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.
How to Purchase Real Estate With No (or Low) Money!
One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!