GUEST STORY: Overcoming Money Trauma

Tame Your Wild Money Habits in 10 Minutes a Week!

GUEST STORY: OVERCOMING MONEY TRAUMA

overcoming money trauma - guest money story

We met Scott last October FinCon18 . He reached out to us and asked us to do a guest post on his blog about Why We Quit Our 6 Figure Jobs to Travel in Van. We were honored, obviously, but as I spent some time wandering around Scott's site I was so impressed by his own personal money story that I just had to share it with you all!

Written By: Scott from Simplifinances

Not everyone has to go through what I did growing up. And some people go through way harder things.

My parents were divorced when I was 8. It was a difficult divorce that caused my father not to be in my life. My dad was never good with money. He had accumulated over $1 million in debt by the time the divorce came and that forced my parents to file for bankruptcy.

My mom raised me and my four siblings by herself. We lived with extended family and government support until we could get back on our feet.

I learned how to save money and work hard from a young age because I wanted to create a future for myself. I wanted to be good with money because I didn’t want my future wife and kids to go through what I did.

How I overcame money trauma from the past

The way that I overcame some of the trauma from my past was getting really educated. I read books and listened to audiobooks and I ultimately learned that I was the one responsible for my future. No one else. Just because I didn’t grow up rich or come from a wealthy family, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been blessed having gone through what I did because it forced me to be stronger and it forced me to be smart with my money, even from a young age.

You can’t change the past. And dwelling on the past won’t change your circumstances. It’s better to look toward the future with optimism. The key is to become aware of what happened in your past, acknowledge it and move on.

How I address money conversations with your spouse (and how that has grown over the years)

I’ve always been a frugal person and very interested in personal finance.

My wife and I started out our marriage with good conversations about money because we both managed our money the same way and we didn’t have a lot of expenses. Before we got married, I managed my money a certain way and then she started doing it as well. And that’s when I knew I had to marry her.

We maintained the status quo of saving 10% and not going into debt.

But then I discovered the FIRE movement and started listening to the ChooseFI podcast at the end of 2017, I learned that there are other people out there like me pursuing the same dream of financial independence! I went far down the rabbit hole and I’m still learning new things and meeting new people. It’s been a great community to be a part of.

We’ve since had more arguments about money because I’m the one switching things up and trying to be more optimized and she’s left thinking, “hold up mister.”

The year that I learned about FI, we had a baby, we moved to another state, I started a new job and I started grad school. Dealing with all of those life changes while at the same time learning about financial independence has made it difficult to avoid difficult money conversations with my wife.

It’s a learning process and things will continue to get better as our goals align more and more for the future.

What I'd recommend to someone who grew up in a difficult money environment (whether poverty, divorce, trauma, etc)

If you grew up in a poor home, or a poor neighborhood or your parents went through a divorce or bankruptcy, maybe you’ve gone through a divorce or bankruptcy yourself, perhaps your parents ever taught you that rich people are greedy or that money is the root of all evil, all of these things can affect your financial blueprint. But here’s the hard truth:

No one cares.

No one cares if you grew up poor. No one cares if your parents were bad with money, and no one cares about your financial situation like you might think they do.

You may be comparing yourself with someone else thinking that you aren’t doing as good and you use your past experiences to justify the situation you’re in.

You’re the only one that has the ability to change and own your future. No one else is going to do it for you. So take it upon yourself to learn about personal finances and work hard and look for ways that you can eventually become financially independent.

If you’d like to learn more about how to take control of your finances sign up for my Free 7-day Financial Fitness Email Course!

 

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HOW WE SPENT $31,710 IN 2018

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HOW WE SPENT $31,710 IN 2018

how we spent $31710 in 2018

Last year, we put ourselves on a challenge to spend less than $40,000 and we did it! So we want to show you where our money went in 2018.

The total for 2018 on our personal life is $31,710.

