Growing up in a low-income family can be challenging, and it can make financial freedom seem like an unattainable goal. In this episode, Danielle Daly shares her inspiring journey of going from a $30,000 income to buying a house in just two years. Hear her valuable insights about how to overcome the barriers that life throws your way in order to achieve success.
Danielle shares so many nuggets of wisdom about the importance of taking action NOW and not letting fear hold you back. She emphasizes the significance of self-reflection and how it can help you learn more about yourself.
Even if you encounter failure, Danielle suggests turning those losses into a lesson and staying forward-thinking. Her story is a testament to the fact that hard work, determination, and the right mindset, can help you accomplish any goal.
Follow Danielle's journey on Instagram at @daniellefdaly to stay up to date with her house hacking journey.
For transcriptions of this episode and more, visit https://learnedsooner.com.
Follow Tim Winfred on Twitter and Instagram at @contimporary (it's like "contemporary" but more fun)
00:00 Take action right now. Don't wait to take action. Action is not waiting for the perfect opportunity or waiting until you feel like you know exactly what you want to do with your future. Action is what helps create your future, like those steps that you take along the way.
00:19 Think of it as you walking a path and slowly just opening up doors. As you're on this path, you realize, "oh, cool. I like what's behind that door. Kind of don't like what's behind that door. Let me keep it moving."
00:31 And you just learn a lot about yourself by taking action.
-Hello, hello. Welcome to the I Should Have Learned this Sooner Podcast. I'm your host, Tim Winfried. Together, let's take a dive into amazing stories of personal growth as my guests share their answer to the question, what is something you know now that you wish you had learned sooner?
00:54 From overcoming impostor syndrome, investing, money lessons, and more. Join me and my guests as they share their stories of challenges they faced head on and how they came out on top. Today's guest is a friend of mine named Danielle Daley.
01:11 Danielle and I recently met here in the Denver metro area, and we bonded over how similar our stories were. We both come from an advertising background. At the moment, she's working in ad sales and I got a degree in advertising.
01:27 And we both are house hacking: renting out a part of our house to people to subsidize our mortgage payments every month. So I'm not going to spoil too much because this is an episode filled with little nuggets, and it just inspired me so much.
01:45 And I look forward to getting the opportunity to continue to get to know Danielle. And I hope you all, everybody listening here today, takes some piece of advice from this that you hadn't thought of before.
02:01 If you do, hit me and Danielle up on Instagram. I'm @contimporary. It's like Contemporary but more fun. And she drops her Instagram at the end of the episode. I'm also on Twitter. Feel free to hit me up there.
02:15 And if you enjoy this episode, please, please, please do me a huge favor and rate it on Apple Podcast. It does so much and it bumps me up in the algorithms. And just share it with your friends, anybody who you think might take something from this.
02:30 All right, without further ado, let's jump right in. Hi, Danielle. Thank you so much for joining me today.
-Hey there, Tim. Happy to be here.
-Yeah. So you are guest number three on the podcast, and I'm super excited to have you.
02:45 We've been trying to get this together for a minute.
-Well, three is my lucky number. Right? So here we are.
-Third time's the charm. I'm glad to have you. So for anybody who's listening, who is unfamiliar with who you are, please let us know.
03:00 Oh, my God. Who am I? How do I answer that?
-Existential crisis question right there.
-Exactly. We could take this one of two ways, but I'm going to keep it in check for purposes of time. So we met through a friend, at a real estate meetup. Through a friend, Brian, who is just like, super ingrained in the community real estate meetups and events and investing and things of that sort.
03:24 So we met through him and then realized we happen to live a few blocks away from each other in our house hacks that we recently bought, which is crazy. But far too I am. I work Bigger Pockets, which is a real estate investing, educational sort of platform, for people who don't know.
03:43 And I work in advertising sales, so that is my current career path. But I'm also an investor on the side, wanting to get out of the nine to five and just kind of grinding and trying to make my way, eventually.
03:56 Out of the workforce, even though I love my job at the same time. Sorry, Bigger Pockets if you're listening to this, but that's a long term plan. As far as who else I am, I don't even know where to go with that.
04:09 I could talk about hobbies, like super into snowboarding. I'm into all the Colorado outdoors, hiking, backpacking kind of stuff. And I'm just a personal development junk. So I'm into anything, into everything that can educate me or make me better or help me learn something new.
04:30 So that is the tip of the iceberg of who I am. I'll leave it at that.
-Yeah. I mean, it was so fun hearing that. Whenever I first learned all of it, because we have so many things that align. We bought a house, like a month apart from each other.
04:45 I went to school for advertising. You're working in advertising now, doing the house hack thing. It all just like felt -- And we both knew Brian. Who Brian, like you said, is a super social guy. He's actually scheduled to be a guest after you.
05:01 So the next episode will be Brian.
-He's going to kill it. We started off with me, and then he's just going to be killing it.
