Here’s the first of our updates on our personal assets, income and savings. Our big news for July? We bought a new home with cash!
So here we are in July 2021…we’ve pulled it off!
When we decided to sell up in Brisbane move to Tasmania in mid 2020 we had one thing on our mind. Financial freedom. We cooked up a plan during the lockdowns of 2020 to pimp our home with some clever DIY renovations and sell up. Our aim was to take our profit and our savings and buy a house for cash.
It’s a strategy called geo-arbitrage and you can use it to bring forward your financial freedom date, just like we have.
We worked out that Tasmania was a viable option for us to pull off some crafty geo-arbitrage. Tassie also provided the sustainable living, self-reliant lifestyle we were after. We wanted no neighbours, a spectacular view and some room to grow food. Most of all, we wanted to lower our living costs.
After three months of careful searching, we’ve pulled it off!
How geographic arbitrage smashed our housing costs
In many cases homes are not assets (an asset puts money in your pocket at the end of the month). This is generally dependent on the type and cost of housing. When we moved to Tasmania we wanted to buy a home that we could count as an asset. Let me explain how we’ve found exactly that.
Our cost of housing in Tasmania will be around $3500 per year.
Here’s the breakdown.
Typical housing costs
Our new home
$0 – owned outright
$0 – two tanks and pumped creek water
$0 – Septic
$0 – pumped grey water system
$1900 – grid but soon to have solar PV
Heat / cooling
$800 – daytime from solar + wood heater
The way we’ve wrangled it, as long as our home appreciates in value by >$3500 per year, we can count it as an asset. We figure that’s likely given the strapping pace of inflation, at least in the near term. We also calculated our Brisbane housing costs by way of comparison. Here’s what that looks like:
Heat / cooling
What this means for us is that we have to make $23,000 less in income each year to live in Tassie. And that’s just housing costs. It’s not living costs.
Geo-arbitrage is an underrated weapon in the arsenal of any financial freedom seeker because you can use it to cut one of your biggest living costs – housing.
Our net worth
As at July 2021, our net worth is north of $1.5M. Just goes to show you don’t need millions to be financially free! You just need to kick ass crafty about it. 🙂
Our good debt position
Our net worth is calculated after debt is deducted.
We hold (indirectly) good debt on our investment properties. I say indirectly because we have company and trust structures in place. So the debt is not on our personal balance sheet. These mortgages are paid by other people, through the property investment and management company we run. These investment properties are assets not liabilities because they put money in our pocket each week as you’ll see when we get to “Income’ down below.
Our bad debt
We have zero bad debt at the end of each month (bad debt takes money out of your pocket). That’s right. Zero. The only bad debt we carry is credit card debt, which is cleared in an auto sweep of the card. Every. Single. Month.
We do use our credit card to give us free stuff. We direct all of our expenses through the credit card to earn cash rewards, which we use to buy groceries. So far this year we’ve earned roughly 77,000 points or $350 worth of free food.
Credit cards can make you money if you use them the right way.
Our July income
About half our income this month was rental income. We worked 4 to 5 hours a week for this income. We’re still keen to save and invest so we had earned income in July as well. Our capital gains is mostly from shares we own. We also had a small bit of income from cryptocurrency. Our profit income covers things we like to do on the side – retail arbitrage (reselling), cash rewards, and other online income. We’re working on diversifying our income streams further in the medium term.
Our July savings rate
Our next asset investment?
A solar PV system.
We’re still a bit too heavy in cash so we are looking for new investments. (Cash is trash). We’ll likely buy a solar power system, which we expect will produce an ROI of 23% year-on-year, with a payback of 4.25 years. Not a bad outcome.
We’re also busy building digital assets that will pay us an income in the future. More about that later….
Congratulations on the most important decision you’ll make today. Maybe even this week. Hell, this year! If you are new to personal finance, your future (hopefully 30 year old) self will thank you for it. Because you are about to learn how to be financially free by 30.
So turn the music down and your phone onto silent. It’s time to become a money badass.
How long does it take to be financially free?
If you really knuckle down to it – a realistic expectation is 7 to 10 years. It took us 8 years but we started in our 30s.
In reality, how long it takes you to be financially free depends on where you are at today. If you’re thinking you’re going to be financially free in 2 years, it’s pretty unlikely. But 7 years is doable depending on how aggressive you are about it. And hopefully you’ll read our blogs and learn a few short cuts along the way.
The three key ingredients to cooking up your financial freedom fast are:
Here are 12 steps to be financially free by 30 that will totally transform your life if you want them to:
Value your financial freedom above everything
Spend more time learning than earning
Set financial goals
Kick bad debt to the curb
Nail a monthly budget
Start a side hustle
Save your butt off
Make friends with your credit score
Get a lawyer (to structure your future investments)
Get leverage and buy or build assets
Pimp your assets (manufacture value)
Reinvest your equity and income
Once you’ve done these steps, rinse and repeat…The ‘rinse and repeat’ should go on until your assets produce enough income to cover your expenses. Once you reach this point – boom! You’ve made it.
Oh, and order matters peeps! Some steps must come before others. If you mix the order, there’s a risk you mightn’t have the financial wherewithal to be successful. Now let’s take a quick look at what you need to do for each of these steps.
1. Value your financial freedom above everything else
This first step is about mindset. No its not all rah, rah unicorns and fairies. It’s just a simple fact. If financial freedom isn’t your most important value, then you’re unlikely to get there. You certainly won’t make it by 30.
The reason? Because it takes trade-offs, sound decisions, dedication and commitment. If you want to be free by 30, you won’t be able to do what other twenty-somethings are doing. But it can also be really fun and its totally freakin worth it.
I can’t help you with this step. All I can say is that Step 1 is going to be tested at every other step along this journey. Not everything is going to go the way you planned. Your values are what will keep you full steam ahead when this happens.
“Be unapologetic about your financial freedom. Be a Mogul. Build wealth. Keep it. Learn to live off it. “
Flip the bird at anything or anyone that tries to distract you. You’re gonna need that single-minded focus to get where you’re going….
2. Spend more time learning than earning
You need to kick things off by learning about finance. This is particularly true if you’re in an employee in a wage earning job. There are a few things you’re going to need to change about how you earn money if you want to be financially free. There’s a whole game of money you need to know how to play, with a tonne of tricks to it. But we’ll get to that.
Dedicate a minimum one hour a day to reading about personal finance. I used to do it on the commute to work each morning. Hell, you can even put on an audio book if you drive to work. You can learn and earn at the same time, just get started today with your learning and keep on with it.
What you need to know about personal finances to become financially free
Here’s a little bonus for you. Personal finance is a huge space and we don’t want you to get bogged down at the start. So just focus on this helpful list of what you need to know about, with links to the best resources to get you started:
The rules of money – what are assets, liabilities and cashflow, and how can you use them to become financially free
Tax effective investment and income vehicles – how to earn income so you can keep it (pay less tax!), how to benefit from corporate tax deductions, and how to use family and discretionary trusts
There’s no, one compelling resource that will give you all the answers here. We’d suggest starting with the Rich Dad education to learn about how to earn income tax-efficiently. Then google ‘tax’ for the particular type of assets you’re looking at – whether it be property, stocks, digital assets.
Personal finance products and how to use them to your advantage – credit cards, offset accounts, ETFs, managed funds, loan products, loan to value ratio
Side hustles and secondary income streams (for when you get to Step 4).
Here’s a link to our growing list of secondary income and passive income ideas. Remember to check back as we keep adding to this list.