This doesn’t include business expenses- which we spent $9,000 on- but we’ll go line by line. I'm sure you're going have questions when you read the below breakdown...

2018 Expenses

So, why we don’t have a housing payment?

For the first four months in the year we were living in our house in Bakersfield. We were renting out all the other rooms in the house which effectively paid for our entire mortgage and almost all of our utilities.

How We Saved $20,000 from HouseHacking

After we moved out of the house and into Clifford we obviously didn’t have any housing payments because we were living in the van. If you look at our month by month charts you'll see a lot of expenses that include Clifford expenses, maintenance items, we had to replace the transmission, etc.  We didn't count any of those expenses nor the money that we put into build him. We excluded these because we recently sold him in November, so all of that money was recouped on the sale of the van.

Why was healthcare so expensive?

The big payment was health care which Alli had LASIK eye surgery which was around $4,000. That was our biggest expense for the year, but it was totally worth it, being able to see every day, highly recommend it.

Why do we have a loan payment?

We talk a lot about getting out of debt, but Matt actually still owes his mom for college. It’s from the bank of mom at 0% interest. When he graduated school they worked out a payment of $500 bucks a month. We're still paying that. Matt's mom likes income and Matt likes not paying interest, so $500 bucks a month works instead of paying it all off up front.

If you have a 0% interest loan we wouldn’t recommend you pay it off right away, either.

Basically any loan below 7% you have to wonder whether it’s worth your time investing that money or paying off your loan. It all depends on your own personal risk tolerance, some people just really like to be able to say they're debt-free and if that’s really important to you, go for it.

Our next line item is groceries, which was $4359 which is an average of a little less than $400 bucks a month, like $350-ish maybe.

Then gas for the car, utilities for the house, insurance.

What does insurance include?

Insurance does include health (we use Medi-Share), car, and umbrella insurance.

Next up is restaurants. I'm really proud of that one because it’s less than $200 a month. We would have months where it was really big. If you look back on July when we were visiting a lot of friends on the east coast, we spent like $400 that month. Then there were other months where we spent like $80 bucks or less. It fluctuates a lot, but overall for the year we ended up pretty well.

Travel, that was probably the majority of the beginning of the year when we were in Europe for a little bit. We were there the first couple weeks of January.

Other things that ended up in travel: Alli had a bachelorette party in Mexico that ended up in there, Matt had a bachelor party in Denver.

What Mobile Phone Plan We Use

We started off the year with our workplace plans (til April). When we got off our workplace plans, we went to Google FI. Unfortunately, we had a bad experience with Google FI when we got our computers hacked and they weren’t able to protect our phone numbers. Now we are with Verizon and we pay $60 a month for 3GB of data each and that works for us.

When we were full-time traveling in the van we’re using our phones for Internet, so we had Verizon unlimited plan and it was $170 bucks for both of us. That unlimited plan is where the bulk of that expense came from- 6 or 7 months of being on an unlimited plan.

Next up: electronics and software, we bought a drone for our YouTube channel!!

Matt also bought a computer right before we left work so he had a laptop for traveling.

Shopping. A lot of gifts that we bought for people’s weddings, things like that. Christmas gifts all ended up in there too. A few Walmart transactions for backpacking food ended up in there too.

The automotive category is mainly the last few months once we've settled down, we got a new (to us) car, we had to do some registration, stuff like that. Our car was given to us by a friend who owed us.

Most of the Clifford maintenance on the van all ended up under the Clifford category which ended up positive, so it's not included. Since we made $1400 off of the sale of Clifford, all of that got wiped out when you look at it on a 12-month basis.

I'm really proud of our alcohol and bars tab. Super low. When we started dating that was like, a $130 a week.

Entertainment, that’s just like movies or going places. Since we were traveling full-time we didn’t really pay for a lot of entertainment, we just went hiking when we wanted to or mountain biking. Almost all the stuff we did was free, so that was pretty sweet.

