financial goals to hit before 30

9 Financial Goals To Hit Before 30

financial goals to hit

Setting goals is  the best way to ensure a successful life. 

We set goals for everything from everything from grade-point averages to relationships.

In high school, they don’t stress that importance of setting financial goals, which is why so many people have no idea what’s going on when it comes to personal finance.

Full disclosure some of you will discover this list after 30...Don’t panic, it’s never too late to start achieving financial goals.

Here is a list of financial goals to hit before 30

1. Get a job or consistent side hustle – There’s no short cut here. The only way to achieve your financial goals is by having a source of income. 

I honestly believe that when you start out young, it doesn’t matter what kind of job you have. With a clear financial plan it’s possible to achieve your financial goals. This is much easier to do when your young but anyone can do it. Don’t let the inability to find a job stop you, here are 26 side hustles that you can start today.

2. Learn financial discipline – This is a difficult task for some people. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so it wasn’t hard for me to live frugal. This is one of those things that can be hard depending on what your used to. Make a list of your expenses go over them and see what you can weed out to save you money where you can. It can suck to get store brand potato chips, but over the course of a year savings can really add up. I have friends that always need all the newest clothes, the newest shoes, designer everything. Don’t get me wrong I like fancy shit too, but as an outsider looking in I see it’s causing slow financial death for them.

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with having nice things, I like them too, but there is a time when you can afford it.

Instead of buying the newest pair of $200 designer jeans every month, consider spending half the amount and putting the remainder into a savings amount.

You will have accumulated enough to start making investments sooner than later.

It’s a cruel irony that most of the crap that you want to blow money on when you’re young matters less when you’re older.

3. Pay off debts – I know people that went to high school with me that’s are constantly dodging Sally Mae. Pay off your student loans. Don’t be the person who’s still dodging creditor calls in their mid-30s. Be proactive in your 20s so that you aren’t paying off student debt into your thirties. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment and look into consolidating and refinancing to better terms. But only consolidate if you don’t need income-based repayment or if you are working towards forgiveness. Know what delinquencies are on your credit report. Dispute negative remarks first and see what you can get to fall off, then pay off the rest!

4. Pay off credit cardsPay off your credit cards, and stop maxing them out.  Your credit to debt ratio is a high impact factor on your credit score so it’s a good practice to keep this ratio under 30%.

5. Buy an affordable house – This is one is crucial. I don’t know what about human nature causes this, but when people start making decent money, they feel compelled to go out and get the most expensive house they can afford. It actually makes me cringe when people do this. Unfortunately when people budget for their homes, they don’t factor investment savings into the mix. If possible, duplexes make great first investments.

6. Pay off your first house – Because you have exercised financial responsibility and you lived frugally, bought an affordable house that allowed you to save weekly, you have probably built up a nice little savings. Once you have enough pay off your house. The average person will be paying off their first house for 30 years.

Paying off your house is the first small but powerful step to financial freedom.

Your living arrangements are usually your biggest expense, and aside from your insurance and taxes you have completely relinquished that burden from your financial responsibilities.

Paying off your home unlocks approximately another 30% of your income that you have access to, but before you get to too excited and head off to the Louis Vuitton store, Consider that extra cash as part of your new savings for our next financial goal.

7. Purchase rental property – You’ve paid off your first home, you have extra savings rolling in now what? Now it’s time to start making some additional income. Your not worried about trying to figure out which activities you will have to eliminate to cram in a second job because you’re ready to start building passive income with rental properties.

If your saving is good sometimes you can find a home that you can pay cash for. If not most investment loans only require a 20% down payment. A good way to quickly calculate the down payment cost is to expect approximately 20k toward the down payment for every 100k. 

Since your first home is paid off and you don’t have to worry about rent payments, you will find it gets easier and easier to save up for down payments.

Duplexes make great first investments.

8. Actively raise credit score – After you have repaired your credit. It’s time to start actively making it better. Use your credit cards frequently but rather than using it as a clutch, think of using your credit card as a credit-boosting tool. 

By creating a credit card spending plan, and making sure you never exceed a 30% debt to credit ratio, your credit will begin to steadily rise.

Also be responsible and don’t get subscriptions from to services you can’t afford, and when you do make sure that you are paying on or before your due date.

9. Know your credit score – Get an account at Credit Karma. The best thing about Credit Karma is that it constantly keeps up with your credit score without adding harmful inquiries to your credit report. Download the app. Get into the habit of checking your credit score at least once a month.

Don’t be the type of person that never knows what’s going on with their credit. 

When someone runs your credit you shouldn’t be as surprised with your results. And try to avoid 


These goals are not easy to hit but if you focus, and you can hit most of these goals by the time you turn 30, you will be on the fast track towards an early retirement.

How many of these goals have you hit? Let me know in the comments section below and don’t forget to subscribe 🙂

How the Millionaire Next Door pursues Income

How the Millionaire Next Door Pursues Income

Today’s guest post comes from Matt, who is a licensed CPA and founder of Distilled Dollar where he shares how he and his fiancée went from living paycheck-to-paycheck to building wealth. With his fiancée’s help, he’s distilling down $$$ topics in pursuit of financial independence by the age of 35.

Take it away Matt…

The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, is a classic personal finance book that goes in depth on a few major topics.

The overall premise is many millionaires don’t act or even look like millionaires. The specific topic I’ll pull out of the book today is the importance of financial offense AND defense. In other words, how the millionaire next door pursues income.