3. Set 1, 2 and 5-year financial goals. Reverse engineer your 1 year goal.
Some people hate this step and some love it. We say just do it. Write down what you want (financially), why you want it (usually not financial) and by when. Set a 1-year goal, a 2-year goal and a 5-year goal.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Financial freedom goals
Be specific and write down your financial goals as though you have achieved them. Here are some examples to get you started:
It’s September 2021 and I have eliminated my credit card debt.
It’s July 2022 and I have a side hustle doing X that earns me an extra $X per month.
It’s December 2021 and I’m saving X% of my income each month
It’s July 2023 and I make $X in annual income
It’s July 2022 and I own X investment properties
It’s December 2021 and I currently invest $x per month of my savings into X
Now here’s the bit where the rubber hits the road. Backwards engineer each of your 1-year goals, month by month. Write down and map out what you will need to do each month for the next 12 months to hit that goal. Excel is a great way to do this.
Check back on your goals from time to time and track your 1-year goal closely. Do everything you’ve written down.
If you’re not willing to take this step, then do not pass go and do not collect $200. Just kidding. But maybe financial freedom isn’t your most important value.
This is also where Step 2 comes in handy. If you haven’t swatted up on assets, liabilities and cashflow, you’ll probably have no idea what steps you’ll need to take to hit your 1-year goal.
4. Kick bad debt to the curb
Bad debt is a trap that keeps you poor. Simple as that. Don’t buy anything with borrowed money unless it puts cash in your pocket at the end of the month. Want a car? Save until you can pay for it in full. Same goes for a holiday.
“Delayed gratification my friend, is the secret sauce to your financial freedom.”
Pay down your most expensive debt first. This usually starts with a credit card. Pay down your credit card to zero. Arrange in your bank app to set up an auto sweep of your credit card each month so that you pay zero bank interest. Never use your credit card to withdraw cash.
Pay off your car loan or any personal loans you may have taken out.
Cup up your store cards unless you use them to buy things you need (like groceries) and they pay you cash rewards for doing so.
Any time you feel the urge to buy something, calculate what it’s worth in terms of hours of your life. Divide the cost by your hourly wage. Ask yourself “Is this new TV worth the 28 extra hours I’m going to have work to pay it off?” It sounds dramatic, but it works for me. 90% of the time, my answer is no! (and that’s how I know financial freedom is my most important value).
5. Nail a monthly budget
We recommend a monthly budget because it allows you some flexibility to move the timing of expenses around. It’s easier to manage your money and still come in on budget at the end of the month. But if you’re bad with budgeting, we’d suggest 2 weeks. If you want to nail your budget it’s easier when you practice these habits:
Pay yourself first – set aside your savings as soon as you are paid
Put your savings somewhere you can’t get them
Have some reward money set aside for when you make budget for 3 or 6 consecutive months – budget this in.
6. Start a side hustle
We say start a side hustle but what we mean is increase your income. We did this with a side hustle because you can structure it in a way that means you keep more of the money you make.
You can also increase your income by negotiating a raise at work or getting a higher paying job, but you’ll also lose more your ‘hard earned’ to tax. Why? Because wage earners pay the most tax. Pfffst!
We started some side hustles, set up in a corporation. You might want to skip to Step 9 before you get started on this step. Get some professional advice from someone qualified in tax effective income and investment structures. This advice can help you keep 15% more of the money you make (in Australia). And you get a shed load of tax deductions. So even if you have to pay for this advice, it should pay you back in spades.
By far the best side hustle this side of 2020 is Airbnb. And as you haven’t hit step 10 yet, you may be interested in this post onHow to earn money on Airbnb without owning property. Yep, without owning any property yourself. You can set it up and be earning thousands in extra income all within 6 months. We know this because we did it.
There’s lots of different theories about how much of your income you need to save to be financially free. There’s a direct correlation between how much you save and how quickly you get to financial freedom. You’re not saving to have cash in the bank though, you’re saving to invest.
Your savings rate is the key defining factor that makes you different from folks that follow the conventional route to retirement. If you’re saving 10% to 15% like they are, expect to work for 45 years like they will.
“From our experience, you need to be saving 50% of your income and then some.”
But if you’re at 47% don’t sweat it! There’s two ways to save more:
cut back non-essential expenses
make more money
This is why you’re starting a side hustle before you knuckle down on your savings. Starting your side hustle first is designed to boost your savings rate (because that’s exactly what you should be doing with the side hustle income). It will generate momentum, and keep you on your financial freedom path.
8. Make friends with your credit score
You’re going to need this when you get to Step 10, so start now.
What is a credit score, why is it important, and how do you get a good one?
A credit score is a rating that lenders like banks use when they decide whether to lend you money or not. It’s based on how much you borrow, whether you pay what you owe on time, and how many credit applications you’ve made.
A credit score is important so that you can leverage ‘good debt’ to invest later on. Good debt is used to buy assets that put money in your pocket each month.
Your credit score is something that you need to build up over time. It’s a history of your behaviour with money. If you’re in your early 20s, you’ll be at the start of this process. If you want to be financially free by 30, you’ll need to go about consciously building your credit score as early as possible.
You can get your self a good credit score by:
Getting yourself a credit card and showing that you can pay it off in full each month
Paying your bills (mobile, rent, etc) on time each month
NOT making excessive credit applications – just the one credit card with a small limit is enough.
9. Get a lawyer (to structure your future income and investments)
Not all income is equal. There is highly taxed income and then there are rich people that pay very little tax because they paid for good advice instead. Those rich people don’t earn highly taxed income. They structure their investments and income in ways that allow them to pay as little tax as possible. They also use the same structures to claim tax deductions that are not available to average income earners.
All of this means that if you want to keep the money you earn, you need to get good advice on how to set up your investments and income. This should ideally happen before you own assets or income producing vehicles, as its tough to change ownership once you’ve started and often there’s a cost (a tax of course!) to do so.
We’ve probably spent around $10,000 on tax effective structures and advice over the last 10 years. But that investment has paid us back around 18 x. Not a bad return…
10. Get leverage and buy or build assets
When we say leverage, we mean either capital or programming code. No, you don’t have to be a programmer. If you are lost at this point take a look at this page where we explain thesetwo different types of leverageyou can use to buy or build assets.
Financial independence (the traditional way) uses capital (or other people’s money) to build wealth.
‘New financial independence’ uses the internet (or code) to build wealth.
What you’re trying to do is buy and build assets. An asset can be digital – like a website or cryptocurrency. It can also be tangible – like property or a business. If you remember the Rich Dad education resources from the beginning, then you’ll know this one vital thing:
An asset is something that puts money in your pocket.
Don’t buy assets that cost you money each month. That won’t get you financially free by 30.
Everything you’ve done so far has led you to be successful at Step 10.
Step 1 is your mindset that has gotten you to this point…
The knowledge you’ve gained at Step 2 means you know what sort of assets to buy, why ‘good debt’ is a critical financial freedom tool, and how to manage both.
If you’ve completed Steps 5, 6 and 7 you should have a nice nest egg to invest.
Steps 4and 8 have helped you build up a great credit score, which means the banks will lend you capital.
Because of Step 9, you’ll know what ownership vehicle to use for the asset, regardless of whether you build or buy it.
11. Pimp your assets – manufacture value
Step 11 is just about squeezing the most out of your assets – both in terms of income and capital growth.
You can’t do it with all assets, but you can do it very effectively with the following types of assets, which makes them great leverage options.
Real estate – by buying well and renovating cleverly
Companies – by building the business and earnings
Digital assets like websites – by improving them and their monetisation.
You can also maximise your assets using a range of new online services, technologies and platforms that are collectively referred to as ‘the share economy’.
We’re big on using the share economy to generate more income from our assets.
You should be too, if you have a goal to be financially free by 30.