-Yeah. What's up, Brian? If you're listening, you better be. All right, well, I'm going to jump right into the first question you're aware and for anybody who may be tuning in for the first time, the show is broken up into three questions.
05:23 This first question is the primary question of the show and is what is something you know now that you wish you had learned sooner?
-Does it have to be just one thing?
-I mean, no. If there's more, we've got the time.
05:38 Let's see. So something I wish I knew sooner. I wish I knew that it was all going to work out, right? And I can break this answer into a few different parts, but I am someone who is such a forward-thinking person.
05:54 I'm constantly thinking, what's next? What can I accomplish next? What can I do next? And sometimes that stops me from fully living in the moment and fully appreciating what I currently have, especially in comparison to what I used to want.
06:13 Now having it, I just wish I appreciated that time a little bit more. Because I remember two years, I think it's actually two years as of today, that I moved to Colorado from Florida, and I made this whole cross country road trip.
06:28 I knew literally one person here. I did not have a job. I decided just to save up $10k, and I moved here. And I completely switched careers. I completely switched around what I did for work, actually used to work in hospitality.
06:46 So it was just like a totally kind of like, random thing that I did. And I remember just being really stressed and worked up about, am I going to find a job? Am I going to like Colorado? How am I going to make a living here?
07:01 And just being so just stressed and slightly overwhelmed by all of the changes happening. But I just went for it. And here I am today, realizing that that was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life, was to just take a chance and to move, even with no job.
07:20 And here we are. I'm in the best job I've ever had. I have a house, two years later. I'm investing. It's just been literally a game changer. So that would be number one. I would say number two is just, take action right now.
07:34 Don't wait to take action. Action is not waiting for the perfect opportunity or waiting until you feel like you know exactly what you want to do with your future. Action is what helps create your future.
07:49 Like those steps that you take along the way. Think of it as you walking a path and slowly just opening up doors. As you're on this path, you realize, "oh, cool. I like what's behind that door. Kind of don't like what's behind that door.
08:02 Let me keep it moving." And you just learn a lot about yourself by taking action. So I encourage anyone to literally take the smallest of actions continuously throughout your entire life and never stop learning.
08:16 Because if you just sit there and wait for inspiration to strike, you're going to be waiting a long time. You have to create that for yourself through action.
-Yeah. I love wow. That was so well said.
08:27 Thank you. That was kind of like a prose poem. It felt so eloquent. I totally relate to that 100%. A lot of choices that I've made in my life. Big choices. At one point, I moved to South Korea to teach English, and that was one of those things where I did it, like a year and a half after I left college, and it felt like I was giving up all of that I worked so hard for over the last few years.
08:54 And lo and behold, fast forward to me coming back. It helped me a lot more than probably hindered my career, and there's a whole story behind that. I won't bore you with that now. We can chat about that and bore Brian with it,
09:10 But no, that's such a good example, because you going to South Korea. It's not like a detour. It's literally a part of your life that's literally something that created a different perspective, mindset, new opportunities for you just by doing something.
09:25 Because you took action, you did it, and it just created an entire new way of living for you, which is so cool.
-Yeah. For your move to Denver with you only knowing one person out here, what would you say was the biggest lesson you took out of that?
09:41 What is something that you took the leap and you took the chance to do the move, so what is something that unexpectedly came out of it?
-Again, a couple of things. But I think the biggest and this is not to deter anyone from moving.
09:56 This is to encourage and set realistic expectations. But I'm definitely an extrovert, and I would say it took about a year and a half to feel like it was home, to feel like I had my own friend group, to feel comfortable.
10:13 And it does take that long, let's say bare minimum a year, but I just remember it hitting a year and a half, and I'm like, all right, cool. I live here. I have friends to call. I have a job I enjoy.
10:23 I feel at home. And so for people moving, when you're three to six months in and you're kind of lonely and you're like, "Shit, I don't know--" I don't know if I can curse. Sorry. It's okay. "But I don't know if this is the right place for me.
10:39 I don't know if I'm fitting in." You got to give a time. Give a time. It just takes time to adjust. And that was the most surprising thing for me, because I thought I would just be here and after three months, just meet people and feel comfortable, and that wasn't the case.
10:54 But when you really push through it and you hit that magic point in time that you just start feeling at home, it's a really good feeling to know that, all right, cool. This is the right decision. This was the right move for me.
11:06 So be patient with yourself.
-Yeah. It's whenever you go from that someone you know and just met who's like an acquaintance, and you're starting to get to know them and like them to, yeah, that's my friend, and then that's my really good friend.
-We have all these inside jokes or memories together, but I actually want to tie that together with your second thing, which was what action did you take to meet people?
-Oh, that was a great transition.
11:35 Well, the way we met is how I have been meeting most of my friends. Though the real estate meetups have been essential. Making friends, not just for learning about real estate. I would say it's 70% making Friends 30% learning about real estate.