When it comes to accumulating financial resources and building wealth, I prefer to learn from people who have, “been there, done that.” That’s why I picked up the book many years ago.

About 1 in 15 households in America are millionaires when you include household equity. Compare that statistic with less than half of Americans having just $100,000, again, including household equity.

Many people we presume to be millionaires are, in reality, worth less, much less. In fact, one in ten drivers of an imported luxury vehicle are actual millionaires. The most common cars driven by most millionaires today include Toyotas, Hondas & Fords.

Don’t confuse rich with wealthy.

If we want to become financially wealthy then we should model the wealthy, not the rich. That’s why the book described financial defense as being critical. If we overspend our income, we will never become millionaires.

“A fat kitchen makes a lean will,” as Ben Franklin phrased it.

How Millionaires Pursue Income


Stanley and Danko interviewed thousands of millionaires. My main takeaway was that millionaires are willing to work harder because they understand their financial defense is in place.

Meaning, they know for every dollar they earn, they will be placing a large amount of that dollar into their investments and into their businesses.

Many affluent people know they need a strong positive cash flow going directly back into their assets as opposed to paying off liabilities.

If our income is earmarked for future purchases, then is it really our income to begin with?

Financial offense becomes more meaningful when we have a strong defense.

There are enough obstacles as it is when it comes to making additional income. The one barrier I, myself, have removed is having a lifestyle where the money’s gone before I realize it was there.

I’m always working on plugging holes in my budget to optimize my lifestyle.

Since I am young, at the age of 27, I know I’ll have plenty of time for luxury down the road. Right now, I’m focused on enjoying a lifestyle I can afford while simultaneously building wealth and resources for the next chapter of my life.

Is your financial defense supporting your financial offense? What helps you in having a winning combination?

Distilled Dollar

To read more articles from Matt, check out Distilled Dollar.

how to start a blog

How To Start A Blog 101: A Step-By-Step Tutorial With Pictures

So you want to know how to start a blog? how to start a blog

Well, you’ve come to the right place, my goal is that by the end of this article you will know how to set up and begin your journey as a blogger.

I started my first blog in 2002, after high school. My goal was to have a massive blog with an active forum.

I jumped from one side of the world wide web to the other in search of information to help me get my blog off the ground.

Shortly after launch, I got bored and my poor blog eventually died.

This guide is a derived from things that I have learned work and that have helped me to progress in the blogging world!


Why Start A Blog?

There are a lot of reasons to start a blog. Some of the most popular reasons are:

  • To make money online from home. This is one of the most attractive reasons to start blogging.  I make a substantial income from blogging. Once you have a large enough audience, a blog is a great way to generate passive income, and can be a lucrative side hustle. Although a large amount of hard work is required up front, the pay off is a great incentive to get your blog up and running
  • Grow an existing business. If you have a website that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, adding a blog can definitely raise awareness of your brand. Blog post related to your business, give people other ways to find your website online through various google searches.
  • Maybe you just like to write. A blog can be your online diary and a great place to jot down your thoughts, and feelings, that could possibly help out other like-minded individuals.

Do any of these reasons interest you? Do you have different reasons?

8 Steps To Create Your Own Blog

  1. Pick a blog Topic.
  2. Choose a blogging platform
  3. Choose a host for your blog
  4. Pick a domain name
  5. Install WordPress to your platform
  6. Install necessary WordPress plugins
  7. Customize and design your blog
  8. Update your blog on a consistent basis


Step 1: Pick A Blog Topic

Before you can create a blog you have to think about what your goal is. Is this for a business or personal use. If you are hoping to make money as a blogger, it’s best to pick a topic that is narrow enough to be considered a niche, yet broad enough for you to be able to create content on a regular basis. It’s important to try to blog on topics that you genuinely have a strong passion for or you will likely end up quitting.
It helps to blog about things you know a lot about because you want your blog to be the go-to website for people in your specific niche. Try to make sure your topic is one that makes for good discussions, as this will attract viewers to your page.

Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform

There are many blogging platforms available. As I mentioned I have been blogging since 2002, and WordPress is hands down the best blogging platform, in my opinion, this is because its very user-friendly, and easy to learn. Back when I first started blogging, I had to learn HTML code which is hella confusing. If you can navigate through the internet, you can learn WordPress.

Step 3: Get Hosting

Blogs need hosting. Hosting is how users find your website on the internet.

There are a lot of different hosting companies out there, a lot of which are free, and though this may be attractive to new bloggers, it may hurt you in the long run, especially if you plan to become an authority in your niche.

Free blogs might seem like a good idea, but they have a number of flaws. The reasons why most bloggers prefer to avoid free blog sites are:

-free blogs give you a domain like isn’t it?  Self-hosted blogs have domains like

– Unpaid advertising. In order for the free blog companies to make money. They plaster ads on your website, that you receive no income from

– You aren’t allowed to advertise any affiliate links, sell products, or monetize with Google Adsense

– You can’t use plugins. Plugins are used to customize your WordPress website.

– You can’t have a custom email address like

Hosting isn’t that expensive and is a very low-cost investment in the longevity of your blog. Bad hosting can cause slow loading speeds on your page which is bad for your overall user experience.

To get hosting:

Head over to BlueHost, and click get to start a blog

  • Select a plan, I recommend the basic package until you decide if blogging is something you want to do long-term. You can always upgrade your plan later.
    how to create a blog

STEP 4: Pick a domain name

Once you pick the package that works best for you, you can either choose or select a domain name.