12. Reinvest your equity and income
This final step is about compounding your income and capital growth.
Your aim is to grow your assets to a sufficient level that they produce enough income to cover your expenses.
Some examples here might be:
Refinancing a property investment and drawing out any equity. Then using that equity as a deposit on your next investment.
Diverting business earnings into business growth
Automatically reinvesting dividends into more dividend producing stocks.
You want to look to do this once every 12 months.
By the time you get to Step 12 you need to have the lived experience of every single previous step. Especially if you’re leveraging further good debt. You need to know exactly how to manage cashflow and risk. You need to have a buffer built up in savings. Your lender will look for these things in order to lend to you. By Step 12 you’re officially a money badass so you need to have the skills of a badass to make it.
The final word – how pass ‘go’
Remember Monopoly? Well, just like in Monopoly you can roll the dice on your financial freedom and pass go in plenty of different ways. How you become financially free by 30 is ultimately up to you.
But unlike other blogs with their vague ramblings about how to be financially free, this ‘step by step’ guide is tried and tested. We know it works because we’ve done it.
We muddled through in 8 years. Now, with this guide at your fingertips and our kick-ass blog, you don’t have to.
So what are you waiting for?
Til next post, have fun, be happy, do good.
If you dig the vibe here, please share our post and help us get the word out!
You might think all of the stories going around about people making money on Airbnb with no property are just a bunch of marketing BS. But we can say hand on heart that you can make money on Airbnb with no property. And you can do it without any prior experience, if you know what you’re looking for and what steps to take.
We know this, because we have made good money on Airbnb with three rental properties – none of which we owned personally.
In this post we’ll show you the first Airbnb property that we rented and then listed on Airbnb. We’ll explain what sort of property we looked for and how we turned that property into a great side hustle income, with zero previous experience. The only caveat is, you need to know what to look for and how to set it all up if you want to succeed. But don’t worry, if this kind of Airbnb side hustle is for you then we’ve got you covered.
We’ll also dive into the costs, gross income and net profit so that you can get a feel for how the numbers really work.
We’ll assume in this post that you know how the basic business model works that enables you to list other peoples property on Airbnb and make money, If you don’t know but want to, check out this post here before reading on.
What kind of property will make money on Airbnb?
Our zero property Airbnb side hustle started in the capital city of Brisbane, Australia.
After we decided we wanted to make money on Airbnb with this strategy, we started by working out what kind of property we were looking for and where in Brisbane.
To understand this, we had to learn about what factors make a successful Airbnb listing and then research those factors.
If you want to learn more about the exact formula for identifying great potential Airbnb properties we highly recommend this course that steps out everything you need to know in a formulaic approach that you can replicate across multiple locations and property types.
Where to research and what to look for
The first thing you need to do is get an idea of where Airbnbs are already running successfully in your area.
The free way to do this research is on Airbnb itself but it will be time consuming and a bit complex. Here is how we’d go about kicking things off:
Location search – Do a map search of different locations in your areas to see where existing properties are concentrated.
Property search – Then drill down into those locations to find out what type of properties are listed there – is it apartments or houses? How many bedrooms, bathrooms? Take notes about the condition of the properties and amenities.
Calendar search – then for each of the properties in that location open the listing on Airbnb as though you were going to book it. Use the web browser as it has better functionality. Look at the how full the listing calendar is for that month and the three months after. You need to see good upcoming bookings in the calendar.
This is really something you’d want to spreadsheet out. If you do this research you’ll start to understand what suburbs are good and what types of properties are getting good bookings in those locations.
The much easier way to go about this due diligence step is to just use the premier Airbnb data source and service – AirDNA. They’ve done all the data analysing for you and just give you the results.
For a small monthly subscription (ours was about $40 I think), which you can cancel at any time, AirDNAwill give you access to critical listing performance data you need to make money on Airbnb without owning property:
occupancy rates per location
booked nights per month
Property types per location
actual earnings of potential competitor properties in that location
This data is presented in nice tables with maps and graphics – all easily digestible. And will make it easy and quick to work out where to look for property and what type of property you need to find.
The rental property we found
We decided on Brisbane City as the best location for our first Airbnb rental arbitrage property. We also worked out from the AirDNA data that there were very few 3 bedroom properties listed, so we targeted that under supplied part of the market.
In our CBD location, all of the properties were apartments rather than houses. Because we were looking for a large 3 bed apartment, we also wanted it to be at least partly furnished. This would reduce our set up costs to list it on Airbnb. The rental needed to include good quality beds, a sofa, dining table and chairs, a TV and TV unit at a minimum. We also knew, from the training we had done, that a large property needed two bathrooms to appeal to different combinations of guests. Our ‘wish list’:
a wow factor, to beat the competition for bookings
So with this wish list we started to search online and attend rental inspections to identify suitable property.
Now lets take a look at the property we found, and ended up renting with the owners permission to list on Airbnb:
The apartment was a 2 bed 1 study apartment with two bathrooms. The study was key to our strategy because it allowed us to list the property on Airbnb as a three bedroom apartment, which meant a higher nightly price and more revenue.
All of the furniture you see in the photos came with the rental and was owned by the landlord, with the exception of the single bed we set up in the study. The kitchen items, decor and linen was supplied by us.
This apartment was located on the 72 floor of Brisbane’s highest residential building with towering views of the city skyline and sweeping panorama out to the ocean. This, and the fact that the building was new, made up our wow factor – the reason guests would chose our listing over the competition.
How much can you pay in rent and still make money?
We knew from our research on AirDNA the gross revenue that we could expect from renting similar a 3 bed 2 bath property in Brisbane City. AirDNA shows you the average occupancy level (nights per month) and nightly booked price for a particular area and a particular type of property. You can validate this by viewing the real earnings of your competitors, also using AirDNA.
We then estimated, from the training material we had, what our costs might average out at per month to run the Airbnb listing, in addition to rent. These costs covered things like power, water, internet, laundry, snacks, insurance and any small maintenance issues that we might need to fix.
From these figures, we were able to calculate the most we could afford to pay in rent and still make a good profit each month. That maximum rent was $1000 per week, which was right on market for a furnished 3 bed, 2 bath new build property in Brisbane City. This is another critical reason to use AirDNA and to get access to all of the templates available through the BNB formula course if you’re serious about turning this Airbnb strategy into a full time income or business.
Our Airbnb costs, gross income and net profit revealed
This is the first time we’ve revealed the numbers from the inside on one of our Airbnb listings where we didn’t own the property. We’re sharing it because we hope it benefits you if you’re thinking about making money on Airbnb without any property of your own and trying to understand the cash flow proposition and business risk.
Laundry & cleans
Airbnb Gross Revenue (after fees)
Other revenue (after fees)
Total Gross Revenue
Expenses in Australian Dollars
So what does these figures mean?
Here’s three valuable take home points from the actual monthly figures we’ve shared today that will help you to succeed:
1.You need to be confident your revenue from bookings will more than cover your monthly costs.
In our case, these monthly expenses of $5927 were fairly typical. No expenses for maintenance were incurred that month but you’d want to factor a maintenance cost in. You also need to factor in expenses to run this type of Airbnb business. These include insurance, your own internet costs and computer costs, and any other administrative expenses you might have.
The way you develop this confidence? Look at the data you can get on AirDNA and do your sums. Our advice is don’t sign a rental agreement on any property to list it on Airbnb before you do your homework.
2. There are peak and off peak seasons with most areas. You need to stay right on top of monthly pricing to make a profit like this.
Know when your season peak price nights are and charge accordingly. This month was so profitable because we knew a peak event occurred in the city during the month. The nightly booked price for apartments with a spectacular view of the city skyline on one particular night was $2000. Imagine if you missed that and just charged the normal rate?