11:52 And for the people listening, it doesn't have to be a real estate meetup, right? It could be any sort of meetup. Go to meetup.com. It could be something for fun, it could be something for learning, something for your passion or hobby or whatever it is.
12:07 Join a group. Think back to high school or college and how you would make friends. Being near people attracts their likability to you, right? So just like consistently seeing people, consistently showing up to meetups, it just breeds likability.
12:24 You just get familiar. That's what it is. Familiarity breeds likability. That took way too long to get. There, but we made it. But yeah, just consistently doing something that you like and having a hobby.
12:38 I'm also in something called Toastmasters, which is a public speaking group for that, for public speaking, but also just for leadership and for friendship and trying to just improve and be a better person.
12:52 And that has also been another source of meeting friends. So I would say those two things, more than going out to clubs or bars or something like that, you can meet people there too. But I think do something that you enjoy doing and you're going to meet people with a similar mindset as you.
13:07 So that would be the biggest thing as far as meeting people.
-Definitely. There's a lot to be said for going to an event. There's a lot of these general networking events that don't have a topic. But whenever you go to an event in particular, like a real estate meetup, or for myself as a software engineer, going to a software engineer meetup, stuff like that, you immediately know someone there has at least one thing in common with you.
13:35 You can start the conversation at any real estate meetup and say, "so, are you investing? Are you thinking about investing?" And someone will have. You can talk to them for 2 hours at that meetup and whatever it is.
13:48 But if you go to a networking event, it's just a general exchange business cards type of meetup. You don't know until you exchange that card, if there's any sort of interest, and then you kind of have to duck out of it, find an excuse to --
14:04 Yeah, the meetups, especially in the Denver metro area because of the Bigger Pockets community. It's bred this whole like... I think I might have said in one of the previous episodes, you can go to a meetup like three or four times a week out here.
14:19 A real estate meetup of some sort, house hacking, investment, whatever it might be. And just you see a lot of the same faces. Brian will be there. We've run into each other at a meet up, unintentionally. All these different people that I see at one meetup and then I go to another meet up and I'm like, "hey, someone told me to talk to you at the last one.
14:39 Now I get to talk to you here."
-It's been so great for me as well.
-I love it. And Tim, it's a free beer. It's a free beer. Just go.
-Unfortunately, not all of them have it. But shout out to Brian and the Fi team because Brian always hooks us up with those drink tickets.
14:57 Yes, I have not been to one without a free beer, baby. It's just me subconsciously choosing the correct meetings. But also one thing I wanted to add to that is you don't need to know about real estate or insert subject, hobby, et cetera.
15:13 You don't need to know about it. You just need to have interest.
-I love going to meetups and talking with people who are like, "yeah, I don't own any property, but I'm super interested." And that was me.
15:23 That was me a year ago. And all I'm saying is there is a correlation between the year that I started going to meet Ups and the year I bought property number one. Right? That happen actually.
15:35 Yes. We're exactly on the same timeline. So you get it.
-Yeah, not only that, but you have to start somewhere, right? Everybody who's an expert in something at some point didn't know a single thing about.
15:50 Like no one came out.
-Pardon? I don't know if this is too much to say, but no one came out of the womb and knew about real estate investing. Right?
-You had to start somewhere. Whether that's a book, a podcast.
16:04 The reason that I am doing this, season two, this podcast, as like a real estate money journey is I started the end of 2018 sharing publicly on Facebook whenever I still use that, and just sort of like, called myself out for all the debt that I had, student loan, credit card, et cetera.
16:24 And people really appreciated that. And then I started posting some things about stuff that I was learning, and people started coming and asking me questions, and I was like, "I'm not sure I feel comfortable giving advice quite yet."
16:38 I'm still a student and there wasn't an exact transition because I feel like I'm an eternal student, but I feel like I'm at a point where I have at least enough experience to talk about what I know. And, God, I can't even tell you if I've hit the 10,000 hours or 20,000 hours listening to podcasts and audiobooks on the subject, YouTube videos, whatever.
17:01 But at some point, you can recognize yourself in those people who are coming and just starting, and you're like, "well, these are the things that I made mistakes about going through this journey."
17:13 And even, like with your story, Tim, we're at the point of our lives where we're getting started, yet we have experience at the same time. And I think sometimes it's really beneficial to learn from people who are not astronomically above where you are.
-People who just are a few properties in or just a few years into their career or whatever. It's actually helpful to talk with those people because it's just more tangible, very cool. If you are a couple of properties ahead of me, I can do that too.
17:46 I can get there. And you're not like a multimillionaire with an entire business and things like that. So it's kind of more relatable, almost more helpful, in my opinion.
-I don't know, this is a bit of a tangent, but there was some point where I think Ellen DeGeneres did like a stand up comedy and it was her trying to relate to everyday people.
18:06 But her life is so different than would be like an everyday person. Yeah, that's why I think people appreciated that early on. And I wish I had shared more of that content as I was learning. Because those little things that at the time were big questions, now they're like duh to me and I forget what those are.