For our example we used but, you can choose whatever name you like, or if you have an exiting domain you can enter it now, then click next.

how to start a blog

Your domain name is what people type in to get to your website. My domain, was chosen because its easy to remember. I recommend picking a domain that is:

  • Easy to remember
  • Appealing
  • Properly spelled
  • Easy to say and spell
  • Does not include hyphens, numbers, or uncommon characters
  • Preferably has a .com extension

Once you have decided on a domain name for your blog, finish filling out your info, and follow the prompts to complete checkout.



how to start a blog

STEP 5: Install WordPress


Once your account is complete, go back to the Bluehost homepage and click log in

how to start a blog


Enter your login info from step 4, and click submit


how to start a blog

This will bring you to the home page, click the install WordPress icon(circled below)

how to create a blog


Next, you will presented with this screen. Click install WordPress to start the install


how to start a blog

Once WordPress is installed select your domain from the drop-down menu, if it’s not already selected. Make sure to leave the direct field blank unless you know what you are doing.

start a blog

Now it’s time to enter your WordPress log-in info. It is important here to pick user names and passwords that you can remember because this is how you will log in to WordPress whenever you want to edit, start a new blog post, or do anything within WordPress.

DO NOT use admin as your username and DO NOT use password as your password. If someone can guess your information they can hijack your website.

how to install wordpress

After WordPress is fully installed, you will see the  “Status: success” message . Take note of the information to access your new WordPress site. This information automaticly emailed to you as well.



Step 6: Install Necessary plug-ins

In WordPress plugins are what you use to add customization and function to your blog. You are going to want to experiment to find out what works best for you, but there are a few every website should have!

To install plugins to your page, on the right side of your wordpress dashboard select Plugins

how to create a blog


Then select add new


how to start a blog


This is where you type the plugin you are looking for


start a blog

NOTE: MOST plugins are free, but some have options for you to upgrade

The plugins I recommend for everyone are:

YOAST SEO – Yoast SEO is a plug in that make sure all your post are SEO friendly, so that they are easily ranked by google

WP-Stats – This plugin keeps track of how many visitors/visits your page is recieveing. This is kept track on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. These numbers are good to keep track of so you know when your post are doing well.

Shareaholic – Shareaholic adds share buttons to your post, so that your guest can easily click and share to Facebook, twitter, digg, reddit, pinterest, and all the other popular social media bookmarking sites.
Step 7: Install a theme to your wordpress blog

Think of WordPress themes as clothing for your website, you want to dress it up and give it your own personal touch. This is all a matter of preference. I recommend you experiment with different themes until you find one you like. Like plugins, there are thousands of wordpress themes you can download for free, but as you get more involved in your blog you may want to upgrade to a paid version or get a custom made wordpress theme.

To install a theme click on the Appearance button on the side of your wordpress dashboard

how to install wordpress theme

Then click Add New

how to install blog theme

Now you can either search for themes using the search at the right of the screen, browse through the categories, or if you have a custom theme you can upload by clicking the ‘upload theme button.

To test them out highlight it with your mouse and the install button will come up, click it and choose ‘Live Preview, if you like it click the ‘Activate button, if not hit the X and try again.

how to install blog themes

Step 8: Update your blog on a consistent basis

You can start posting blog post now, all you have to do is click the post button and click add new

how to start a blog


This is where you write your blog post once you are done, click publish and your article goes live on your website

how to create a blog


Its important to update your website on a frequent basis, you don’t need to blog everyday, but establishing some sort of routines will be helpful

Search engines are constantly looking for new information, they like to index sites with consistently updated information, so try to pick a blogging schedule and stick to it. Don’t let months pass before deciding to write your next post. If you intend to build an audience for your blog, you have to keep pumping out content.


A good thing to remember is that blogs take a long time to establish, its very rare that bloggers experience success over night, so make sure to tend to your blog, as if it were a business because it is. This doesnt apply so much to anyone interested in making a personal blog for friends but if you plan on monetizing its in your best interest to exercise consistency in your writng habits.


If you are reading this you made it all the way to the end of this article and you know how to start a blog,from picking a blogging topic to customizing your blog with a theme and writing your first post.

Now go out and create and be great.

Let me know how your blog turns out!

How many blogs do you own? What are some other tips to help new bloggers?

Let me know in the comments section below…:)

If you found this post helpful, please SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE

investing in low-income neighborhoods

7 Tips For Investing In Low-Income Neighborhoods

Investing in low-income neighborhoods, has quite a few benefits, however, it should be noted that investing in these areas require a specific set of skills and tolerance.

Some benefits of investing in low-income areas are

  • Higher ROI
  • Lower investment
  • Easier to pay off mortgages
  • Easier to expand your rental business

Although there are countless benefits to investing in low-income areas, without the right knowledge, you can end up in a bad position.

Low-income doesn’t necessarily mean that the neighborhoods are not

Here are some tips that can help you as a low-income real estate investor!

Know the difference between a low-income neighborhood and a war zone.investing in low-income neighborhhods

You would be surprised how many informed people lump both of these into the same category.

War zones are areas with heavy drug trafficking, drug addicts, and gun violence. You don’t want to have to deal with calls from tenants that need you to come replace a window that was shot out during a neighborhood feud.

Don’t get me wrong you can make money in war zone areas, as well but it can sometimes come with more headache.