So total we spent $31,710 on us personally.

Business Expenses Explained

For the businesses we invested about $9,000 last year, and that’s for our business Primal Noms, we invested a lot of raw material. For this business Owen Your Future we’ve invested in software and some camera equipment.

Majority of the business investment was the last two months into Primal Noms to get raw materials to start manufacturing. Just getting set up with a commercial kitchen was $1000 worth of permitting to get our health license.

If you looked at any of the past expenses blog posts, we post all of the screenshots month by month so you can see how we do it.

For 2019 we’re hoping to keep the spending below $40,000 as we did last year.

Our housing situation might change a little bit, we’re not 100% sure what we’re going to be doing or where we’re gonna be living so we may have some more rents to pay, but no matter where we end up we’re going to try to do something similar to what we did in Bakersfield and house-hack our living situation so at least reduce those costs as much as possible.

We're pretty happy with how we did, we were definitely quite a bit under $40,000 which we expected it would be tough to actually hit.

We’d never spent under $40,000 ever before. The year before we spent around $60k.

Leave us a comment below if you have any spending goals for 2019, we'd love to hear them!

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DENIED? Public Service Loan Forgiveness HORRORS

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DENIED? Public Service Loan Forgiveness HORRORS

DENIED pslf horrors

You may have seen in the news that 99% of the applicants to the public service loan forgiveness program have been denied.

By the end of this post, you'll know exactly why people are being denied and how to not be one of them. Scroll to the bottom if you'd rather watch the video.

We did the heavy lifting to make sure you get your loans forgiven.

Why are people being denied for public service loan forgiveness?

The first reason is that they don't have the right loan. To be eligible for public service loan forgiveness, you have to be in a Direct Loan. If you have other loans they can be consolidated into Direct Loans to be eligible, but you have to do that first.

The second reason is they refinance their debt in the middle of making their qualifying payments. Whenever you refinance your debt, even if you refinance to a direct loan, the clock still starts over, unfortunately.

The third reason is they didn't make 120 qualifying payments. In order to be a qualifying payment it has to be for the full amount shown due, so you can't do any partial payments. It can't be any later than 15 days after due date, so a late payment does not count. You also have to be employed by a qualifying employer.

What is a qualifying employer?

These are 501C-3's or nonprofits, in the government at any level (federal, state, local or tribal). You can work in emergency management, military service, public safety and law enforcement, public interest, legal services, early child education, public service for individuals with disabilities, public service for the elderly, public health, public education and public library services. There's also a lot with schools, like school library services, other school-based services, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps also count.

In order to also be counted as a qualifying employer, you must be employed full-time at at least 30 hours per week and you cannot have your loan in a grace period, deferment, or forbearance.

The fourth reason why people were denied for public service loan forgiveness is that they were not on an income driven repayment plan. You must be on the PAYE, REPAYE, IBR or ICR plans. One caveat is the standard ten year repayment plan, also counts. If you made a year of payments on that plan before switching to an income based repayment plan, you'd be able to count those qualifying payments. However, if you went to it any type of extended payment plan that is a payment period longer than 10 years, those do not count towards qualifying payments.

The fifth reason why these people are not being approved for the public service loan forgiveness program is that they did not submit the proper paperwork. You must submit two pieces of paperwork, one is the public service loan forgiveness employment verification once per year and the income-driven payment plan income verification  once per year.

Make sure download our free student loan flow chart to help you to pay off your student loans the fastest.

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DEBT SNOWBALL vs AVALANCHE vs TSUNAMI vs TORNADO CALCULATOR

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DEBT SNOWBALL vs AVALANCHE vs TSUNAMI vs TORNADO CALCULATOR

DEBT SNOWBALL VS AVALANCHE CALCULATOR

Written by Alli

Did you know you can save months by paying off your credit card debt by using the right strategy?