18:26 So at one point in the season, I have scheduled someone who I hope to come on and they're more early or junior in their investment strategy and they have a lot of questions. So I don't know if I'd have all the answers to it.
18:40 And nobody does. At the end of the day, even Warren Buffett, right. And Charlie Munger in their 90s, billions of dollars probably don't have they have a lot of answers, but they don't know everything.
18:55 Exactly. There might be some answers that we know that they don't from being in our position. Who knows, right? Different time period. You can learn different things from different people. It's all relevant.
19:08 Yeah, tell me, I'm curious. So you mentioned being able to save up $10k to move to Colorado and then you were able to save up for your down payment. I'm curious a little bit about your financials, if you're open to sharing it, and how you were able to save that any budgeting or frugality that you went through in order to get there.
19:29 I'd love to and I'm a huge promoter of sharing finances, if you're comfortable, because I just feel like it can be helpful. And just to preface this: My family is amazing. Love them to death. But none of the money came from my family.
19:42 This was all made on my own. So I was living in Florida, working in hospitality back in 2020 when our good old friend COVID hit. Right? I think we almost forgot about COVID for a minute, but --
19:58 Exactly. So, yeah, back in the COVID days, I was working in hospitality in Florida, and I was actually working as a server. I'll get in the whole background of this story, but I used to be a manager.
20:14 I decided I wanted to move into a different career path. So I basically stepped down to work as a server to kind of get my ducks in a row and just kind of figure out what I wanted to do with life. So I'm taking a break in 2020, COVID hits, obviously, I'm out of work for two, three months because it was Florida.
20:32 We got right back up and running -- so it was not as bad as it could have been somewhere else in the country. But I get back to serving go to do my taxes for 2020. Realized I made $30 grand. That is just not livable.
20:47 That's what you need for a down payment for 5%.
-Exactly. Leaving me with no living wage at all. So I did not make a lot of money. I was not saving a lot of money. I was basically living paycheck to paycheck.
21:01 I was also living with a couple of different friends. I was basically living in someone else's house hack, twice. Okay, so I'm like, all right, cool. I didn't always call it a house hack. I'm just like, I'm living in someone's house, and that's cool.
21:13 They're making some extra money, even though I'm only spending $500 to live with them. Bless her heart. Shout out Amy and Jordan. Made me live with them. Love you guys to death. So, yeah, I am living with them.
21:24 And then I get the opportunity to move to Denver with another one of my best friends. Shout out, Caleb. And I get the opportunity to move here, and I'm like, all right, I think I can do this. But I'm going to need to buckle down.
21:37 I feel like I need $10K to move. That's what would make me feel comfortable, especially if I don't have a job. I'm doing the math on what my rent would cost me in Denver, and I'm like, all right, cool.
21:48 $10K. So I bust my ass for about four to five months. Things about four months, I picked up a second job, and I was working two different serving jobs. Saved up that $10K. So I'm just living super low rent, spending $400-$500 on my rent and my living expenses, not going out and partying as much, really buckling down for four months and making it happen.
22:11 And I hit that $10K mark. I ended up moving to Denver, and I was applying for this job at Bigger Pockets. I'm on the road. I'm taking interview calls, literally on the way to Denver from Florida. I think we were in Tennessee, and I had like, a pretty important interview while we were in the car or something.
22:31 Long story short, I am now in Denver, living there, and we're about a month and a half in to living there, the whole interview process. And unfortunately, I did not get that first job at Bigger Pockets.
22:44 So at that point, I think I was down to $3,000 to my name. I was jobless, and I was like, questioning, did I make the right move? It was a little scary, but I ended up applying for another job at Bigger Pockets because I was just like, I was hustling.
23:04 I was working here. I didn't care what job it was. I don't care how it was going to happen. I just knew I was getting this job here, or a job here, I should say. So I applied for that second job. I end up getting it, and that's just what really changed my life in more ways than I can even count.
23:21 So I get the job. It's a decent salary. I think it was like $62K. It wasn't anything like, super crazy, but it was double what I was making. So I was very excited. Now I'm making $62K. I start in this position, I'm in it for about three months.
23:37 Someone leaves on the advertising sales team pretty unexpectedly, and as he leaves, I fill in. In the interim, I'm like, I'm happy to do it. No one else knows their clients like I do, because I was in a role that kind of worked hand-in-hand with him, with the guy on the ad sales team.
23:54 So I end up doing this for about two months. I'm working two jobs. I'm getting paid for one. It was pretty intense. And after two jobs, I had the conversation with my manager and pretty much told him, like, "hey, I want to do this role.
24:08 There's no need to hire. I would like to be in this position." And they agreed, and from there, my income ended up doubling. So it was a little bit of luck mixed with hard work where I was making commission in this advertising sales role.
24:24 So the commission piece absolutely helped me, and it helped me break six figures. So during last year, during technically half of 2021, half of 2022, I was able to make enough money to save, I think it was like $37,000, is what I had saved.
