Don’t Believe Passive Income Is Awesome? Check Out the Diary of My Week!

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A lot of articles out there are about how to be a real estate investor, but few seem to focus on why. Well wait, a lot of articles do mention why becoming a real estate investor is awesome, but they do it from the perspective (in my opinion) of looking from the beginning outward, rather than speaking directly from the results themselves.

So for a fun, different kind of article, I’m going to give you an insight into my week. Not one bit of this article is going to explain how to get passive income — there are plenty of articles out there that do that — but instead, this one is simply going to convey why, for me at least, passive income is awesome.

Before I tell you about my week, there are some definitions, explanations, and clarifications I want to make ahead of time.

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Passive Income 101

Most everyone has heard the term “passive income” and probably generically knows what it means. But if you are unclear, read “The Truth About Active Income vs. Passive Income” before you go any further for a full explanation on what this is really all about and what types of investing methods get you passive income.

I want to be very clear about passive income in one sense that article doesn’t cover, which is — real estate investing is not the only means to obtain passive income. The reason I say this is because I want to be sure you understand where I am financially with my own passive income, so you aren’t misled. I left my corporate job before I had enough rental properties to sustain my living expenses because I had some other business ventures come my way. I have been able to combine the income from those ventures, which have all given me the opportunity to earn passive income to some degree or another, with the income from my rental properties as the means for me to have enough income to support myself. If I don’t tell you that, your assumption will be that I do have enough rental properties to support myself, and that isn’t the case.

With that said, however, that doesn’t mean it is impossible to have enough rental properties to cover all of your expenses; I just didn’t go that route personally because I hated having a 9-5 job too much to stick with it long enough to collect all the rental properties I needed. But that route is often the more desirable for a lot of people! If you want to do some reading on how feasible having enough passive income just through real estate is, check out “Gaining Financial Freedom is Easier Than You Think.”

Related: 3 Easy Steps to Start Building Your Passive Income Stream Today!

So as you read the diary of my week, know that my passive income comes from a few different sources, but the general idea of having passive income and having the ability to do what you want in life covers all sides, regardless of where the passive income comes from. Real estate investing just happens to be one of the best and easiest ways to get it!

I will tell you that of all the passive income streams I have, the income from my rental properties is by far the easiest! I don’t do squat for those properties; the property manager does. At best I have to have a few minutes of email communication with the manager, but that’s it. So easy. So had I had a little bit more patience and been able to stick out my corporate job so I could just keep buying all the properties I could, would I have? Absolutely. Rentals are my favorite passive income source.

Diary of My Week

The reason I am triggered to write this is because I was driving down the road the other day and something made me really think about what I had just been doing and where I was driving to, and I realized, “Man, this sounds hilarious on paper! How am I even doing all of this stuff?” And I realized it was because I’ve nearly mastered passive income, which allows me the time to do whatever crazy thing feels good at the time. And it dawned on me that maybe I should tell you about my week just so you can really see how beneficial not having to create your life around a job is.

The other thing worth mentioning is that in no way do I expect you to desire the same life or activities that I do. I definitely qualify myself as a slight minority in the “interests” department, so take my activities at face value and really think about what activities you would do if you didn’t have to report to a job or a schedule versus just looking at mine. Family and kids are probably a big one for a lot of you!

And the last thing before I tell you about my week is that I want you to know a bit about my background so when you read about a couple of my activities, you realize I actually do have a brain and I’m not some dense uneducated blonde chick with a brain full of air (if you already do think that, that’s fine, but I just don’t want my activities to sway you that way by themselves). My background is that I have a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering, I’m a licensed pilot and flight instructor, I worked as a Defense Contractor as a Senior Flight Test Engineer for five years, and I’m a published author in Aerospace/Cognitive Engineering. I actually think listing those things out is required to convince you I’m not brainless just based on my activities for the week!