By the end of this post, you'll know which strategy is right for you. We'll be covering debt snowball, debt avalanche, debt tsunami and our favorite, debt tornado. We’ll also include a calculator comparing debt snowball vs. avalanche vs. tsunami vs. tornado.

Scroll to the bottom if you'd rather watch the video.

We've crunched the numbers of all four, to give you the best one.

So, what are these three strategies to paying off your credit card debt?

1. DEBT SNOWBALL

The first one, made popular by Dave Ramsey, is the Debt Snowball. This is based on paying off your lowest balance first. So, whichever credit card has the least amount on it, that's the one you go for first, doesn't have anything to do with interest rate, it is purely a psychological method because it gives you a quick win from the beginning, so you can see that debt gone.

The debt snowball is where you actually pay the most interest in the long run and it's the slowest way of paying off your credit card debt.

2. DEBT AVALANCHE

The second method is the Debt Avalanche. The Debt Avalanche, I'm not sure who coined this strategy, but whoever it was, was good at math. This is a mathematically based principle, instead of an emotionally based principle, like the Debt Snowball. This looks at your highest interest rate credit card first and that's the one you're going to attack first.

This one definitely reduces the amount of interest you're going to pay and you can pay off your debts faster than using the Debt Snowball method.

3. DEBT TSUNAMI

The third one is Debt Tsunami and this one is based on paying your most emotional debt first. If you have a debt to a family member or a friend that is really weighing on you that makes you worried, it keeps you up at night, this is the one you pay off first. This method helps you to overcome that emotional barrier right away. After you pay off the most emotional debt first, you go to the Debt Avalanche where you pay off the highest interest rate.

Depending on the status of your most emotional debt, this one could be slower than the Debt Avalanche, but it is likely faster than the Debt Snowball.

4. DEBT TORNADO

The Debt Tornado is a term we coined- it’s like a Debt Avalanche but with a little bit of twist. With a lot of these strategies listed above, their very first step (like Dave Ramsey’s baby step number one) is to save up $1000  dollars in your bank account as an emergency fund. We don’t agree with saving up an emergency fund first, and we know that’s pretty controversial, but we’ll explain why.

Download the Snowball vs. Avalanche vs. Tornado Calculator

Here’s an example:

If you have $1000 saved up in a savings account, earning you 1% interest, but then you have $10,000 dollars as a credit card balance that has an interest rate of 30%, we recommend taking that $1000 dollars and knocking out some of that debt. By doing this, you would stop paying 30% interest on that $1000 dollars. The alternative (that Dave Ramsey suggests) is you can keep it in your savings account and use that emergency fund to avoid putting more money onto that credit card.  But we recommend bringing that $10,000 balance down to $9,000 and should an emergency come up, put that $500 back on a credit card. Then just keep paying it down after all.

The Debt Tornado is the fastest way to pay off your credit cards.

ONE CAVEAT

The purpose of the Dave Ramsey Snowball method is to feel like you got a win and you’re making progress. But with our clients, we’ve been able to show them through visual methods, using spreadsheets and graphs, that they are making progress even when they have unexpected expenses and hiccups come along.

So it’s really all about tracking, and if you want to download our ten minute money checklist, that is exactly what we do every week to check in with our money and to make sure we are staying on track and making progress to achieve our goals.

Mindset is super important.

When you’re tackling one of your debts by one of these mathematical principles like the avalanche or the tornado, it is really important to make sure you have your mindset right from the beginning.

Our course really helps with that. With our clients and coaching students we go through a whole series of exercises to uproot limiting beliefs and make sure your money mindset is in the right place so you can really jump in and budget and pay down debt effectively and stay on track.

We’ll go over the details of the Tornado method in another post, but with the Debt Tornado method you can pay off your debt 10%  to 20% faster than the Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche. So you can shave off months to even years depending on your personal situation.

To download the Debt Snowball vs. Avalanche vs. Tsunami vs. Tornado calculator fill out the box below for it to be sent directly to your inbox.