24:44 So I'm really good at saving money, but I'm also really good at spending it. Did a little bit of both. So, yeah, I just tried to buckle down as much as I could, save that money, and just went for it.
24:56 I just realized, I want to buy a house. I'm making this happen. And the market was kind of in a weird place, and interest rates were a little high, and some people were scared to buy at that point, but I just did it.
25:08 That's kind of the whole financial journey there.
-Yeah. You took your own advice, right. And you took action now and learned about yourself through it.
-100%. And keeping a good attitude is important.
25:23 Like, when I was in that point of having $3,000 to my name, I literally had $3K. That's scary. And no job. And I just moved across the country with none of my family there. It was a little scary, but I just knew.
25:36 I knew it was going to work out. I knew if I had to be a server, I'll be a server, and I'll just make some money until I can find a job that I really want to do. And I just had these backup not even like backup plans, but I just knew I was going to do whatever it took to make it work for me to live in Denver and to make it happen.
25:54 And taking that one chance, as scary as it was, doubled my income and allowed me to get to the financial position where I'm now living for free, and I'm saving for the second house.
-So you have a five bedroom house and you're living in one and renting out four of them, is that right?
26:15 Yeah, exactly what's happening.
-And you are more than paying for your mortgage on a monthly basis.
-That makes me sound way cooler than I am. I'm cash flowing maybe $50. But yes, I am making more than all the expenses combined by about $50.
26:32 You're making more than your average monthly expenses, but that does not include all of the cap-ex item savings and all of the repairs and maintenance that goes into it, correct?
-Correct. That does not include that.
26:45 Yeah. For anybody who's unfamiliar with house hacking. I talked about it in the previous episode, if you listen to that. But house hacking is the idea that you buy a place, whether that's a single family home like Danielle and I have done, or a Duplex, for example, and you rent out.
27:03 You put part of that property, whether it's a room in their house, whether it's the other unit in a Duplex, whatever it might be, and you rent that out and you make money from it, and in your case, you're actually able to cover your entire mortgage payment and you're able to save up.
27:21 I hope you're enjoying this episode. Here's a quick word from today's sponsor: before jumping in. Understand what options are available. The Frugal Gay can walk you through everything. From analyzing a deal, setting property management, screening tenants and making sure you're covered the Frugal Gay offers one-on-one monthly packages, ask anything, open houses, and even on location options.
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-And I'm assuming are you going to do another house hack in a year or so?
-Absolutely. We're going to do the same thing. Definitely. Just because I know the structure, I know how to make it happen.
28:04 Now if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm just going to keep going with it. And it is worth mentioning the comfortability scale, which I'm sure you've experienced considering you're doing the same thing, that you're giving up a little bit of comfort for you to be able to live for free and to work towards financial independence.
28:24 Obviously, if money were no object, I'm sure we'd love to live by ourselves in this huge house. But it's worth noting that if you want to create a future for yourself where you don't have to struggle and you can live more comfortable in your later years and not prolonging happiness, just setting yourself up for a financial runway and financial success, is giving up a little bit of the comfort.
28:46 Right? If you want to go be comfortable and not be as concerned with finances and for your future, then go live in downtown for $3,000.
-And there's no wrong answer.
-In a studio apartment, in the penthouse.
29:00 Exactly. Yeah. And hey, if you want to do that, go, I did that. Do your thing. I have no judge on that at all. I just chose to be a tiny bit less comfortable to make myself more comfortable in the coming years in the future.
29:17 One of my favorite memories from my financial sacrifices, I guess is -- it is a sacrifice. It's postponing that happiness making sacrifices. Now one of my favorite things is whenever I -- Beginning of 2019 where I really buckled down and I got on the Dave Ramsay baby steps and I made a crazy budget spreadsheet to track everything.
29:39 I was putting every receipt in to it, and I still do that to this day. I still zero-based budgeting. But my roommate at that time, I think I had just crossed or was slightly under six figures. And so, you know, making a decent salary, I was living in LA.
29:57 And paying higher rent. However, he had asked me like, "oh, do you want to go get McDonald's? Do you want to go get fast food?" And I was like, well, it was towards the end of the month, and I had already spent my dining budget.
30:09 And I was like, "you know, I can't afford it." I really could. I could have taken that money from another place in there. But it was that something like that a little sacrifice. Not saying that a McDonald's trip is going to -- if you give up a McDonald's trip a month, that you're going to be able to save a down payment for a house.
30:30 I wish!
-Eight? Seriously, I eat fast food way too much. Don't tell anybody. There's that whole joke about like, millennials and avocado toast or giving up your daily Starbucks. A Starbucks a day might be... I mean, it's pretty astronomical now.
30:46 And that's a lot of sugar. They put so much sugar. But a little like $5 a day isn't necessarily going to change your world. If you're able to save $5 a day, that won't equate to much. But if you can find an extra $100 here or there, you cut back $100 a month and you bulk it together.