You can find nightly advertised prices and forecast future nightly prices (based on booking demand) in AirDNA.
There are also pricing services that you can use to make sure you take advantage of changes in demand for accommodation in your market. One such service is PriceLabs.
3. Occupancy rates matter to your success. Which means the quality of property you pick to list on Airbnb is critical.
You can find average occupancy rate data in AirDNA. You need to hone in on the rates that apply to your particular type of property. One bedroom places will book differently to 3 bedroom places. The quality of property your rent and wow factor will influence your booking rate.
But once you know the average occupancy rate for your area and have found a quality property with wow factor, just focus on the top earning properties in that area and either copy what they do (in terms of styling, listing, added value), or do it better. If you follow this advice, you will almost certainly beat the average occupancy rate you find on AirDNA. We routinely beat the average occupancy rate by 10% to 20% with this property, and some months were 96% booked.
The final word – in God we trust, all others bring data
Making money from Airbnb without owning property is a fantastic side hustle. It’s entirely doable with no experience. It’s fun and it doesn’t take long to start making a good secondary income stream. With a couple of properties like this you could literally quit your job and make a different life for yourself and a better lifestyle.
But you can’t just jump in and expect immediate success without knowing what you’re doing and without looking at the data. There is a bit to it, some stuff to learn. It’s all entirely do-able though. We can vouch for that.
The two tools we used and that were critical to our success we have shared with you today -:
If I said you could make an extra $9360 a year passive income from property with just $60,000 invested, would that get you to read this post?
It should, because you can.
And I know you can because we did. As first time property investors. We also doubled our initial investment while doing it.
In this post we’ll share how we created an a cool passive income stream and 15% annual return from our first investment property using just $60,000 of our own money. We’ll also share how we doubled that initial investment in just 12 months and reveal just how much our $60,000 initial investment will make us all up.
The wealth building potential of dual income property
For now, we’re going to assume that you’ve had a read through the series and already know why dual income property can be a great property investment strategy for financial freedom. We’re also going to assume you know what sort of dual income property we recommend investing in. As a quick recap, here is a photo of our dual income property taken from when we bought it in 2012. The property is a triplex, which means it is made up of three apartments on the one title.
Why not all property investments are equal
Step 1 – buy the right dual income property
This is where it all starts with manufacturing capital gains making passive income with property – you need start out buying the right property. So what are you looking for exactly?
A lot of property investors don’t realise this and so are actually buying liabilities when they invest in property. Liabilities take money out of your pocket. This is also where a lot of people fail at property investing – they buy, then find out they don’t have the cashflow to hold the property and have to sell. Sometimes for a loss.
So we knew we were looking for a property that could produce enough income to cover its holding costs and put a little money in our pocket. If you’re read part 1 in our dual income property series, you’ll know to end up with money in your pocket each month you need a rental yield of around 10%.
That knowledge led us to to start looking at dual income property because of the multiple rental income streams.
How to make passive income from property using a dual income property strategy
As we were looking at dual income property we found that most were advertised with a gross rental yield of around 6%, which was not enough to put money in our pocket after holding costs. So we had to improvise. We needed to find a way to increase the rent of any property we invested in, for as little outlay as possible. Here’s what we started looking for:
A dual income property with apartments or units that are rented at below market rates. This means becoming familiar with the rent prices for similar types of properties in the local area.
Apartments that were tenanted with upcoming lease end dates if possible. We’ll reveal the reason for this later.
A structurally sound building with cosmetic renovation potential.
Our triplex investment
Our triplex has two x 2 bedrooms apartments and one x 1 bedroom apartment. At the time we purchased it, two of the units were rented with one approaching its lease end date in 3 months. The third had just come out of a rental lease and was vacant. The rents were:
Unit 2 – 2 bedroom 1 bath 1 car – $190/week
Unit 3 – 1 bedroom 1 bath 1 car – $160/w
Unit 1 – 2 bedroom 1 bath 1 car – vacant but was rented for $190/w
Total rent – $540 per week.
So we went onto the local property rental app and researched exactly what similar properties (but more up to date) were renting for.
We found that similar 2 bed 1 bath 1 car walk up apartments were renting for $240 per week.
1 bed 1 bath 1 car apartments ranged from $180 – $210 per week.
Based on this, we knew that if all of the apartments were modernised we could achieve a weekly rent of at least $690 per week. $150 per week better than what the current owner was getting. We also knew that vacancy rates in the area were tight, hovering at around 1%. Given anything below 3% means that rental demand is higher than supply, we were confident of being able to raise rents further in the near future.
So, Box 1 and 2 ticked and high fives all round…
The triplex we ended up buying was also structurally sound with PLENTY of renovation potential. The brick footings, walls and timber framing was all as solid as a rock but each of the units were like time capsules back to the 1970s.
Box 3 – ticked also..
Here are some photos and yes, this is really what the units looked like in 2012!
Step 2 – use other peoples money
We had a promising property on our hands so the next step was to make sure that we invested in the asset in a way that would allow us to pull off our passive income and capital gains plans.
The property was listed for sale at $438,000. We had roughly $140,000 in the bank and knew we needed some of that money to renovate. We also wanted some of our savings to stretch to a deposit on a home to live in.
We needed to make our cash go as far as we could. So we offered $400,000 and applied for a bank loan on that basis, with a 90% loan to value ratio (LVR). This meant we were required to put in $40,000 plus the buying costs of around $14,000 (thanks to stamp duty – or property taxes for non-Aussies).
Our offer was accepted so we invested $54,000 of our own money into the initial purchase. This left us with cash of around $40,000 to renovate and a $45,000 deposit on a home.
Step 4 – vacate and renovate one apartment at a time
The lease arrangements on a dual income property are critical when you’re buying. Existing leases provide proof of rental income for the bank, which is good for your loan application. But the timing of leases is especially important if you know you’re going to renovate the apartments. This is because renovations take time and you still need to cashflow the property (make your loan payments) while you do those renovations.
The rental agreements in place across our triplex were ideal as we could renovate Unit 1 immediately and still have the rent from Units 2 and 3 ($350 per week) to help pay the $360,000 mortgage we had just taken on. The lease on Unit 2 was due to expire within 6 weeks of us owning the property, which meant we could renovate the two 2 bedroom units back to back.
Multiple rental income streams provide one of the biggest benefits of investing in dual income property – income diversity. This helps you manage investment asset risk overtime.
The rent we were getting was not enough to cover all of the property’s holding costs, so make sure you budget some holding costs out of your own pocket over the period of the renovation. You should also factor in a reasonable time to advertise and rent out the newly renovated apartment. We allowed 10 weeks for in total for two back to back unit renovations and listing of both. This was a short and ambitious timeframe, but the builder was fine working with us to this schedule.
Our Triplex renovation
We started the renovation of Unit 1 immediately after the property settled. We had negotiated access to the empty unit during the purchase period to get builders quotes and signed a contract with the builder who was available and reasonably priced.
The most critical part of the renovation piece? Not to over capitalise.
We could have gone nuts with the renovations on these apartments given they were straight out of the 80s. But we didn’t. The target market research that we did was critical here. Our target tenant was a new renter or young couple, looking for affordable but modern accommodation. We’d also looked at what similar rental properties were offering to achieve the target rent we wanted for each unit.
What we didn’t spend our money on was just as important as what we did.