Low-income areas are just that. A lot of the residents, fall into the category of low-income. Just like any class, there are both good and bad people, the areas are generally safe.

Some advice I give investors is to drive through the neighborhood at night. Ask yourself…

  • What’s the vibe like?
  • Do you feel the need to lock your doors?
  • Would you walk down the street at night?
  • Do you hear gun shots?

This is the best way to tell what kind of area you are dealing with.

Buy properties in up and coming areas

It’s common for areas to change over time, neighborhoods can incline and decline, try to buy rental properties in areas that are showing signs of growth. Newly built grocery stores, and shopping centers are good signs of growth.

When you buy into up and coming neighborhoods, the value of your homes can rise considerably.

On the other hand, try to avoid areas that appear to be on the decline. If there is a steady increase in the amount of abandoned homes and businesses,  the area might be deteriorating which will cause your property to lose value, and eventually you to lose money.

Look for the diamond in the rough.

Low-income families are the same as everyone else. They want a home that’s visually appealing, and structurally sound.

Investing in low-income real estate does not mean buying outdated shacks, and becoming a slum lord.

Try to buy houses that are either visually appealing, or are distressed but are sold at a hefty discount. I prefer to buy distressed homes at discount prices because I hate going over someone else’s work. When I buy a distressed property, I have a clean slate to work with,  which enables me to have a beautifully updated house, for under market cost.

You can often find a better deal buying a distressed property, but make sure you know how to calculate renovation cost.

Find good tenants

*HINT! This is the most important part of ensuring success when investing in low-income neighborhoods.

You need to know how to find good tenants. As I mentioned earlier there are both good and bad people in every class. Dealing with low-income housing is no different. You need to pick a tenant with a proven track record of consistency.

Good tenants pay rent on time, maintain the property, and build your income.

Bad tenants give you headaches and cost you money. You only have one chance to pick so get it right the first time.

Avoid prospective tenants that:

  • Have an unverifiable rental history
  • Have been employed less than 2 years
  • Have credit scores under 600
  • Have ANY evictions
  • Have long criminal records

In other words, SCREEN, SCREEN, and then SCREEN the heck out anyone you may want to consider as a prospective tenant to live in your rental property. For a detailed guide on how to find a good tenant click here.

Rent your house section 8

What is section 8?
Section 8 is a government funded program, that covers either a portion or the full amount of rent, and in some cases, utilities, for low-income citizens that apply for the program.

I like section 8, as it’s evolved since its early days. My payment is wired to account monthly every month without delay.

There is a lot of contradicting information as to whether section 8 is good route for your investment. I rented my townhouse to a section 8 tenant and have had 0 problems. I attribute this to knowing how to find a good tenant. But my section 8 tenant is actually the easiest tenant to deal with.

Contrary to popular belief, section 8 people can be a pleasure. The program has a no nonsense policy for drugs and general nonsense. And because the section 8 program can be difficult to get in, most people that are on the program don’t want to lose their free or heavily discounted housing, so they tend generally try to maintain it.

Maintain your properties!

Investing in low-income neighborhoods doesn’t mean be a slumlord, so the same landlord commandments apply. Keep your properties maintained, If a tenant calls with a leak or anything that requires attention, take care of it immediately.

Not only will this prevent the problem from escalating, it will keep your tenants happy. A happy tenant is one that stays, and as an investor, you always want to aim for longevity.

The longer your tenant stays, the less you have to deal with turnovers and vacancies.

Hire a property manager

If handling the day to day operations of owning a low-income rental property, don’t seem don’t seem like your cup of tea, outsource it! Find a property manager that specializes in these type of area.

This will be helpful to you if you are not comfortable in these types of areas, it helps to have someone on call to take care of any problems that should arise.

Investing in low-income neighborhoods is a good way to build up passive rental income, and a great starting point for first-time investors, because of the low cost. As always, its very important that you do your due diligence before buying a rental property in ANY area.

Do you invest in low-income neighborhoods? What are some tips that help you maintain profitability?

Do you have horror stories from investing in low-income areas?

Let me know in the comments section below

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

Why your First Investment Property Should Be A Duplex

When I accidentally started investing in rental properties, I was 26 years old. I’ve owned my own business since I was 23, and as a business owner, as you progress it’s natural to start considering Investment ideas. When you work for yourself you don’t get the luxury of a pension or retirement plan, at the end of the day you will only have what you were able to save up.

Even though I eventually stumbled onto long term real estate investing, had I know what I know today, I would have done things differently. Right after high school, if I had invested in a duplex, I could have easily been retired by now.

What is a duplex?what is a duplex

A duplex is a home comprised of two separate living quarters. In general, they have separate kitchens, bathrooms, and no common living areas with the other unit. Think of them as tiny apartment complexes with only two units. In most cases, each unit has separate utility meters so that each side only pays for what the amount of utilities they use.  This type of property is ideal for investors because you can earn twice the rent with one property.

Duplexes are great investments for young, first-time investors for a lot of reasons. Some of the pros are being that you can pay off your first property by renting out one of the units, and the other benefit is that you can potentially live rent free, to save money by owning a multi-family home. As long as you make sure that you purchase at a price in which one unit’s rent will cover the mortgage, and you know how to find a good tenant, your biggest living expense, shelter, is covered.

Duplexes are better for young investors from a living standpoint because. The units are usually smaller and can make a good home before you start a family. Once you start getting married and having kids, you will likely want to get a bigger house, with more privacy.