With all that said, here is my week this week:

Sunday

Last day of school weekend. Once a month I am in school all weekend because I’m working on a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology. Yep, you heard right, Spiritual Psychology. I admittedly only started the degree because I thought it would be hilarious to tell people I have a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology, and I had the spare time to do it so why not? Turns out I love the work and look forward to it every month, but I can tell you I never would have even thought to do this had my schedule been swamped with a real job and other obligations.

Monday

Quite busy! I had to be up fairly early (which actually goes against my normal protocol) to get to the Santa Monica Airport to fly with a student. I had two flights, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so I filled the space between them by going out to lunch with a couple folks from school.

Then, after an exhausting day of flying around LA and buzzing beaches, mountains and runways, I had to scoot pretty fast to Hollywood to get to pole dancing class. Oh yes, it’s true. I’m in pole dancing school. Why, you ask? Why not? I have time, it’s a killer workout, and it’s actually quite fun! I enrolled for six months to try it out.

Tuesday

After a very amazing sleeping-in session, my plan was to catch up on everything I’ve fallen behind on from being in school all weekend (which also means spending half of last week doing last-minute homework I had procrastinated on). Instead, however, I was alerted to an opening at a cool apartment I was interested in checking out (because I can live anywhere since I don’t have to commute) so I called a friend to see if she wanted to go on a field trip with me to check it out.

What was meant to be a field trip + lunch turned into a field trip + lunch + a few beers, which knocked out any lingering time I was going to use to play catch up. Oh well! Then I met another friend for a 30-mile night bike ride along the beach bike path. None of that sucked.

Wednesday

Slept in again, and then was too exhausted from all the fun from the past few days to leave my pajamas. Decided to finally play that game of catch-up (in my pajamas still), worked, went shopping online for a few things, decided I was too lazy to hit my usual Wednesday fitness class, so instead went to visit a friend who recently had a baby I hadn’t met yet. To finish the evening? Nice long sunset dog walk along the beach. Can’t beat the LA weather.

Thursday

A bit stressed! Needed to get all my camping gear in order so I could head out Friday morning for a weekend camping trip with friends. I also needed to get the dogs washed before dropping them off at their sitter’s Friday morning, finish up some more to-dos, and get completely packed for camping since departure Friday was a bit earlier than I’m used to functioning.

Good news though; it all got done, PLUS… I may or may not have stressed myself out more by scheduling myself to go check out a potential car to buy and another apartment to possibly move to. I don’t need a new car or new apartment, but I’ve decided my old lifted 4×4 Jeep may not be the most practical toy to use as my every day ride, and at some point I would like to have a kitchen in my apartment. You know, small things. I finished off the night by doing a spin class at the gym.

Friday-Saturday

Camping trip departure! After dropping the dogs off at their sitter Friday morning, my camping caravan hit the road and headed off to Joshua Tree for a weekend of doing absolutely nothing, mentally or physically!

Related: The Power of Passive Income: How to Free Yourself From Your 9 to 5

Like I said, I’d imagine a lot of my activities are not ones you would be filling your time with if you had all the time in the world to do whatever you wanted but the point is, I’ve taken on all of these activities (especially the ridiculous ones!) because I can. Why not do random things? A lot of times even when you do have spare time around your normal job, what little time that is left has to be dedicated to the must-dos.

It’s only when you really free yourself up that you can start taking on activities you would never otherwise do. Trust me, I wouldn’t be doing a Master’s in Spiritual-freakin’ Psychology or learning to pole dance if I didn’t have this much time on my hands. I’m also about to start volunteering, which is another thing I likely wouldn’t otherwise be able to do!

Spelling out my week is my argument for why people should really strive for passive income. You just don’t know what life is about if you spend the whole thing working for a penny! I had no idea. Even when I had a real job I couldn’t have imagined how random and exciting life could be when you have time and location at your disposal. If I had family, and especially kids, I’d really be wanting more time on my hands so I could spend it with them!

What about you? What absurd (or not absurd) activities would you fill your week with if you didn’t have an otherwise-committed schedule?