We didn’t install aircons, dishwashers, new built in wardrobes, high end fittings or a high end kitchen. We went for a functional but affordable kitchen and a paint and repair on existing wardrobes. We spent most of our renovation budget on a solid, long lasting bathroom and on bringing up a ‘hero piece’ in each of the units that would get renters to rent the place. In this case, it was the polished timber floors that we found under the disgusting 40 year old carpet…
Here are some before and after shots for your viewing pleasure 🙂
Bathroom before and after
The one bedroom unit before and after…
One of the 2 bedroom units before and after
The renovations cost $20,000 per unit with around half of that being spent on gutting and installing new bathrooms. We also moved some walls in the 1 bed unit to improve the design by providing a more open living dining space and access to the bathroom from the living instead of through the bedroom.
Step 5 – re-list each apartment with new photos and higher rent
The renovations of units 1 and 2 were completed within 8 weeks. We then had the real estate agent take new photos and re-list the properties. They took around 3 weeks to rent. As we expected, the market had moved a little since we put the triplex under contract. We rented both units out for $245/week. We were able to increase the rent further to $255 per week within 12 months.
The one bedroom unit was not renovated until the lease ended – which was around 10 month later. We achieved a rent of $220 per week for that unit.
Our $9360 a year passive income stream
By renovating each apartment our total rental income went from $540/w to $720 per week. So within 3 months we had created a $180 per week passive income stream from the renovation. Annualised, we made an extra $9360 passive income from property with this strategy. Thats an annual Return on Investment of 15.6%.
If you consider the upgrades we did have use life of 15 years for the kitchen and probably 20 for the bathroom that’s a payoff of $140,000 on a $60,000 investment over that period.
And that’s only half the story.
How we doubled our initial investment
The other equally important aim for this, our first asset investment, was to be able to leverage it into other assets. That’s why we chose a dual income property. It helps with future loan servicing requirements of banks because of the cashflow. Value creation strategies like renovating can also increase the value of the property allowing you to take out equity for future investments.
After renting the property out for 12 months we had it revalued by the bank. The valuation came in at $520,000, which meant we had created $120,000 in equity from the renovations. In addition to the extra passive income we had doubled our initial investment of $60,000.
Our total capital gains and passive income profit on the $60,000 we spent? Somewhere in the vicinity of $200,000.
The final word – passive income takes work (at the start)
As is true of all passive income, this investment took work. It took time and research to find the right property and plan the right kind of renovation.
It also took financial literary – particularly in how to invest in good real estate assets. We got that literacy through a Rich Dad education and you can too – it literally costs just a buck to start!
It took sweat equity – we did all of the painting and installed the blinds and some of the fittings ourselves, spending holiday leave from our wage-earning jobs hard at work
It took risk too. But as we’ve explained, we calculated and took steps to manage that risk.
To us, the pay off for all of that hard work has been and continues to be worth it. You see, the story doesn’t end here and neither does our profit. In part 3 of this series we’re going to explain how we were able to double down on the capital gains from this one property.
For now, I hope you got value from this post where we step out, in a way that you can replicate, just how we made $9360 extra passive income from property within 3 months and turned $60,000 into a $200,000 profit.
Til next time have fun, be happy and do good!
Oh, and by the way we did get that home with our $45k 🙂 More about that later… please give us a like if you want more content like this!
What if I said you are working more hours just for the privilege of going to work?
If you commute into an office or have pets, or just even if you’re female, I’d wager a bet that this statement is true.
Not only is it true, if you stand back and take a look at it you’ll probably start wondering if it’s flat out ridiculous.
“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 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
Anyone else feeling a little craziness about this kind of ‘normal’? Well financial freedom seekers, all is not lost!
In this post, we’re going to find out exactly how much money working from home can save you and how quickly those extra dollars can mount up. We all know that cutting expenses and saving income is a critical step in becoming financially free. Here’s a different take on how you can save money faster, and use it to crank up your financial freedom plans.
The true cost of work
How much does it cost you to go to work each week?
The answer to that is going to be different for everyone based on where you live, where you work, and your situation at home. So we’ll take our household as an example that you can use to do the math for yourself. In this real life example is me – a former urban dweller living in a capital city of Australia. I had a car, two dogs and no kids. I commuted into the city to work five days a week spending about 1 hour 10 minutes one way. Here is what it cost me to go to work:
Weekly cost of going to work
Most of the expense items in this table below, like doggy day care, train fares, lunches and coffees were real expenses over an average work week for me. Other things like clothing, shoes and work events are estimates. The cost of cosmetics is taken from this 2017 study, so its probably a bit conservative 4 years later. But then again my spend on make up would not be high among peers.
In the table I’ve double starred ** the expenses I straight out avoided by working from home during 2020…
…and single starred * the expenses I reduced by working from home.
The truth is that by working from home I didn’t need to catch the train each day (leaving my expensive car at the station). And because I wasn’t jammed like a sardine into a metal test tube hurtling along a steal track for 90 minutes a day, I didn’t end up with half the viral infections I normally would. Avoiding the GP saves dosh y’all.
Working from home, I wasn’t tempted to buy lunch once a week or go on a daily coffee run with my colleagues. I wasn’t morally obligated to join in on after work drinks where I would inevitably end up shouting a round or two. Nor did I need to front up in suits each day or wear out my shoe collection traipsing endless city blocks from the train to the office.
$20,000 pay rise not on the cards? Just work from home
Over the course of a year, working from home saved me around $15,000.
An unexpected bonus during an otherwise sh*tty 2020.
That’s net savings peeps. Now think about the equivalent pay rise you’d need to be in the same financial position at the end of the year.
Depending on pay scale and tax rate, to be $15,000 better off, I would have needed a $20,000 pay rise. That’s based on an average middle income tax rate of around 30%.
What are the chances of walking into your bosses’ office and then walking out with a $20,000 p/a pay rise?
If you’re renting and trying to save up big for a home deposit, need some cash fast for whatever reason, or just starting out on your financial freedom plan – think about this:
Instead of walking into your bosses office and trying to negotiate a pay rise, try negotiating a work from home agreement.
In all likelihood you’ll end up with more coin in your pocket WITHOUT all the extra expectations that a pay rise would bring.
Now granted, not all jobs can be remote but from my experience, even if it’s a couple of days a week, if you can wangle it the savings are worth it. Perhaps you are thinking ‘that’s all good but there are also extra costs to work from home’. And you’d be right. You can expect your water and your power bill to go up. But these are tax deductible. And you’d be getting better value for money from your rent or mortgage each day. 🙂
Work from home part time for the same money
Equally, if you want to move to part time work but think you can’t afford the drop in pay, consider approaching the problem with an ‘out of the box’ solution – work from home! By way of example, if my wage was $55.00 per hour gross, that means I was working nearly a whole day a week just for the privilege of going to work!
Think about what that means for a minute…If you could work entirely from home, you’d be able to work a day less per week and still be in the same financial position!
You’d be buying back a day of your life every week just by working remotely. And that’s not the only time you’d save. For me I had 2 hours and 20 minutes extra in my day each day just by avoiding the daily commute. That’s an extra 11 hours of ‘me time’ each week! Yay… 🙂
Work from home opportunities
I hope this post has given you food for thought on the different opportunities that are out there now to work from home, save money, improve your lifestyle and take a step closer to winning your own financial freedom. And there are tonnes of work from home opportunities. If you want to be employed by someone else a search on Australia’s biggest job search website seek.com.au revealed 27,983 work from home jobs found across all categories and over 16,000 on indeed.com.
And then there’s remote work of the self-employed variety. Here’s where the opportunities truly abound. Why? Because you’re suddenly part of a global workforce sitting at home on your computer. The world of freelancing and virtual work has exploded since 2020 and it may be time to get your share of the pie.
Where to start?
Fiverr. It’s a freelance services marketplace and simply the biggest and most diverse market to sell your unique skills and expertise to a global audience.