The Snowball vs. Avalanche vs. Tornado Calculator

Snowball vs Tornado vs Avalanche Calculator

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7 “ADULTING” BEHAVIORS KEEPING YOU BROKE

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7 "ADULTING" BEHAVIORS KEEPING YOU BROKE

7 expensive adulting behaviors

Written by Alli

So you're an adult now, congratulations.

Here is how to not waste your money.

By the end of this post, you'll have 7 categories to watch out for to adult successfully without wasting your money.

Scroll to the bottom if you'd rather watch a video.

It’s the minimalists that said,

“We work at a job that we hate so we can buy things that we don’t need to impress people that we don’t like.”

Impressing people is baked into society. Advertising pushes us in the direction that you need THINGS to appear a certain way to other people and it’s a trap almost everyone falls into. Even ourselves included at times.

The overarching idea of what we will cover is this: if you can remove yourself from trying to impress other people and just buy things that really bring you joy, you will do more things that are true to yourself AND you'll save a lot of money in the process.

So, here are the 7 "adulting" behaviors that are keeping you broke:

1. Going out to eat a lot

Obviously being an extrovert like myself, going out to eat and being social is important, but we’ve learned how to be social in ways that align with our values and fit in with the goals that we’re trying to reach. So that means organizing social events outside, going hiking, inviting people over to our house to eat dinner, etc.

2. Going to a happy hour all the time

This is something that is absolutely adulting. I remember when I first got my job, I went from broke college student to full-time employee, like what are all these numbers in my bank account?? I regularly went out with my friends after work and on the weekends. It really added up quick, turns out drinks are not cheap most everywhere in the country, but especially if you live in the city. It’s pretty easy to hit a $100 dollar bar tab a night. What we did was shifted to having people over our house more. If you do like to drink, nothing wrong with that, have some beers and some liquor at your house and you can have just as fun of a party if not better at your own house than you can at the bar. And you don’t have to worry about driving or ubering places.

3. Buying nice clothes

I love clothes and I used to be a Stitch Fix junkie. Through Stitch Fix, I would get an order of clothes every single month for $150 bucks. I was just doing that because I felt like I have a big girl job now, I need to dress the part.  When I stopped buying clothes for the sake of “adulting,” I realized that no one cared what I look like [to a point, obviously, if you look homeless they might be like, okay maybe she needs to brush her hair.] But I ended up wearing the same pants to work most days of the week and no one ever noticed. And who cares if they noticed, they're the most comfortable best pants ever and I love wearing them! Buying into the fact that we have to always have new clothes is bullshit.

4. Gadgets

I'm a total gadget junkie, I love technology. When transitioning into “adulthood,” I found myself buying a lot of stuff because I thought it was neat, even though I may not really use that much. For instance, when we were living in the van we bought a drone from someone who had it and used it twice. Like that’s something I would've done. Proudly though, we actually used the drone to shoot some of our YouTube videos that I'm sure you’ve watched. Buying things because they're cool and not necessarily useful is a good waste of money.  You don’t need that new Apple Watch or that new iPhone. The phone you have now works just great.

Pro Tip on Gadgets:  Something we've done to save money on some of our gadgets is we buy a model or two years old. The camera we film our YouTube videos on is a Sony Alpha 6000. We bought it when the 6500 were out and it was a lot cheaper and there's a lot of resources online. You can do that with just about anything, obviously look and see if the new ones are really worth the money, but most of the time tech only makes like small incremental jumps. So two models back isn’t exponentially worse than the one you can buy now, but it is exponentially cheaper.

5. Taking expensive vacations

This is so hard in the age of Instagram when you see everyone going off to Thailand and living it up! We are huge travel geeks and so we do still spend money on travel, but we've found ways to optimize our travel. Check out our blog post on how we spent 10 days in Cozumel, Mexico for $800 dollars each (including flights!). We have really found ways to optimize our expenses while traveling. We've also really enjoyed just traveling more locally. Camping out, taking the van and going places that are nearby is a lot cheaper than buying that transatlantic flight.  We live in America and it’s so beautiful here and there's so much we still haven’t even discovered. Appreciating what we have at home has also given us a newfound love and respect for our country.