It’s important for young investors, to remember that even though your tenant is your neighbor, you shouldn’t build a friendship with them. If you find this difficult or awkward, i suggest at the very least, acting as if you are just a tenant as well. One of the top landlord commandments is not renting to or making friends with tenants. If tenants are your friends, in times when they may encounter financial issues, they will play the friend card” and things can get awkward quickly.

You guys know I’m an advocate of paying off houses as soon as possible. And because your mortgage will be covered, your ability to save should be drastically increAsed. I recommend setting aside what you would normally pay for rent, until you have enough to pay off the property. Once your pay off your mortgage, your other units rent goes straight to your pocket.

Sometimes, I find that duplexes can be over priced. Everyone has their own methods but for me to be even consider purchasing a duplex, it would have to be cheaper than I could find, two single family homes in the same area. For example, if I know 2 bedroom rentals average around $60k a piece, I wouldn’t want to spend over $110K for a duplex In that same area. This way it’s like getting a discount on 2 rental properties at the same time, while generating a higher ROI.

Eventually, you will want to move. The good thing about having a duplex, is that you can move out, rent your old unit out and start earning two rent payments at once. Now when you buy your next home, you have the luxury of being 2 rentals In the game.

Even though your expenses will be covered, I recommend to continue working  full time, to cover unforeseen repairs, and speed up paying off your investment.

In addition to duplexes, which are two unit structures, you can also find other multi-unit properties as well. Triplexes are 3 unit buildings, and quadplexes are buildings with 4 units. Anything over 5 units is officially considered an apartment complex, and different tax laws apply.

While most duplexes are side by side units, some will have an upstairs/downstairs layout. One thing that is important to me when finding a potential duplex, is making sure that the homes have separate meters for utilities. There have been times when I’ve come across duplexes with combined utilities, and it sounds like a hassle to try to decide which tenants used, how much energy every month. In cases where only the water is combined, the landlord usually covers the water bill. For me personally, I prefer my tenants to take care of all of their own expenses.

A single duplex is probably not going to provide the income, you need to retire just yet, however by investing young, and continuing to grow your rental portfolio, once you obtain and pay off enough rental properties, you will be generating enough passive income to live comfortably.

What was your first rental property? Was your first rental property a duplex?

Let me know in the comments section below.

pay off student loan debt

Student Loan Debt

Unless you come from a rich family, student loan debt is all too familiar to those with those looking to further their education. Todays guest post comes from Michael L. owner of the person finance blog, Super Millenial. If this article helps you, or you want to hear more from Michael, take a moment to visit his website. Without further ado….take it away Michael…

Student loan debt is a necessary evil and a reality many young people will face to continue their education. According to the Wall St. Journal “ About 7 in 10 seniors set to graduate this spring borrowed for their educations. Along with their diplomas, they’ll carry an average $37,172 of student debt as they enter the workforce.” Before we go into let’s take a look at three easy ways to approaching paying down student debt:

  1. Live Like A Student: You’ve been doing it for past 4-5 years, keep doing it as a way to keep costs down to pay more towards your student loans

  2. Set Up A Plan: Know how much you can afford, when your expected pay off date is and how you can pay it off sooner. As you reach certain dates and reach goals make sure to celebrate to stay motivated!

  3. Refinance: If you’re committed to paying down student loans early look at ways to consolidate your loans to the lowest payment possible. This will ensure you’re paying more towards the loan and less wasted on interest.

So should you pay off student loans or look to start investing in your retirement funds? A good place to start is the Federal Student Aid by comparing your student loan interest rate vs. your expected portfolio returns. Student loan debt has ranged from 3.86% (direct, subsidized loans) to 6.41% (Direct Plus loans). Historically the stock market has been ~8% but there will be bad times in the economy, drops in the stock market, and potentially another bubble or recession.

Student Loan Debt Interest >=< Expected Investment Return?

In the end it is a very personal decision as some may not be able to sleep at night knowing they have a debt looming over them. Here are the benefits of both investing by building assets & paying off student debts:

Investing (Building Assets)

Emergency Fund: Do you have enough money in savings to pay for basic expenses for three to six months? If not then start saving & automating 1o% of each paycheck towards your emergency fund until you reach your goal.

401K: Are you currently contributing to your employer’s 401K? If they match a percentage or amount, invest at least up to that amount to take advantage of free money from your employer. If you invest $3,000 and they match, you just doubled your investment instantly. This habit will ensure you automatically pay yourself first and contribute towards your future.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt: With high interest rates these will do more damage to your credit and your potential for lending than student loan debts.

Roth IRA: By opening a Roth you can increase your savings and also still have liquidity if needed as there is withdrawal flexibility if you need to use those savings in the future (unlike a 401K). Generally, early withdrawals from an IRA prior to age 59½ are subject to income taxes, plus you’ll pay a 10% tax penalty. However, you may be able to withdraw your contributions (before any earnings) tax-free and without penalty.

Taxes: Depending on your income you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 of your student loan interest costs. If you pay your loan off early you may reduce your tax savings.

Paying Down Debt

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of building assets it’s important to also evaluate the benefits of paying off student loans:

Predictability: While the market has historically been 8% returns the future may yield different results. Your student loan payment is fixed for the life of the loan and will give you consistency in your budget planning.