Just take a look at the good money you can earn as a social media copywriter on Fiverr:
Freelance social media jobs like this didn’t even exist 5 years ago. But digital skills like these are becoming more valuable than every as more business and consumer retail moves online.
In fact, the World Economic Forum has just compiled a list of the top 10 hottest jobs of the futureand 8 out of 10 of them are remote work opportunities. We’d say in a few years you’ll find these kinds of jobs by advertising on global marketplaces just likeFiverr. And digital skills are just the start. There’s lifestyle, business, programming and tech, graphics and design, video and animation and data jobs for the taking.
The final word – remote working can free you sooner
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say for many of us seeking financial freedom remote work is one of the biggest opportunities to come out of 2020.
In an upcoming post I’ll explore the one of the biggest benefits of remote working and working from home that no-one is really talking about – so stay tuned!
So, fast forward into the future 12 months… now that you’ve taken the plunge, started your remote working career and have an extra $15,000 in the bank, make sure you put it to good use! Remember cash is trash peeps!
If you think it’s impossible to make money on Airbnb without owning property, our personal experience will convince you otherwise.
In fact, we’ve made a lot of money on Airbnb without owning property.
And it’s a lot easier than you think.
In this post, we’ll share the Airbnb business model basics that took us 3 months to go from $0 to $10,000 per month profit. We’ll also share 5 alternative Airbnb income streams that you can use to start making money from Airbnb TODAY. All without owning any of your own property.
How to make money on Airbnb without owning property
The truth is there are a lot of ways to make Airbnb profit with none of your own property. We are going to share the most lucrative model for you. The model you can use to build passive income quickly and quit your job. But don’t forget to read to the end of this post to see the abundance of opportunities out there to make good money from Airbnb.
Before we get into the how, lets look at what it means to make money hosting on Airbnb without owning property. We’ll also run through why property investors would want to partner with you, and how much moolah you can make with this Airbnb strategy.
What is hosting on Airbnb without owning property?
It’s just partnering with other property investors to list their properties on Airbnb, with their permission, so that you can arbitrage the rental income. It’s entirely legal if you do it with the right arrangements in place.
Essentially, rental arbitrage is where you take out a rental lease on a property as a tenant. The rental agreement must include that the owner/landlord agrees that you’re going to list the property on Airbnb.
Then you set up the property as an Airbnb listing – which means all furniture, styling, appliances, linen, kitchenware and so on comes out of your pocket. Once it’s all set up, you list the property on Airbnb and manage the entire thing – online listing, property operation, and Airbnb income.
You pay the rent, the power, the water, the WiFi bill and cover basic maintenance costs.
Each month, you need to make more money in Airbnb bookings than your cost of rent and your operating costs. This is your profit at the end of the month and what some folks call ‘rental arbitrage’. And, it is entirely possible to turn this into passive income if you know the systems to use.
Why would property investors agree to you listing their property on Airbnb?
We’ve been landlords to long-term tenants. The truth of our experience was that neither the tenant nor our property manager gave a toss about looking after our investment asset. 5 years after a complete internal renovation, our properties were looking tired and old again from a lack of care. This simply can’t happen when a property is listed on Airbnb.
A property on Airbnb MUST be keep in great condition or it just won’t get bookings. So owners know it will be cleaned multiple times a week and that you’ll take care of maintenance costs for them. If the property doesn’t get booked, you don’t make money.
You should also take out short term rental insurance and show this to the property owner. This will give them peace of mind that if anything goes wrong your insurance will cover it not theirs.
Can you make money with this Airbnb strategy?
The answer to that one is a big yes! You can make a flood of passive income listing other peoples properties on Airbnb – if you do it right!
We’ve done it with three properties. We made $10,000 PROFIT in a month listing these three properties below that we didn’t own. You can read more about it here.
Hosting other people’s properties on Airbnb is truly one of the lowest cost, highest cashflow income opportunities we’ve come across in all of our financial education and money making endeavours. And did we mention it’s one of the best passive income ideas out there.
Check out this post where we reveal how much we made in one month with this single property that we didn’t own – the full cost, revenue and profit figures are all laid out for you..
And check out this case study that shows the full income, expenses and profits from one of our rental arbitrage properties.
So how do you get started?
We started by learning how to do it from the experts and you should too.
Why? Because you want to make sure what you do works! You need to know the following before you leap:
what sort of properties to look for,
how to find and pitch property investor partners,
what legal agreements to put in place,
why its important NOT spend too much money setting up your listing,
an insight into the Airbnb algorithm,
how to guarantee immediate bookings,
how to fill your calendar from day one.
We followed a step by step formula and within 4 months we had paid back the set up costs and we were making a cool profit of $4000 per month on average. In month six, we turned a $10,000 profitin one month across the three properties. That was peak season Airbnb profit AFTER all operating costs and rent. Made bank peeps. Fat stacks of passive income in our pocket.
If you want to get startedmaking sweet cash and being your own boss, we’d recommend taking up this opportunity to learn from the best. It’s an online course called the Bnb Formula. You’ll get the literal step by step formula to follow, with training, templates, tools, landlord pitches, legal info and a bunch of bonus – all done for you. This training is gold and works just about anywhere in the world – the steps are the same!
If you don’t want to shell out for a course just yet, then bookmark our Host Hub page. This is where we’ll be launching our upcoming eBook series “Making money with Airbnb“. The series will cover how to make money on Airbnb without owning property.
How to make bank on Airbnb without hosting
We’re Airbnb Superhosts of multiple properties and we know what it takes to run a successful Airbnb listing. You’re essentially a mini hotel, which means you need to take care of a lot of the same stuff that hotels take care of for their guests.
A beautiful place to stay and relax, cleaning, linen, maintenance.
Check in, check out, local information services.
Gifts on arrival, instructions for how to use the home and all its gadgets and appliances…
These are some of the things that Airbnb guests expect in 2021 when they book your listing. But they also create a killer opportunity to make money from Airbnb, without owning investment property.
You see, because of the growing expectations of Airbnb guests a whole ecosystem of service providers has popped up around Airbnb stays. Services to Airbnb hosts and owners that either can’t or don’t want to manage all of their Airbnb hosting tasks on their own.
We use multiple service providers to help run our Airbnbs and still find there are gaps in finding all of the services and the quality that we need – particularly in regional areas.
These services are also important because the little known fact is that many Airbnb hosts run their listings remotely and rely on other people and apps to help them.
So let’s run through the opportunities that you can take advantage of TODAY to make a nice side income from Airbnb or even turn it into your full time employment.
All with zero property to your name…
Here’s our top 5 ways to make money on Airbnb without hosting any property
Bundled cleaning and linen services
Property Management services
#1 – Bundled cleaning and linen services
It’s no secret Airbnbs require cleaning between each guest. You’d think it would be easy therefore to go online and find a cleaner from the many businesses and websites advertising. But it’s not. Why? Because Airbnb hosts need cleaners that also do linen. This is a gap in the market for anyone looking to start up a side hustle or business.
Good Airbnb bundled cleaning and linen services are hard to find, particularly in regional areas. That means an opportunity for you to be self employed and to make money from Airbnb.
#2 – Maintenance services
We hire a maintenance guy to look after our yards, gardens and any small maintenance jobs in our Airbnbs. These can be things like changing light bulbs, re-attaching fittings, small repairs, and smoke alarm testing. The same guy does our lawns, waters plants, empties the trash and keeps outdoor areas tidy. If you’re the outdoors type this can be pretty easy work to do and with a going rate of $30 – $50 per hour it pays well too.