6. Buying a house

Buying a house is like the most adult thing you can do, right? It’s like the American dream, but in a lot of cases people get themselves into trouble buying a house, either they're not ready financially for it or other expenses come up when you own a house that you might not expect. If you want to know how to buy a house super smart, check out our post on how to househack and drop your housing expenses to zero.

7. Buying a new car

A lot of people feel like they need to buy a new car because they want something reliable and of course with all the tech and gadgets. Thankfully, cars nowadays are super reliable, most are going over 150,000 to 200,000 miles with pretty minimal repairs. I don’t think you need a 2018 model in order to have a reliable car for the next 3 or 4 years. What we've done is we buy cars that are maybe 10 years old, 7 to 10 years seems to be a sweet spot. The cars still have less than 100,000 miles on them, they're still super reliable, they look good, they're usually in good condition and they cost like a third or a quarter of what a new car would cost.

If you do all of these things you're obviously going to save a ton of money but if you want to ramp up your savings rate even more, download our weekly checklist, which is a checklist of everything we do every week to stay on top of our finances. It just takes 10 minutes a week and you'll be on your way to achieving your financial goals.

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HOUSEHACKING: HOW TO GET A FREE HOUSE

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HOUSEHACKING: HOW TO GET A FREE HOUSE

Househacking_ how to get a free house

Written by Alli, scroll to the bottom for video

So you want to save an extra $20,000 dollars a year?

We’re going to show you how to get a free house and how we specifically saved an extra $20,000 dollars a year.

This one saving hack is what put us in front of our peers and allowed us to quit our jobs and travel the world.

So, what is this savings hack that saved us an extra $20,000 a year?

We call it HOUSEHACKING. And if you’re like most people, your number one expense is your housing.

What is Househacking?

Househacking is a technique where you purchase a house, either a single-family house or multi-family with the intention of renting out either the other units or other rooms in order to cover your mortgage or reduce your housing expenses as much as possible. And in some cases, you can even get paid to live there.

We’re going to break this tactic down whether you’re single, you have a family or you’re not ready to buy yet and just want to rent.

1. Shared rented house

To start our househacking journey, we rented a large 4 bedroom house with 3 other people. This reduced our housing expense to $750/ month for the two of us. Before we moved in together, Matt was just renting a room out of the house and it was $425/ month. Alli was paying for a one bedroom apartment that was $990/ month, but Matt actually got more amenities, he got a garage and a backyard and a nice swimming pool. Renting a house is a great opportunity if you're not ready to buy and you still want to enjoy the benefits of a low cost of living. This is a great option if you’re single and not ready to buy yet.

2. Multi-family properties

If you're ready to purchase, buying a duplex, triplex or fourplex could be a great option for you. You could live in one unit so you got more privacy and rent out the other units. This is the technique I would go to for a family, which is the second scenario.

This way you don’t have to worry as much about who’s in the house, vetting your roommates as closely especially if you have children, things like that. You would have your own unit, your own space that you live in and then other tenants have their own private space also. One caveat to this that we found in our town, the multi-family properties were not in the area that we wanted to live, it wasn’t close to our work, so there were some other factors that you need to consider and think about. But every city is different so hopefully in your city, if that’s a tactic you want to use, you can find multi-family property that would be perfect for you and your family.

3. Shared purchased house

This is what we did that really created that optimal BUMP. We strategically purchased a home and rented all the other rooms out. We’ll go into numbers below, but this is the best strategy if you're single or newly married (no kids yet) and ready to buy a house.

So, how does all this add up to an extra $20,000 dollars a year?