Credit: Paying down your loan make a big impact on your credit score as you are lowering your overall debt which can increase your credit score. The higher your credit score the more likely you’ll be able to get a lower rate on buying a car or house

Stress: Debt is a burden to many, some people can’t barely sleep at night knowing they owe money. Once your lower your debt or completely eliminate it you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind and really begin to start increasing your net worth.

Dealing with debt is like meal prepping for a full week; it’s necessary but not always the most fun (until you see the results). I’ve mentioned before it’s important to find a balance in your life and finances, same goes for investing and paying down debts. Start by eliminating credit card debt then accelerate your student loan debt while investing in your emergency fund, 401K, and Roth IRA. The most important part is identifying your debts and setting up a game plan for each paycheck.

Have you had success paying down either type of debt & investing at the same time? What strategy worked best for you?

Michael L. is the creator of Super Millennial. He teaches people how to evaluate their financial situation, simplify money management & learn how to automate your investments to reach their financial goals. Subscribe for his personal finance “Keys To Success” PDF and blog updates HERE.

airbnb investment

How I made $11,604 As An Airbnb Host In 5 Months

This is part 2 of my Airbnb investment experience, start by reading part 1 of my Airbnb experience series.


5 months ago I launched the Airbnb investment experience. It was completely last minute random decision, I made during the ending phase of renovations for house number 3. I stumbled upon the Airbnb investment model last year traveling back home to Detroit to visit family. I decided to join the sharing economy, and turn my rental property into an Airbnb vacation rental as an experiment to see if I could make more money then I would as a tradition rental. I wanted to know…

  • Do Airbnb host make money?
  • What kind of occupancy rates would I get?
  • Can you make more money as an Airbnb host, than a traditional landlord?
  • How much do Airbnb host make?
  • How hard is it to be an Airbnb host?


My Airbnb occupancy rate as an Airbnb host

The biggest deterrent about becoming an Airbnb host was a bad occupancy rate. The thought of letting a rental sit on the market not earning a dime concerned me, but thinking about investing in decor and furnishing on top of that, down right scared the crap out of me. Luckily, these fears weren’t necessary.

I want to be completely transparent with this occupancy rate, so its important to note, I also listed my property with Airbnb competitors such as Vrbo and Flipkey. This is something I recommend doing, to ensure the best occupancy rates.

Over the course of the 5 months following my initial launch, I found that on average my home was booked approximately 22 night per month. I’ve had a slow month here and there my slowest month was in August I only booked 15 night(Ouch!) but there have been months I have booked 29+ nights, so it tends to vary per month.

I would say approximately a 75% occupancy rate, I find the majority of my bookings are reserved in the current month, which initially freaked me out a litte, popular months do fill up further in advance, my home is in Clearwater, FL so, our winter season, attracts alot of snow birds, and people who just want to escape the harsh northern winters. As you can see in my airbnb calendar below, I was able to book 28 nights for December. I find people book longer stays in the winter months. As you can see I also had a significant amount of days coming from vrbo as well.

airbnb host occupancy

airbnb host occupancy

How much did I make as an Airbnb host?

I have a few answers here as an Airbnb host exclusively I grossed $7404, this was Airbnb bookings only.

airbnb pay out

From Vrbo and Flipkey I earned a combined $4200 gross. So all together in 5 months I grossed $11,604…Woohoo! Let’s break this down.

Lets talk about the expenses, obviously to have a vacation rental, you will have to have the utilities cut on and pay bills. Being the frugal guy I am I want to mention that while renovating this house I had all the lighting converted to LED, for one I like the look of LED Lights, and it saves a lot of money on electric bills. I do this to all my rental properties now, because this is a benefit to my tenants, but its even more beneficial for my vacation rentals to keep the electric bills low.

airbnb nest thermostat

Also I think its important to note that I live in Florida, so the AC is almost always on. My Electric bill has never been more than $130. Having a Nest thermostat is very helpful with this, so I can make sure the air is off when guest check out, and turned so the house is boiling when guest arrive.


The water Bill never really changes. This is a 1 bathroom home, so the water bill averages $80 a month

Cable, while its not a necessity for your Airbnb rental, I know this is a must when I travel, and everybody needs wifi, so bright house cable charges me $130 a month, this covers cable, wifi internet, and home phone service!

These numbers fluctuate a little bit depending on the amount of bookings, but only by a minor amount. That being said, my bills average around $350ish a month, so in 5 months generated approximately $1,750 in bills.

As an Airbnb host you must also consider house keeping cost. My wife and I currently do the house keeping, our Airbnb  cleaning fee is $60, which is what we pay ourselves for cleaning. Yes we pay ourselves, I do this for a few reasons, one because this is separate work, and is time-consuming(turnovers take 2-3 hours) and eventually I plan to outsource the cleaning aspect to make Airbnb hosting closer to passive income, and I want to already be in the habit of separating my cleaning fee, instead of pocketing it and calling it income. In 5 months we hosted 37 guest, which amounted to $2,220 in cleaning fees.

Now that we have the numbers lets do the math $11,604 – $1,750 in bills – $2,220 = $7634 net profit. Score!

Breaking this down even further if we divide this by the 5 months, we made an average of $1526.80 per month off this rental property. This home would normally rent for $800 per month in this area. This is almost double 🙂

How hard is it to be an Airbnb host?