#3 – Concierge services
This is when you become the eyes and ears ‘on the ground’ for Airbnb hosts that manage their listings remotely. An Airbnb concierge would take care of tasks like random cleaning inspections, stock inventories (toiletries, linen, kitchenware, any pantry supplies), inventory replenishing and back up cleaning. They would also handle problems with lost keys and guests unable to check or use an appliance at the property like WiFi.
#4 – Cohosting services
Cohosting services involve managing the ONLINE part of running on Airbnb. So your target market is perhaps the non ‘tech savvy’ Airbnb host or the side hustle Airbnb host.
Your job would be to manage the online listing so that it is well booked. Making sure the listing appears on the first page of Airbnb guest searches. Airbnb has an algorithm with requirements that each listing must meet to appear at the top of property searches. You’d need to know what these requirements are and meet them.
Daily tasks might be managing guest communications, making sure the listing details are up to date, that the calendar and pricing are up to date and that you’re doing everything you can to hack the Airbnb algorithm.
Co-hosting can even extend to managing the rental income and doing the books (income and expenses for tax time) for the Airbnb host, depending on your skill set.
The best thing about this job is that you could do it virtually, from anywhere. So you’re like a virtual assistant for busy Airbnb hosts and you can take on and cohost properties anywhere in the world. Airbnb provides the separate login access for co-hosts that provide these kinds of services.
#5 – Property Management services
Property management services are just that. Providing an entire A to Z property management coordination for the busy Airbnb Host. It would include managing the listing online and coordinating all services needed to run the Airbnb – cleaning, linen, trades and inventory etc.
In Australia, this requires a real estate license, but the fees you can charge are about double that of managing long term rentals. The secret is that a lot of the coordinating of Airbnb ecosystem services can now be automated with apps. If you know how to do this then providing property management services to Airbnb hosts can be quite lucrative.
Where to find Airbnb side hustle income streams
If you want to set up a side hustle Airbnb income, you’re going to need to advertise your services somewhere Airbnb hosts will be looking for them.
If you’re looking to provide cleaning, linen, maintenance or concierge services we’d recommend jumping onto Facebook and searching for Airbnb forums. There are tonnes of Airbnb host communities online and many start with Facebook. You could also advertise in Oz on Gumtree or Oneflare for your local area.
If you’re offering cohosting services you can advertise on popular online platforms. Airtasker is popular in Australia, but great a site to use is Fiverr where you can offer both VA and cohosting services.
If you want to make a full time income from Airbnb Property Management it’s probably best to start with your own website and Facebook page.
The final word – if we can do it, anyone can
So Airbnb side hustler wannabes, there’s plenty of opportunity around to make awesome money with Airbnb. And it’s only going to get better with Airbnb bookings forecast to grow in 2021 and 2022. It’s time to get your share of the wall of money that’s coming as countries open up and get back to the business of travelling and having fun!
Next steps for your Airbnb learning
Firstly, this Bnb formula online training can help you get started with hosting other people’s properties.
Secondly, here are some of our best articles on how to make money on AIrbnb:
If you want financial freedom stop spending all of your time at work.
I know, it sounds backwards right! Different to everything you learned from your parents and at school.
Well if you’re stuck in a 9 to 5 grind and want out, maybe it’s time to think differently?
Here’s a story about how we 10xed our net worth by learning to think differently about wealth. In this post we’ll share what we learned and what we did with that knowledge. There’s no catch dear readers. Once you read this, you’ll discover that you can do it too.
Living the Aussie dream
I started my money making life in my early 20s in a respectable job as a wage earner with a university education. Sound familiar?
As expected, I quickly worked my way up the ladder to an executive position and then fought tooth and nail to win a coveted diplomatic posting to one of Australia’s Embassies overseas.
When I won that posting, I’d worked for 4 years and amassed a measly $7000 in savings. Granted I was young and just starting out with basic household goods to buy. But it wasn’t a good showing for 7,800 hours of work. My wealth had grown by less than one dollar for each of those hours I’ll never get back.
But, about to embark on a well paid overseas gig, I then took that $7000 to a free financial planning session paid by the government and they helped me invest it in managed funds. They took their fees of course. Before I got on the plane I signed up to a stock market newsletter and bought a couple of stocks on the Aussie exchange. I had an inkling I needed to invest, but that was all I new to do at the time.
For the next three years I was living my dream – a diplomat in China earning Aussie dollars, spending Chinese Yuan with a large whack of my living costs paid by the government. All in return for being on call 24/7 as the frontline of Australian sovereign border to North China and North Korea.
It was a great experience and one of the highlights of my employed life.
The gravy was, at the end of that three year posting I came back to Oz with $160k in the bank. I felt rich! It turns out you can save a lot of your Aussie income when your living costs are in Chinese Yuan. And one of the stocks I bought took off to boot. Booyah!
Incidentally, I returned to Oz with $160k in my pocket right after the GFC. This was just as the 7% interest I was earning on bank savings began its free-fall to the 1% savings rates of today. A tangent, but a related one.
Back to the story….
With $160k behind me, I thought I’d take a leap of faith and change careers. So I went back to uni and re-trained in environmental science because, folks, that was all I knew to do… $15k in student loans later I had a Masters in front of my name. I didn’t think this way at the time, but all that degree did was put me in debt and prime me for another job as a respectable wage earner.
That new job came along and whaddayaknow I was suddenly a renewable energy expert kicking off a new career working the same old 9 to 5 grind.
When sh*t got real
3 years into that ‘new career’ the government I worked for was subject to its largest cut backs in history. 14,000 people lost their income earning jobs.
I was a contractor at the time. My head was at the front of that queue for the chopping block. As the main breadwinner – sh*t had gotten very real for me.
What to do, what to do? I had some cash in the bank but faced the looming prospect of unemployment. How did I get into this position?
I’d done everything I’d been told to do – I gotten good grades, a higher degree, a respectable job. I had parents who were wage earners and an unspoken understanding that this was also the path cut out for me. I’d worked hard and saved studiously. And yet, I was facing zero income and little hope of local reemployment due to cut backs
I remember I was angry and confused. Over the months I spent dodging and weaving to keep my job what crystallised in my mind from the anger in my gut was this – I didn’t want to be reliant on someone else for my financial security ever again.
Fast forward to 2020 and you hear the same familiar shattering of reality for tonnes of people across the globe.
But at that pivotal moment in my life, I realised I needed to DO different to GET different.
‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’
– Henry Ford
And so began my unconventional financial education. I say unconventional because it wasn’t about finance per se. Also, it was the first education I’d had that was not from a school or university. It was all about a subject I’d had zero personal experience with and one they don’t teach in class.
How the rich make money.
Lessons from a Rich Dad (how to build a wealthy mindset)
One of the first financial educators that came into view for me was Robert Kiyosaki. Kiyosaki is a well known financial educator and successful investor and entrepreneur. I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across him but looking back now I’m super bloody grateful I did.
Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad lessons opened my world and blew my mind. The Rich Dad teachings were just different to everything I’d learned and utterly challenged everything (I thought) I knew about money and wealth.
I knew if I could learn to think differently in the Rich Dad way, I could ‘do different to get different’. So I focussed on reading everything I could from the Rich Dad education suite and attended Rich Dad webinars.
Multiple books and online events later I’d distilled down to six the take away lessons that resonated with me. These six lessons taught me to think differently about money.
Here are the lessons I learned, and what we did with them.
Lesson #1 – Become financially literate and learn the rules of money.
There are a bunch of rules that govern wealth creation and that are not taught in school. Who knew right?
Some of them are revealed below and many of them Kiyosaki talks about in his books and online webinars.
If you want to make money you need to learn the rules of the wealth game and become financially literate. Not the finance degree kind of learning. The wealth building kind of learning. You need to learn about where to focus your time and effort, what to invest in, and how to keep the money you make.