31:09 Don't give up your five Starbucks necessarily, maybe cut back, and that can get you you still have to balance your joy in life and things that provide you mental health.
-I love that you said that, and I completely agree.
31:23 Right? That's where we talk about the larger expenses that are more meaningful because I will be the first to say, I am -- maybe not Starbucks, but theoretically speaking, I'm a Starbucks coffee fanatic. Yeah, I love coffee and I drink decaf.
31:39 Don't make fun of me. I know. Death before decaf, whatever. I turned, like, 26, and I'm like, I'm going to die if I don't drink decaf. Started decaf. But yeah, I mean, I've constantly gotten coffee. And honestly, I've never budgeted.
31:56 I've talked with a lot of people, and I think it depends on the way your brain works and the way you function and the way it's just structured for your thinking. If budgeting works for you, which I'm sure it does for so many people, like it does for you, too, Tim.
32:10 Do it. Some people have to budget. They'll just keep spending.
-Now, I want to know, what is your saving strategy? I can't save without a budget. It just all goes out of my checking account, and I'm like, "Where'd it go at the end of the month?"
32:26 Yeah, you pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Actually, the key is to not have it in your checking account. I get paid that day. Immediately, it goes in my savings. I literally put everything into savings.
32:38 And I'm actually that kind of person who will live with no more than, like, three to $500 --t me scratch that. Let's say two to $500 max in my checking account. I'm talking max. And that's maybe just for, like, venmo payments with friends or that one recurring bill that happens to be in my checking bank account, but I get paid, and it just immediately goes into savings.
33:02 And so I pressure myself to look at checking and to only use a credit card based on what I know I can immediately pay off right now. And that's just to build credit, right? I don't push credit to the limits or anything like that.
33:15 And then I write my goals everywhere. I mean, right in front of me, I'm sitting at my desk and in two different places have my savings goal for the year written down. So I think we shouldn't overlook visualization.
33:30 And affirmations and not in, like, the airy fairy, woofu, whatever kind of way. But realizing that if you want to hit a goal, you're not going to hit it if you don't know where you're heading, you have to kind of know, what do I want?
33:44 How much money do I want to save this year? How much do I need for a down payment? Understanding those numbers. And you don't need to be a math whiz, I am by no means a math wiz, hence my lack of budgeting.
33:58 But I just know I have a goal, and I know that when I get paid, I am putting as much money as possible into savings. And that's been my strategy, and it's working. So that's what I would recommend for people who have a similar brain as me or who think similarly.
34:14 Yeah, I love that. Thank you. People always ask me what my strategy is, and I only have my example, and it works for me. But I'm definitely a Type A person. If $30 goes missing in a month, I'll spend a bit of time looking to see if I can --
34:32 $30... at the end of the day, it is money, but spending an hour to look for it isn't worth my time at that rate. But thank you for sharing that. I really love that. Because you do that strategy that so many people talk about, which is paying yourself first, you put it into your savings and you don't let it sit in the account and even tempt you.
34:52 Exactly, yes. Because checking to me is like cash, right? It's something even you're checking, you're like, all right, cool. If it disappears, it's fine. Savings? I can tell you my savings number at any point in time, no matter where I am.
35:04 Always. I should always have an accounting in my head. I don't know how to make sense of it. Account, nothing accounting for it in my head at all times. Right. Checking comes and goes to me. So I don't want to leave anything up to chance in my checking account.
35:19 I want to make sure it's where it needs to be.
-It's interesting because. I can't tell you exactly what's in my savings. However, my budget spreadsheet can, but there you go. Also, I'm curious, is your savings broken up into buckets?
35:34 Like, do you have 50 I don't know, 50% of it is allocated towards your next down payment and 10% whatever, $5,000 you're saving for a big vacation or a new car. What it is, do you have that broken up?
35:49 I like that you ask that question, because I'm still a work in progress for people listening. I'm still learning, I'm still configuring what makes sense.
-We all are.
-We all are. But as of now, I just have one savings account.
36:06 I do have my real estate checking split up between my personal and real estate, so those are split so I don't have to touch anything. As far as my mortgage, all my bills for my home, the rent coming in, et cetera, that is fully broken up into a different account.
36:21 But for savings, for me right now, I'm just trying to be harmonious. I'm like, how can I ensure I'm saving for a house, for a second house, and still potentially do a vacation here and there and use that money that's coming in so I haven't broken it up.
36:38 However, I can see the value in breaking that up, especially if you're like, "I'm going to grind this year. I am buying a house, period. And I'm willing to forego vacations for that." I'm trying to live a life where I do a little bit of both and not to make it sound like I'm lucky and I'm able to do these things and I can afford it all.
36:57 I probably can't. I'm just trying to somewhat balance where, like, if I can't do a national trip this year, how many trips can I do within the US? How many small trips can I do for a similar price or whatever?