I guess the answer to this question is debatable. The best answer I can give is it depends on the guest. The majority of people who book my home are absolutely the most considerate group of people I have ever met. But there’s a small percentage of guest that are less favorable than others. I’ve had guest need me to come over to show them how to work the television, or help them “get the cable working”. I’ve had guest request appliances.

airbnb after math

The aftermath of guest that came in town for a wedding

I’ve had guest leave huge messes, although that is a rare occasion. I mention these things because I think its important to keep them in mind.  Having a good deposit amount will provide a decent safety net should you guest, get drunk and accidently punch a hole in your wall.

To be honest, most guest don’t want to ruin your house they just want to have a little fun, to the right is the extent of the mess, I normally have to deal with. I usually come into empty champagne bottles, and beer bottles, its not really a big deal to clean.

Occasionally, a guest stain the carpet, but I find resolve gets out most stains pretty fast!

Here are few tips to help make Airbnb hosting a little easier.



Other things to consider as an Airbnb host.

A few other observations I have made in my time as an Airbnb host are my initial investment in furnishing the property. I spent $2,000 total on decor and furnishing. I remember cringing spending this money when I first started out. The extra $700+ I averaged per month covered this cost in under 3 months.

Most of the Airbnb  guest fit into 1 of 3 categories.

  1. Family Vacationer – These people are coming in large groups, usually with children. They are in town to do family oriented activities. They usually leave your house in good condition but the leave some minor messes
  2. Business Travelers – These are mt favorite travelers, they come to town for business related matters. They spend the majority of the day, away from the home and return tired and just want to relax. Because they spend so much time away, the house is very usually very clean when they checkout.
  3. BFF Vacationers – These are the best friends who plan trips together, sometimes they come into town for an event or just to explore the city. Either way they generally leave the biggest mess. I often come to find large amounts empty liquor bottles, and unwashed dishes.

I spent $2,000 total on decor and furnishing. I remember cringing spending this money when I first started out. The extra $700+ I averaged per month covered this cost in under 3 months.

Whats Next?

I plan to eventually expand my Airbnb business. I’m hoping to buy more properties with the purpose of renting them out on Airbnb. I also am highly considering remodeling house #1 into an Airbnb rental, but I want to see how this first house works out before I go to crazy with the expansion.

-Will the market get over saturated?

So far the Airbnb investment experience has been equally pleasant and profitable.

All in all so far I LOVE being an Airbnb host. Because I generally earn close to double the amount of income, I will be able to pay house #3 off earlier than I originally anticipated. I am considering purchasing additional properties to list with Airbnb, even though its by no means passive income, it’s proving to be extremely profitable side hustle. Are you considering becoming an Airbnb host? Click here to earn an EXTRA $50 for hosting your first guest. Do you already a seasoned Airbnb host? How do you feel about Airbnb? Let me know in the comments below?


Amazon is hiring

Amazon Seasonal Work From Home Program

In the spirit of side hustles, seasonal work, that you can do from home is rare to come by. For this reason I’m happy to share with you that Amazon is hiring on a seasonal basis.  Amazon is looking for people to help answer customer questions and assist with problem solving issues. Its a great way to stack up your cash for investments, pay off your credit card debt, or just save up for the holidays. Scheduling is very flexible.

Amazon requires that you live in on of the following states to be eligible for its work from home program:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Deleware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennesee
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Virginia

amazon work from homeBenefits of  Working Seasonally from Home

  • While your friends are shoveling snow and scraping ice from their windshield you can start work in your pajamas with
    a hot cup of cocoa
  • You set your own schedule. Work as much or as little as you like. This means you can work anywhere between 1-30 hours per week. On average most associates work about 12 hours per week.
  • Amazon will pay you $10 an hour

 What Are Amazon Qualifications?

From Amazons officials job description:

The ideal seasonal work from home Amazonian is internet savvy and gas technical aptitude when it comes to online tools and research. You will think outside the box, solve problems, answers questions, and resolve concerns presented by our Amazon customers. Our customers contact us primarily by phone and we hope you can help us deliver customer obsessed results.

Other requirements for Amazons work at home position:

  • High School Diploma or GED.
  • Basic Typing
  • Ability to navigate the internet
  • 1 year in service environment
  • Ability to take any shift sunday through Saturday from 3am to 12 midnight PST. During the holiday season its possible they may ask you to work extra hours.
  • Technology Requirements

    • 64-bit Operating System
    • 10 mbps download and 5 mbps upload speed or faster from a reliable provider(no satellite or wireless internet)
    • Must be directly connected to router/modem via Ethernet cable
    • If you are using a laptop, it must be connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse
    • Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or OSX 10.9, 10.10, 10.11
    • Operating System Auto-Update
    • Windows Defender (If using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10)

    The following programs must be uninstalled to meet the computer requirements:

    • All 3rd Party Anti-virus programs such as McAfee, Norton, AVG, Kaspersky, Avast, Comcast Constant Guard
    • Any other previous work from home software should also be uninstalled
    • Unused versions of Cisco AnyConnect Mobility Client

If you are interested in applying to Amazons work from home program click here. If you want to explore some other side hustles click here.

Have you ever worked for Amazon? Share your experiences below!

DIY Credit Repair

When I was 17, for some strange reason I was approved by a local apartment complex to rent a 1 bedroom apartment. My first shot at adulthood, I was moving in with my girlfriend. I had an unreliable job, no financial education, and was still figuring life out.  In hindsight that was a train wreck waiting to happen, but it was learning experience. After a few months I was laid off from my job, lost the apartment, and had utility bills that had no chance of getting paid. Unfortunately while we are young, is when we do the most damage to our credit, as we incur bills and student loans that can effect our credit.  As maturity sets in, and we realize how useful credit can be, and thus we embark on the journey to credit repair.