Be sure to leave your comments below!

About Author

Ali Boone

Ali Boone(G+) left her corporate job as an Aeronautical Engineer to work full-time in Real Estate Investing. She began as an investor in 2011 and managed to buy 5 properties in her first 18 months using only creative financing methods. Her focus is on rental properties, specifically turnkey rental properties, and has also invested out of the country in Nicaragua.

46 Comments

  1. Ann Howell

    Hi Ali

    Great article! The freedom sounds wonderful. Working in the corporate world, I have not had that kind of flexibility since I was a kid. I like to believe that I would exercise that much if I had more time – I would certainly lose my favorite excuse! Thanks in part to you for some guidance, I am on my way to financial freedom as well and I’m excited about the journey!

    • Ali Boone

      I’m excited for you Ann! And, well, trust me…that much exercise can actually be harder with less of a schedule. I actually did better when I was already out the door and on a schedule and one of the biggest struggles has been getting my efficiency going. So, don’t knock yourself too hard on that one 😉

    • Ali Boone

      I love it Christy! What languages are you thinking about? One of my big plans in the near future, hopefully, is heading to Guatemala for a month or so to do a Spanish immersion thing. I’ve wanted to learn it forever but when you don’t have to do something like that, I find it’s hard to do. So, immersion it is!

  2. Rhondalette W.

    This gets me thinking of what I would do if I had the passive income and time on my hands. I too would pursue a degree in Psychology. I would certainly move to a beautiful beach where I could sit and read my psychology books and complete my homework. I think I would also take classes on interior design and acting. Acting would be fun and I would join the local theater… Wow!! I think I am enjoying just thinking about it.

  3. Mehran K.

    Okay Ali….. Now I’m all Jelly because of this one 🙂 Though I think I’ll stick to my BJJ academy over pole dancing though hah!

    I’m so close I can taste it and this article is damn motivating. You have the freedom I’m fighting for. Thanks!

    • Ali Boone

      Come on out Karen! 🙂 I will say, one major downside to all this is that I have a really hard time finding people to hang out. Everyone is working regular jobs and busy and have lives… I guess I’ll take the problem since it stems from something cool, but yes, come on out!

    • Ali Boone

      Well, I can’t claim true financial freedom yet Michael, but I’m working towards it! (just between trips and activities 🙂 ). Before this I was working a corporate job. The commute was an hour each way, assuming I stayed in town, but towards the end I didn’t so I would fly out Monday mornings and come back Thursday or Friday (to somewhere top secret so I had no life and barely any access to the real world, which was so not for me). When I wasn’t at work or commuting to work I was trying to fit in the gym or whatever activities, but I think I spent most of my time pondering how to take more vacation days without getting yelled at. Once I started investing in real estate, most of my time outside of work (and a lot inside of work but don’t tell my old bosses) was pursuing that and trying to figure out how to let it get me out of that job!

  4. Bob Baldwin

    you can’t put a price on your own free time !! sad to say we only go through life once . I have pretty much structured my investments so my week-ends are free , and I like to have 3 days during the week for knocking things off my bucket list . Just remember Time , Tide , and Concrete wait for No One .

      • Bob Baldwin

        I will be the first to tell you as a teenager I was somewhat of a procastrinator . Grew up in a Rural area Now a typical Suburbia . money was hard to come by , Did the usual Mow lawns , shoveled snow etc; Had an old time farmer that still used horses not tractors . turns out that during the depression he had been buying up farms for about 25 cents on the dollar . No one in town never knew how he came by his money .
        Seems as I recall I was mowing his lawn for $4 at the time I went up to him one day and said I ‘m done can I get my $4 ? He said I will give you $2 and pay you latter OK ? Well what choice do I have in the Matter ? I though perhaps My job was Not up to his expectations . He said the work was fine just remember Tide , Ti
        me , and Concrete wait for no one .