37:10 Just trying to navigate that with one savings is what I've been doing so far.
-Yeah. Funny, because I'm sort of the opposite. I forget. To spend the money on... Like, I'm so focused on my projects with my money so often that I'll buy little things.
37:26 But whenever it comes to -- be fair, I did go on a big road trip, and that was a little more expensive than my typical monthly expenses. However, whenever it comes to being in Denver and it's wintertime, I'm like, on my little matrix board that you see behind me. Those people listening.
37:45 Can't see it, but I have sticky notes from Tiffany, from my first guest. She gave me this matrix, and I created it. And one of the things is to plan a snowboarding trip, because I never do. I always forget.
37:57 I'm like, I want to do that. And then I get so wrapped up in my projects, and then it's like Friday night, and I'm like, I want to do something, and then everybody already has plans, so I'm just so bad at taking care of myself.
38:10 And you deserve it. You deserve to have fun along the way because you don't want to be grinding all of your young life and all your to get to an age where you're in the same boat of you know, what we're trying to avoid is like being 70 and then then trying to enjoy ourselves when.
38:27 Our knees hurt and our back hurts.
-Exactly. You can't snowboard anymore. Snowboard at 70. Or, like, maybe you can actually.
-I mean, I'm 33, and I did it last year for the first time in, like, five years, and oh, man, was that painful.
38:41 It just hurts in general. Honestly, I actually went to a to encourage you to make this happen. I went to a real estate ski retreat last month, which is the first time I did anything like it. And one of my good friends, who is now kind of like a mentor figure, he just amazing.
38:59 But he said something to me that really resonated, and he said to focus on harmony and hustle at the same time. Not harmony over hustle, not hustle over harmony. Both, we can be on the so and so or so called grind, but still enjoy it.
39:16 We can enjoy ourselves and be happy along the way and have that harmony and that balance and the hustle and be a badass and getting all the things done that you want to do while still going snowboarding every now and then.
39:29 This is a sign for you to make that trip and I also snowboard. So we should go.
-Yeah. I'm down! I could keep talking in this specific category, but I do want to get to the second question since we don't have too much time left.
39:42 So that was the second question? No, that was only the first.
-I know we kept going. It was such a good conversation. I didn't want to stop it.
-My goodness. Oops.
-No, don't apologize. It was great. I took a lot from it and I hope people and I'm sure not just hope, but I'm sure people listening learned something from that because there was a lot of great information in what you shared with the audience today.
-So the second question, is there something, whether it's a book, a song, a city, I mean, I know you moved, a job, a conversation, quote, anything in particular that stands out as something that's really impacted your life?
40:20 Yes. And it actually just happened recently. There has been different maybe like a few moments in my life where I read something or I watched a video or heard someone say something. That was one of those A-Ha moments.
40:33 But I have to share the most recent because it happened maybe a month or two ago. There is this book it actually is by the Bigger Pockets publishing team. It's by Jason Dreys or Jason Dreys. It's called Duty Impossible and it's a book that at first I'm like, all right, it's going to be a cheesy self-help book.
40:50 But you know what? I eat that up. I love those books. Let's check it out. And and to my surprise, it was one of those books that I'm reading and I'm like, oh my God, this is so revelational. It's basically about not just doing things that you think are impossible, but having the sort of mindset
41:13 That leads you to believe that you can truly accomplish anything that you put your mind to and say that back to yourself again. Right? It seems so obvious and it seems so intuitive. But when people try to put that in action, is where they end up being doubtful or fearful or they don't take action.
41:35 They're scared. They don't think they can get that promotion, don't think they can buy a house because the market is not in their favor. And all excuses in the book, right? And this book, it just really talks about you setting yourself up for success by just believing that you are able to do anything that you limit yourself to doing.
41:57 So if you want to be a millionaire and you think you're able to make a million dollars, you're going to be the kind of person that puts in the work, day in and day out, that visualizes, that feelsm and believes you can achieve that.
42:10 And you're going to be around the sort of people that also feel that way. If you don't feel like you're ever going to be able to make a million dollars, hate to break it to you, but you're correct. That's the bottom line.
-Exactly. That... kind of like a law of attraction, but more detailed and more tangible, in my opinion. It felt like it gave real life examples and real life suggestions for you to get to where you want to be.
42:37 So I'd recommend reading It totally worth it.
-That sounds like one of those books that once you read it once, it's probably one of those ones that you should go back to maybe annually on a regular basis.
42:48 Just because you forget those lessons and you forget those little things and you just need that reminder. You slip. Whatever. But what I really love about that is the idea of having that mindset is like what I said about turning down McDonald's.
43:06 That wasn't about saving the $5. That was about having the mindset of wanting to pay down my debt as fast as possible.
-It wasn't about that $5, you know what I mean? I was in that mindset. So once you get in that and you're jamming, you're not looking off to the side and seeing other things that are shiny object syndrome, even if you have ADHD problems like I do, you know what I mean?