We’re going to run you through what our housing looked like from the time we left school to the time we quit our jobs.

When we first moved out to Bakersfield, Matt was living in a shared house, paid $425 a month (plus around $100 utilities on top of that), so $525 total.

When Alli first moved to Bakersfield, she was living in a one bedroom apartment which was $990, plus some utilities on top of that, coming to about $1200 bucks a month.

So together, we were paying close to $1700 dollars a month, maybe $1800 dollars a month for both of us to live separately.

From there, we ended up moving into the master of the shared house. The master was $725 dollars a month, which we both split so we dropped our housing to say $850 or $900 dollars total, which is awesome. We cut our housing expense in half. But then we wanted to even get cheaper housing, so we started hunting for our own house.

When we bought our house we were able to rent out all three rooms and cover all our mortgage.

We went from about $1800 dollars a month, to just about $0 dollars a month in the course of 2 or 3 years.

DOWNLOAD THE HOUSE HACKING SPREADSHEET

See if this strategy would work for you!

But as with anything in life, there are pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of househacking:

PROS OF HOUSEHACKING:

1. Money

You are saving more money and that creates more opportunities for freedom.

2. Social

Just like being in college and being in dorms, being in shared house, you have a lot of people around, things to organize activities with, family dinners, etc.

3. Security

As a female, living in an apartment by myself was the first time I ever lived alone and it was little frightening for me just being a single woman alone in an apartment. Moving into a house I felt a lot more secure and safe, knowing that at least there were other people there that you could hear if something is happening or if I got sick and needed to go the emergency room. It was just a nice security blanket knowing there are other people there.

CONS OF HOUSEHACKING:

1. Lack of privacy

How we managed to be newlyweds in a house full of people was this: we strategically purchased a house that had a big master bedroom, it was like the size of a studio apartment, so we felt like we had a lot of space to ourselves. Considering what type of house you move in to or what type of situation you move in to, considering privacy is important to when you make your purchase or choose the place you're going to rent.

2. Bad roommates

Thankfully we haven’t had any bad roommates. Initially, we just screened roommates with our gut and by knowing friends of the people moving into our house. It was a pretty small community where we were living and it was easy to know friends of friends and people who needed a place to live, and so we went with our gut a lot of times. Now that we don’t live in the house and are still renting out all four of the bedrooms, we use a service called cozy.co and basically you send the tenant a screening application and they fill it out, they pay $35 bucks and then we receive back their credit history and background check. That really gives a piece of mind and doesn’t come out of our pocket, the potential tenant pays that.

3. Messes

This kind of goes with bad roommates, but just sharing a space with people can get messy, particularly bathrooms and kitchen. So early on we hired a cleaning service and it was the best decision we ever made.  We had them come every two weeks, they cleaned all the common areas. They would also clean your room if you wanted or change your sheets. It was about a $100 dollars each time they came, so $200 bucks a month we just split between other roomies. Now that we rent with all utilities included we just have upped the price of rent and it includes the cleaning service. That keeps all the common areas clean, all the bathrooms clean, nobody has to worry about coming home from work and doing chores.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

1. Pick the right house and the right type

We talked some about what we looked for in a house, but mostly it's was a big master, whether it’s close to work or in an area out of town you want to live in.

We spent about 6 months looking for our house and running a lot of numbers as far as how many rooms it had, how much we thought we could rent it for, what the mortgage would work out to be, to try to find the best deal for us to make sure that we would pay as little as possible or even make some money every month. So, spend a lot of time looking for the right property for you and don’t rush into one.

2. Good tenants

Use cozy.co, we definitely recommend it, it’s super easy, it takes all the pressure off of you. A tenant pays for the application and you get to know if they ever had evictions, how their credit is, all those things.

If you have any questions specifically about where you live and your situation, leave them in the comments below, we would happily give you some advice and look into where you live and what your situation is to see what would work out best for you to decrease your housing expense.

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