        Well life goes on I got Drafted Vietnam era stopped by his house the day before I was to leave told him what was going on and I could not be doing anything while I was gone . He offered me the 2 dollars he owed me . I told him you know what invest it for me as I might be looking for a house when I get back home . I had a beer with him ,told him I would see him when I got back home his departing words were ” Remember Time , Tide , and concrete wait for no one .”

        Fast forward a little less than 2 years I get home spent the next few days with family then decided to stop by his place to see if my $2 investment had increased any in value . I walk in and his health had really gone down hill .but he says I got something for you . I look at it and it was his Will . I said I think you gave me the wrong paper this is your will . NO he said that was correct read it . He had left his only son the land that he owned but to me he left the house he lived in on 5 acres .

        Well 2 things less than 3 months latter he passed away . Sadly the house was on an old stone foundation roof sagging , Just structurally NOT SOUND . I called his son up he wanted nothing out of the house told me to go see the attorney and pick-up my deed . I don’t recall what the issue was but for some reason I could not accept the deed until my 21st Birthday Well time really flies by On my birthday I see the attorney and get the deed . I had a friend that was a volunteer fireman told him what was going on and my plans for the property . He calls me back 2 days latter and says for a $100 donation the fire dept will burn the house down they needed the practice lol !!!

        Got the house burned down ,went to town hall sub-divided the 5 acres , sold 3 building lots kept 2 acres and the sale of the lots paid for the material to build a 3 br /2 bath ranch style house What work I could not do I paid for with the money I had brought home from the service . At the time comps would have been $39,000.00 So I had a house free and clear but No money . Procrastinated for a while then decided I needed a ” JOB” Sorry for Cussing !!

        !0 years of work Thankfully 2nd shift hours and 7 years of Flipping before Flipping was’nt cool was my introduction to Real Estate Investing .

        The point I am trying to make is IF you keep Procastrinating Get off your Duff . Again Time , Tide , and Concrete wait for No One

  5. Thoriso Mashego

    Nice week Ali. I completely forgot about going to my job for the time it took to read your article.

    Thank you for taking me away with you. I will keep working on my passive income.

    I got my eye on learning Win Chun with my wife. Atleast I now feel strongly about scheduling such stuff when I replaced my active income.

  6. Matt R.

    Sounds like an awesome week! Btw the only place I am aware of that offers such a degree is run out of a store front, for profit, non accredited and the “faculty” have degrees from diploma mills. Hopefully, it is not the one I am thinking of just in case you wanted to officially use the degree. If it is just for fun no problemo. Have fun in Joshua!

    • Ali Boone

      Nope, it’s not that one Matt. This one is CA-accredited and definitely not a storefront. But it is for fun anyway, and let’s be honest…what much does a degree in Spiritual Psych really do for a resume either other than make people wonder. One of the more joys of not having a real job- no need for a resume!

    • Ali Boone

      Like I said in the article Lynn, I don’t have enough to completely support me yet. I combine that income with some other ventures I do (I’m a pilot, I have Hipster, and other various projects) to live. That was my caveat, that I didn’t wait until I had enough properties to live solely off those, but if I could have stuck out my corporate job longer than I definitely would have! But I was going crazy. My rentals, of all the ventures though, are the best! Just be sure you are always buying things with good cash flow and you’ll get there soon!

  7. Angel Mast

    Ali I’ve read many of your articles and it’s nice to hear more about you! Thanks for the article because there is much more to life than a 9-5. My rentals cover all my living expenses and entertainment. Like you I enjoy many late mornings in bed and random trips to an fro. When my daughter ask me what time I’m getting up I lovingly tell her whenever I feel like it and whenever she ask what I’m doing today I reply what ever I feel like.

    Like can truly be like a box of chocolates when you’re living off of passive income.

