My experience was even worse: I woke up, got dressed in clothes I bought for work, paid for the ‘pleasure’ of riding a hot, smelly, crammed bus to work, so I could work in a job to pay for the car that sat in the driveway all day and the vacant house that I didn’t get to spend time in. I felt broke in life and living without purpose. I was losing precious time in this vicious loop: buying stuff to work, working to buy stuff.
Fast forward ten years and I’ve broken the chains that have bound me to that cycle. Teaming up with my husband, we decided to pause and reflect on our lives; to redefine our priorities and our goals; and to gain financial control by investing in assets that created multiple sources of income. Real estate investments provided us with multiple streams of income: 1) Positive cashflow, 2) Equity, and 3) Appreciation.
Take this property that I have in Ottawa:
– I have $200 monthly cash flow for my jacket fund.
– Every month, the tenant pays down $500 dollars in principle payments towards my mortgage.
– Year over year, my house has gained over 10% appreciation because its located in a desirable neighbourhood.
Five years ago, I bought that house for $226K and its now appraised at $325K!
Now, every month that passes by, our assets create more and more future income. I’ve stopped dwelling on current income and I’m taking action to create future income. Now, I’m on track to have millions of dollars in equity and continuous cash flow in the near future.
Focus on creating ‘Future Income’ Instead of Worrying About ‘Current Income’
These are my 5 shortcuts to becoming a smart investor mom:
1)Define your Priorities in Life. Do you want more free time? Do you want to spend more quality time with your family? Do you want to be healthier? Start creating a top five list defining your priorities in life, e.g. finances, health, relationships, career, family. Then, type it up and post it on a wall. Why? Because, this makes it a constant reminder of your priorities in life.
2)Think Big Picture, Create your Vision Board. A picture is worth a thousand words. A vision board helps you navigate in life, it reminds you why you are doing this and what you plan to achieve. Start going through magazines and cutting out pictures that inspire you, picture of your wants and desires, pictures of the way you want to live and the things you want to experience. It can be as simple as an ice cream machine, as elaborate as a trip around the world, or as bold as living on water front property. Glue all your pictures on a board to create your vision board. Why? The vision board is your destination.
3)Invest in Yourself, You Deserve it: Read books in real estate investments with proven systems like ‘More than Cashflow’ by Julie Broad and ‘ACRE System’ by Don Campbell. Join a local real estate investment group and meet-up groups to learn and to build relationships with like minded people. This will motivate you to take financial action and start building a network of people to whom you can reach out. It will also get you closer to real estate opportunities.
4)Develop a plan to Reach your Destination: Create an investment action plan to reach your destination and meets your priorities in life. It could be as simple as a to do list. Start small, in bite size chunks broken by two to three month increments with tasks. You may want to reach out to a real estate expert to shorten your learning path and help you create your action plan.
5) Be the Smartest Investor Mom, take action: With a plan in your hand, take action. Every little step you take, takes you closer to your destination. This is a critical step. Most people will not take action. Be different, be the smartest investor mom by taking action.