One hundred dollars.
How often do you spend $100? What does $100 mean to you?
A hundred dollars isn’t very much money—not in the grand scheme of real estate investing.
A hundred dollars can be a LOT of money when it’s coming out of your pocket on a regular basis. This is especially when it’s coming out of your pocket when it doesn’t have to.
A hundred dollars can be what’s keeping you poor. A hundred dollars is why you’re broke.
“I want to get started investing in real estate, but I have no money and bad credit.”
Do you really have no money, or are you just making bad choices with the money you have?
Your $100 Cable Bill
You don’t need cable. Period. With all the options that we have available—Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, just to name a few—you don’t need to drop $100+ on a cable bill.
My sister-in-law used to have a boyfriend who dropped $300 on his cable bill every month. He had every channel they offered, every service he could get. He would go to work, then come home and plop down on the sofa and watch TV anytime he was awake.
As you can imagine, he didn’t accomplish very much.
You don’t need cable. You don’t need TV, either. One of the best things you can do for your investing is to turn off the TV, open a book, or jump on a real estate investing social network (BiggerPockets comes to mind) and start learning!
You won’t learn anything about real estate investing on TV. Those “reality” TV shows about investing are about as far from reality as you can get. Oh sure, you buy a home, rehab it, and sell it. That’s about all they have in common with actual flipping.
I was curious, so I Googled, “How much TV does the average American watch?”
FIVE HOURS A DAY!
Do you know what you could accomplish if you put just HALF that amount into real estate investing? You could listen to two podcasts a day instead, and take away some useful, applicable real estate knowledge.
Or analyze deals, learn your market, drive for dollars, write a great letter, talk to potential sellers, network with other local investors, attend a meetup—there are so many other, BETTER things you can be doing with your time than sitting in front of the television set.
Nobody ever got ahead or gained an advantage by watching TV five hours a day.
Your $100 Phone Plan
Cellphone service used to be dominated by a handful of companies. If you wanted a phone, you had to go through them, and they all cost pretty much the same. Deregulation has opened up the cellular provider industry, and there are now many choices.
I use Republic Wireless—and my plan starts at $10 a month. It runs on the Sprint network, and when I am at home, my phone makes calls over Wifi. I had to purchase my phone outright, but I got last year’s model so it wasn’t too bad. Does it really matter what kind of phone you have?
Having a mobile phone is important when you’re investing in real estate. You want to be reachable at all times—you never know when a seller will reach out. That doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar.
Why pay more for the exact same service?
Your $100 Jeans
Sure, you want to look good, but do you really have to drop $100 on jeans? Today’s latest style is going to be tomorrow’s outdated look. You don’t need $100 jeans to look good.
Real estate is not a fashion show. Your goal should be to look casually nice—professional but not fancy. If you look like a million dollars, chances are good that the seller is going to assume you have a million dollars—and want more for their house.
Your $100 Haircut
There is a HUGE difference between a $100 haircut and a $10 haircut. I’m not going to lie, the stylist who charges more has significantly more experience and education. You get a better haircut when you spend more money on it. But do you really need it?
Stylists recommend getting your hair cut every 6-8 weeks. Finding a lower-cost stylist, going less frequently, or even doing it yourself are great alternatives.
Caveat: If you DIY your hair, make sure you have a foolproof style. I cut my husband’s hair, but he has a buzzcut, and it takes me less than five minutes to run the trimmer over his head. He does NOT cut my hair.
I am not telling you to go cheap on everything. There are definitely times when spending a little more is definitely worth it.
A friend recently introduced me to a new term, BIFL (pronounced Biffle): Buy It For Life. He purchased a pair of dress shoes that cost $400. They are a name you’ve most likely never heard, but they are quality shoes. They are a classic style, and unless they get thrown through the wood chipper, they will last him forever.
Quality products cost more initially but are actually less expensive over the long run because they don’t need to be replaced as much—if ever. They may need repairs from time to time, but they don’t wear out quickly or break outright.
“It’s only a dollar.” Or five. Or 10. Or 100.
This is the mindset that will hold you back in life. If you’re starting from zero, every dollar counts. Every. Single. One.
So spend them consciously. Know where your money is going and what it’s getting you. Free your dollars so you can put them to work for you, making more dollars. That’s the whole reason you’re investing, right?
What small changes have you made to keep money in your pocket?
Let me know your best tips in the comments section below!