What we did.
We put aside some of our surplus income each week to invest in our financial education. Not learning from schools. Learning from successful and wealthy people. In my spare time I read books, attended webinars and took courses. I focussed on everything the Rich Dad lessons had to say about money.
If you want to become more financially literate and learn the rules of money – start here with a Rich Dad webinar like we did. If you read on you’ll see how learning the Rich Dad lessons and rules of money – and then applying them – has paid off for us. We now have a life we couldn’t imagine when our Rich Dad journey started.
Lesson #2 – Savers are losers.
In school we’re all taught to get a job, save up, get a mortgage and pay it down with 100% interest over its life.
Kiyosaki teaches that this system is obsolete. Why would you save money when they’re printing more of it?
Savers have been losers since 1971 when fiat currency was de-pegged from the gold standard and government’s started printing as much money as they needed to keep economies out of trouble. Just check out the money printing that’s been going on.
People are still walking around scratching their heads 13 years after the GFC about why the stock market keeps going up and up and in Australia, the US and the UK house prices are hitting record levels. It’s not the price of these assets going up in isolation. It’s their relative value in fiat currency. If you’re saving your money in fiat currency, you are going backwards at a rate of knots. If you’re trading from asset to asset in the same market, you’re less impacted.
What we did.
In 2011 we took the $160k in savings we’d had in the bank for two years and decided to invest most of it. We have only ever kept an emergency buffer as cash in the bank since learning the plummeting value of fiat currency. Cash is trash peeps.
Lesson #3 – The rich don’t work for money. They have money work for them (by investing it).
Woaah, what? Takes a minute to wrap your head around, but news flash here – truly rich people don’t have jobs. They don’t work as employees of other people. They’re investors or entrepreneurs or business owners. They certainly don’t trade their time, in units, directly for money. So having a job was never going to make me rich or even financially comfortable. I was always just going to be trading my time for money. No way Jose.
What we did.
We set financial goals around not having jobs. We made financial plans that were reverse engineered with the single outcome of escaping the rat race.
When my friends were busy climbing the corporate ladder to VP and Managing Director positions, I was busy trying to get my ass out of a job.
We decided not to chase promotions at work because the higher up you go the more of your life they want from you. I had multiple friends over this period pushing me toward career ‘promotions’; so called ‘higher paying jobs’. It was clear that they thought I should have been doing better. Several bosses asked me why I hadn’t ‘taken the next step’. I remember smiling and mumbling something incoherent on these occasions. Explaining what I was actually up to seemed an impossibility. Where to even start?
Instead of the path expected of me, I found a wage earning position that paid well but that also had flexible working hour arrangements (accrued time). I spent my accrued work hours becoming more financially literate and investing every last effort and dollar into building my assets column – outside of work.
Lesson # 4 – An asset is something that puts money in your pocket. You home is not necessarily an asset.
This is an underpinning of the Rich Dad financial education – knowing the difference between an asset and a liability. The rich buy assets, the poor buy liabilities. Assets put money in your pocket and liabilities take money out of your pocket. Rich Dad financial education is practical because Kiyosaki talks about what kind of assets to buy and how he went about accumulating them from a time when he was stone cold broke-ass like many of us have been.
What we did.
We started to invest in assets. We didn’t even have a home mortgage at the time – we were renting – but we bought our first investment property instead of a home. Because of the Rich Dad lessons about assets and liabilities, we knew what to look for. We looked exclusively for an investment property that would put money in our pocket. A property that would produce an income in rent and capital growth. We bought a run down dual income property – three apartments on one title with three independent income streams.
Lesson #5 – The rich use the income from the their assets to live and reinvest the surplus into into more leveraged assets
The Rich spend time building up their asset column and then use the income their assets produce to buy what they want. The poor stay poor buying liabilities like big homes, cars, holidays and gadgets that they can’t afford – to look rich.
The rich buy assets using other people’s money (good debt) and manage risk. The poor take personal debt (bad debt) to buy liabilities or are fearful of taking on debt at all.
What we did.
We started to use good debt strategies with our investing. The multi-family property we bought was leveraged at 90% so that we could make our own money go further. We kept as much as our own cash as we could to renovate the three apartments and increase the rental income.
By renovating our first investment property we had created some equity so we used that to buy another investment property leveraged at 90%.
We managed the cashflow from our wage earning jobs and our investments carefully – something Kiyosaki also teaches. And we always kept a buffer in case things went wrong.
The next step we took was to invest in our financial education again. We learned how to supercharge the rental income from our 4 investment properties. If you want to learn more about how we did this, you’ll find the details here.
Lesson #5, about using good debt and not getting into bad debt, was as much about what we didn’t do as what we did.
When our peers were dropping $700k on homes to live in and taking on massive personal mortgages, we didn’t. Instead, we paid $40k with a $360k bank loan for a modest little cottage right by the beach. It was a house we knew we could one day turn into asset that put money in our pocket. We invested our surplus income and sweat equity into renovating the cottage, mostly DIY.
As we watched our friends and peers buy new $50k cars with finance straight off the showroom floor, we didn’t do that either. We bought both our cars as either demo or second hand models no more than 2 years old and paid cash for them.
When maxing out your credit cards on retail therapy and expensive nights out was the norm, we didn’t buy stuff we didn’t really need. Instead, we used our rewards credit card to get maximum value from our home offset account (reducing our interest payments and getting cashback). We paid the credit card in full every month and rolled it into a mortgage package so the bank waived the annual credit card fee. This credit card strategy uses smart structuring and is a total home loan interest killer. It’s something a lot of folks can do, but simply overlook.
Lesson #6 – Taxes are your single largest expense. The rich don’t pay taxes – the educated upper middle class pay all the taxes.
Kiyosaki teaches that high paid employees pay the most taxes. Just look up income tax rates around the global versus company tax. The worst place to be if you want to keep the money you earn is an employed professional.
Corporations pay less tax than individuals as an incentive from government to create tax paying jobs. Investors pay the least taxes.
The lesson we took away? If you want to keep your money, earn it as an investor or in a corporation. Far out brussel sprout. I couldn’t believe I’d been a tax mule all these years and so ignorant about it…
What we did.
We structured our investments in trusts and companies. We focussed on moving our income streams from the highly taxed employee basket, to the low tax corporation basket. Eventually we’ll move more and more of our income into the investor basket.
We currently earn and then spend and then get taxed for 75% of our income.
Before our Rich Dad education we earned, got taxed and then spent for 100% of our income.
Changing the way we earned income has reduced our personal cost of living by thousands per year due to favourable company tax rules. Our net worth has also benefited by $130k to $170k by using the rules of money we learned from our Rich Dad education.
The final word – our wealthy mindset results
Building a wealth mindset and applying the Rich Dad concepts that we learned in the Robert Kiyosaki webinars has set us financially free. I’m happy to report that I’m no longer an employee. 🙂 I’m free to do what I want each day – which is play with our beautiful Vizslas, set up our new home, start our homesteading project and write this blog.
We’ve also just bought that new home with cash – all part of the financial freedom plan.
Our net worth is over 10 times what it was when we started applying the Rich Dad rules of money.
We live off the income generated by our assets via tax efficient company structures.
Any surplus income we have we look to reinvest in other income earning assets.
We work as we chose to, because we’ve got new goals in life. Mostly, we enjoy life and our time is our own.
None of this required epic mastery of anything special. We just learned to think differently, build a wealthy mindset and do what the rich did.
Thanks to Mr Kiyosaki and his Rich Dad.
Til next post – have fun, be happy, do good!
And if this post got you thinking about your financial future maybe get yourself to a Rich Dad webinar and please – share the love!