    Thx Ali

    • Ali Boone

      You’re welcome Angel, and thank you for sharing! I’m always glad to meet a fellow sleeper-inner, as I feel like I’m the minority in that case. Truly, one of my greatest joys in life every single night (with some exceptions when I really do have to be somewhere in the morning) is sitting for a minute and really thinking about how amazing it is to know I can sleep in as late as I want in the morning. I don’t sleep the day away, but knowing I can wake up when I wake up and even just lay there for awhile without having to rush out of bed (especially when it’s cold out), is about the best joy of my life…all adventures aside. Yesterday even, I woke up, didn’t feel motivated, so fell back asleep for 3 hours. Then I may or may not have watched a movie or two…lol.

  8. Laura Tokgozoglu

    Great article! I am in somewhat the same position, I have just finished home schooling my 3 children thru high school and now I have a lot of time on my hands. My husband has a great W2 job and we are moving from Maryland to South Carolina where we plan to start our REI. Our goal is to buy a boatload of properties and free him up in a few years.

    I plan to fill my days with learning guitar, taking voice lessons, birding, making my dream house into a home, traveling and exploring all the beaches I can get to!

    We also want to travel the world!

  9. Deanna Opgenort

    My solution was to find a job that was NOT passive, but IS interesting. I do have a moderate amount of control over over my work – I can always turn a job down if I like, but there is no guarantee of work being available when I’d like it.
    So. last 10 days – not atypical for a busy season;

    Friday morning – fly into San Francisco (after 5 days at a 5 star resort in Phoenix, paid for by client). Arrive early, visit friends.
    Saturday -visit friends.
    Sunday – -go to very nice hotel in SF to set up gear. Crab & smoked salmon sandwiches for lunch – – amazing! Turns out food at this hotel will be stunning all week.
    Monday – rehearse with client. 10 hr day, but not hard work.
    Tues – Listen to world-class speakers talk about tech stuff. 10 hr day
    Wed – Same. One of the speakers helped “invent” the internet work — got knighted. another talking about the state of the world re computer viruses – enough to scare the snot out of anyone. A third had just written a book (forward by Bill Clinton). Noticed that black shirts and gaudy socks seem to be the uniform of the day for tech geeks. 12 hr day
    Thurs – Worked on the campus of one of the local tech giants. 10 hr day. Only shooting camera about 1 hr, but very high profile, live to web almost the entire time.
    Friday – visit friends
    Saturday – fly home. Have been home 65 hrs in the last 30+ days. Good to be home for the next few weeks.

    Passive income? Heck no!
    Do I love my work? MOST of the time. Was very, very glad to get home after 30 days on the road. Would I rather have all rental income….at this point in my life no, but when I’m older yes. I have a bit of a lazy streak, and when I don’t have to work I don’t get much done.
    I DO enjoy the variety of my work, and exposure to ideas and crazy stuff that most people never even dream of; seriously — where do you hear phrases like “only half a billion $”, as in “are projects that are only half a billion dollars even worth bidding on?” (this was a no kidding, dead serious topic of debate)!
    The downside about my job is that it would be hard to do well at 70 due to the attention to detail needed.

    • Ali Boone

      Deanna, that sounds so cool! And oh my gosh, I hear you….if anyone can find a job they love, especially one like yours where it sounds very unique and fun, I am all for that. I couldn’t find it for me, but I know it exists. Like a lot of my income comes from flying airplanes….hellooooo fun. That’s like getting paid to do a hobby. I’ve been tempted to categorize “hobbies as jobs” as a version of passive income. It’s not technically passive because you have to do it to get paid, but when it’s a hobby type of feeling or fun feeling…should that be completely considered work? Nahhh. But not sure how to group that yet. But I love your week, thank you SO much for sharing, and now I want to know more about what you do! It sounds like my style of work, for sure.

  10. Theresa Minifield

    Thanks Ali!!! I feel inspired. I am very close to throwing in the hat. I already own some rentals acquired the traditional way i.e. bank financing, but am looking at turnkeys with creative financing. I have been reading like crazy and feeling better about it. I accidentally came across your article about jotting numbers on a napkin and signed into BP at that time (couple of months ago) and am hooked.

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