It’s such a blessing to be able to become a home owner at the age of 25. When I graduated college with $120,000 worth of debt, I never thought that I would be able to afford a home of my own. Over the last two years I have sacrificed a lot so that I could reduce my debt and build wealth. In this blog, I will be sharing the 12 things that I did in order to reach my goal of becoming a home owner. The purpose of this blog is not to brag, it’s simply to inspire others to make the best out of the life God has given them by making smart decisions. Everything I did might not be the best thing to do for everyone, so I encourage everyone to figure out what works best for you and your success. I just want to share the wisdom I have learn from my own personal experience. I hope and pray that this speaks to someone out there in the world who needs it.
1.) Stay with family– I’m not ashamed to say I stayed with my mom for 2 years after graduating college. This by far was the smartest decision I made post-graduation. It was hard for me to accept at first because as a grown man who graduated college I wanted to be independent and do my own thing. But God had other plans for me and humbled me through this process. I had to let go of my pride and ego to live with my mom and little sister again. Man, I had to do chores and deal with all those female emotions (I still love ya’ll). God helped me become a stronger man by staying with my family. I was able to save so much money by just chilling out and being patient. I could have got an apartment, but I chose not to waste my money renting something I would never own. I didn’t live at home for free, but it was very affordable. Shout out to my mom for supporting me when I had nothing and no money to my name. Love you mama, the future is looking bright! This decision enable me to drop a huge down payment on my house and still have enough money to survive on my own for years.
2.) Start own business & side hustle– I started and am currently building two businesses. God has put a strong desire in my heart to be an entrepreneur. I don’t believe in depending on the system as my one and only source of income. Every man and woman should have several streams of income, I say at least five! I realized early that the corporate system was not designed for me, so it’s my duty to design my own system. The goal for me wasn’t just to get a job, it was to create a platform that will eventually provide jobs for other people. I plan to continue earning money from my side hustle until it can become my full-time career.
3.) Work overtime– Working made me look at every day the same. I treat every day the same whether it’s a week day, weekend, or holiday. I have worked every single day of the week at times. I worked plenty of overtime, putting in 10 to 15 hours a day. I was open to work as much as possible because I had my goal in mind. I must say that hard work pays off. No one can cheat the grind, you get in what you put in. Overtime blessed my pockets tremendously and help me throw extra money towards my school loans.
4.) Invest & flip stocks– I dove into the stock market when I first entered corporate America two years ago. I love to see my money make money! There are so many articles and books that can help anyone who is interested in stocks make money in the stock market. I put thousands into high risk stocks with a decent yield percentage and received a nice return on those investments. To keep it simple and bought low and sold high. I flipped my money and made thousands over the years.
5.) Drove a company vehicle– Driving my company van is so ugly, but it’s still saving me thousands of dollars in gas to this day!
6.) No dating – This might sound extreme but it’s not. My personal decision for two years was to get my life together and not to date. Let’s be honest, dating can be expensive. Women know how to spend money! I didn’t want to waste time and money on the wrong woman, so I decided to isolate myself. To keep it real I wasn’t going to let any woman destroy my wealth or get in the way of what I have worked hard to accomplish. I even stopped thinking about sex because all I could think about is how expensive child support would be. I stopped looking to date because I grew content with being single and was focused on growing in Christ. I became so wrapped into my own goals that dating didn’t even matter to me. I now believe and am looking forward to courting because I believe that a godly woman of value would be beneficial and not detrimental to my life.
7.) Limit partying– I don’t believe in living a strict life with no fun at all. I think that life should be celebrated every day, you never know when it’s your last day here on earth. I’m young so I love to go out and have a good time, but I do not waste my money on non-sense. Spending money to get drunk, club, and wild out all the time isn’t a smart decision to me. It is a total waste of time and money. To save money, I had to take a huge hit on my social life. I had to find alternative ways to have fun and enjoy my life! My real friends understood that and I’m thankful for every single one of them!
8.) No expensive materialistic items– Personally I am not a cheap person. The word I like to use is frugal. I’m not into expensive shoes, clothes, cars, and accessories. I have nothing to prove to anyone and never will care about being flashy. I just don’t understand why people want to remain broke just to impress people who don’t really care about them in the first place. I learned a long time ago to forget about being cool and to do what’s best for me. I love a good sale! A brother will go great lengths to find a discount! I don’t see anything wrong with the thrift store! It’s ways to look decent without blowing money on the big brand names.
9.) Budget food expenses– My budget was to spend no more than $40 dollars a week eating out. I found that preparing and eating home cooked meals saved me a ton of money over the years. I was fortunate enough to have lived with my mom and sister who can both cook extremely well. If it wasn’t for that I would have forced myself to buy groceries and cook to save money. Don’t think I was spoiled or a mama’s boy, I helped pay for those groceries! 🙂
10.) Make extra school loan payments- At one point I was paying around $2,000.00 in school loans to knock them out within 5 years. Since moving out I have reduced my payments to lower my debt to income ratio. Any extra money I make I pay it towards the principal of my loans. I was able to knock a good chunk of my loans out, but to keep it real I’m still in the hole with these expensive private school loans. If I had to do it all over again I would of went to community college for 2 years before going to a university. I did the calculations, it would have saved me $50,000.00.
11.) Use credit card to build good credit– I used my credit card like a debit card. If I don’t have the money for something I don’t buy it. It’s that simple. When I would buy something with my credit card, I would pay it off every single time with no hesitation. This strategy brought my credit score up to 800+.
12.) Invest in people– I don’t believe in giving all of money away to anyone, not even the church. That’s the fastest and easiest way you can go broke. I believe that you reap what you sow in every aspect of life. If you want people to invest in you, then you should invest in other people. God always seems to bless me financially as I continue to invest in other people. I chose to give money to whoever God put on my heart in full faith. I have no cares or worries about finances because I trust that God will provide. I’m not a rich man, may never be, but I am well taken care of by the Man upstairs!