Why do we need good credit?

Credit is your financial responsibility track record, its how companies determine whether your business is a liability to them. People with better credit get better opportunities, better rates, and more financial options.  Your credit determines how much your insurance premium is, if you can rent that nice apartment that you’ve had your eye on, the car you can afford, and if you ever have plans to buy your own home, or start investing you will need to get your credit in decent shape. Your credit is even the determining factor. People with bad credit are looked at as risky and unreliable. Fortunately we can redeem ourselves, here are some DIY credit repair tips!


  1. Know Your Credit Score – Because how would you know what needs fixing without taking a look under the hood right. Fortunately, obtaining your credit score these days is easy as its ever been. Head over to sign up and get direct access to your credit info. Credit Karma is great because its FREE. After you sign up download the app, to your cell phone. You CARE about your credit now, lets keep it close
  2. Fix Errors – Now that we have access to our report, checking the collections for errors is important. Sometimes creditors make mistakes at your expense, and its up to you to find out. These need to be disputed right away. You can dispute errors directly though credit karma.
  3. Dispute Everything – Disputing derogatory credit remarks on your report is easy and doesn’t cost any money so, it makes since to try them all and see what sticks. When you dispute derrogatory credit marks, the creditor has to prove that you owe them money within 30 days. When your late payment goes in to collections, if you haven’t paid in a while, the original creditor sells your debt to a debt collection company. This company tries then tries to collect the debt from you, if you don’t pay them, eventually they liquidate your account to another debt collector, and the process repeats. Alot of times after a few debt transfers, it makes it difficult for the new creditors to get the necessary info to respond to your dispute. The result is one less negative mark on your credit report.
  4. Don’t Pay Old Debts – Debt falls of your credit report after 7 years, anything over 5 year or older you may just want to wait out. There’s no sense in spending money that could be applied to more recent debt. Anything less than 5 years, you should consider paying off. Depending on the amount owed, set aside a reasonable amount to pay off your debts on a consistent basis. Here is a debt repayment calculator!
  5. Pay Bills On Time – Your not the same irresponsible 19 year old with your first visa any more, time to pay your bills when or before the due date. Part of your credit report is how well you are able to pay your debts on time. Each month credit bureaus document weather you paid on time or not. By making sure that you stay on top of this you will notice a rise in your credit. If you have a problem with time management, set alerts on your phone.
  6. Get A Secured Credit Card – Secured credit cards are like regular credit cards with a major exception. You will need to put a deposit down, usually a minimum of $200, which represents your credit limit. Technically is more like a debit card, but should be treated as a regular credit card. This card SHOULD NOT be used for anything other than a credit boosting tool, not because you need an outfit to wear to the club. I recommend paying for something low like a cell phone bill, or something that you need to pay for consistently  with your secured card. Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit, and pay this balance of every month, and your score will definitely rise.
  7. Never Exceed 30% Credit Utilization – This is one of the high ranking credit factors, and a very important part of DIY credit repair. Creditors don’t like when you max out your credit cars. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 30%. This is the perfect range to be in. It shows creditors, that you are responsible, and that you are conscious of your spending.
  8. Maintain Credit Activity – Another high ranking factor in credit repair, is the length of your credit history. You want to keep cards open as long as possible. A halt in utilization for extended periods of time can get your card closed. Always charge at least one thing to each card every month, and pay off the balances when possible.
  9. Negotiate – When you get ready to start paying off recent debt, reach out to the debt collection companies and negotiate a deal. The older your debt gets, the more flexibility you have. Let creditors know that you want to pay off your debt and offer them 30% of the debt. Sometimes they will say yes, if not almost all the time they will give you a counter offer. Try to get the lowest amount possible. When your offer is accepted, make sure to confirm that they will be removing the marks from your credit report as this is not automatic. Get all of this in writing, and store it in a safe place.
  10. Avoid Excessive Credit Checks – STOP LETTING PEOPLE RUN YOUR CREDIT!!!! Salesmen, will often downplay the effects of inquiries but the truth is they don’t care. You need to be firm with people who wish to run your credit. Excessive inquires look bad on your credit report and reduce your score. Only allow credit checks with absolutely necessary.

Things Credit Repair Will Help You Achieve

  • Able to qualify for a mortgage. Unless you are exceptionally financially well off, you are going to want to finance your home. People with good credit have no problems getting qualified for mortgages.
  • Able to finance rental properties. Thinking about investing to earn yourself some passive income?. Good credit will help you to get loans on these properties.
  • Get approved for credit cards. No surprise that credit card companies are going to do a credit check before they trust you with any credit.
  • Lease an apartment. As a landlord I can tell your credit is a major clue about your financial habits. Most landlords like to see that you can be trusted to pay your debts on time.
  • Able to finance a car. You gotta get around right? An obviously something reliable. If you want to rent a car and your credit is bad, the salesmen will politely ask you to come back when your a little more fiscally responsible.
  • Get you lower interest rates. Ever seen one of those car commercials, where they give a low monthly price and then at the bottom of the screen you see the fine print? That fine print says that those super low prices you just saw only apply to those with preferred credit. Lower interest rates means you save more money then those with bad credit.
  • Give you higher limits. When applying for credit cards, your limits are determined by your credit score. Higher credit results in higher limits. When credit card companies issue credit cars, they know if your responsible with money when they see your credit score.

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