43:34 It helps you focus whenever you can see. And the other thing you mentioned that stood out to me was believing you can. A huge especially in software engineering industry in a lot of industries, real estate, is the idea of Impostor Syndrome, not believing that you should be where you are and that you're an imposter in a room and people shouldn't be listening to you.
43:58 Like, Why? I'm not good enough for this?
-Tim, you and everyone listening, myself included. We are right where we need to be. We're exactly where we need to be. We're all exactly where we need to be. There's no, like, imposter syndrome.
44:17 I don't know who made up that phrase. Imposter syndrome is just fear. It's fear of entering a new space, of doing a new thing.
-bBeing judged. Of not being good enough.
Exactly. And I hate to break it to you guys, but no one really knows exactly what they're doing, right?
44:35 I have talked to successful millionaires killing it. And I talk with them, and they're like, yeah, I might have it on lock on this part in my life, but I don't understand the gym. I don't get health.
44:47 How do I eat healthy. How do I do this? How do I do that? And then other people might know so much about health and be like, all right, how do I have a career? My point of this is we all specialize in different parts of our lives, and all we're trying to do is just be in balance with all of them.
45:05 We want to be sufficient in all these aspects, like relationships and romantic partners and work and health and fitness, and there's just so many different parts of life, and no one is any better or worse than you.
45:21 We're all just trying to figure it out along the way at different parts of our journey in different parts of our lives.
-A big part of that, something that I heard that a few years back that I really resonated with is, the idea I forget the exact quote, but it was the idea of don't compare my chapter twelve to your chapter one.
45:42 Like, boom.
-If you're listening to my story and you hear, oh, I've bought a house, or maybe in however many years, if you're listening to an episode of this podcast and maybe I'm at like 20 houses, who knows what it'll be?
45:55 Oh, you will be.
-I'll be right there alongside you. Someone might listen to that and be like, wow, I'm never going to get there. But then if you flash back to this episode, for example, it's like at some point this is where I was and this is the present for me now, but at some point it's going to be my chapter one and someone will be hearing my chapter twelve down the road and be comparing themselves to that and thinking they can't get to that.
46:24 That was such a beautiful analogy. And as I'm listening to you, I'm just thinking, like, I am not that cool. I have one house. How did I get on a podcast? You know what I mean? I'm having my own impostor syndrome.
46:38 And I'm like, why did he ask me why am I here?
-I just wanted to hear your story, you know?
-Well, you're getting some of it. I'm sure there's more, which we can side note. But yeah, I mean, even just talking with you, I'm like, all right, there's some golden nuggets here.
46:56 There's things that I hope people that maybe have never even thought about real estate, or maybe they're just kind of coasting, which is totally fine, and haven't really thought about long term plans yet, which I commend you for living in the moment way more than me.
47:10 At that rate. But maybe this is a spark to realize, like, all right, cool. I can potentially create a future and a life for myself by setting myself up financially in one way or another. Maybe it's stocks, maybe it's a side gig and you're doing Uber and Lyft on the weekends to make extra cash to save money.
47:30 I don't know. It doesn't have to be real estate, but obviously we're biased. I love real estate. But anything you do right, I hope that someone takes at least one thing away from this and that it would be worth it.
47:41 Oh, definitely. Like I said at the end of that first question, you've dropped so many nuggets. Like you said, there's just so much you don't realize until you have these opportunities to sit down and reflect.
47:53 Whenever you're always thinking about what's ahead of you, you forget sometimes. One of the biggest lessons that I've learned as I've gotten older is, especially with work and the idea of hustle culture, is it's really easy to get burned out if you're always going at even 100%.
48:13 Hustle culture, I think if we're going with real math, right? If you're going at 100% all the time, I'm avoiding the 110% thing. If you're going at 100% all the time, you never give yourself down time to breathe, and then you get burnt out and you don't know why, and then you just sort of lose inspiration in it.
48:34 What I've realized is, sometimes you have to be okay with where you are. You have to take that role that you're in and just do it. I don't want to say, like, the minimum, but you don't always have to be going super far above and beyond.
48:50 You don't need to be always trying to work 10 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours a day to make, especially if it's not making you extra money at the company. You shouldn't be doing that. But what I mean, you should take time to just enjoy and not always be pushing, because you need that space to breathe, and you need that space to...
49:09 Enjoy what you've accomplished and reflect on -- that younger version of yourself would be so proud of where you are.
-Exactly. You said it so well.
-Yeah, we're almost at time, and there is one more question, but I think I feel like it's been answered in this, so there probably won't be much to say.
49:28 But the third question is, what is something you're working on learning now?
-In this specific moment, I have to say taxes. It is tax season. And I always in the past, "I was like, yeah, taxes, whatever."
49:42 You don't think much of it. And then you buy a house and then you have a commissioned job, and then you put solar panels on your home and you're like, oh, I have a lot to do for taxes. I'm actually meeting with a friend after this who's going to help me a little bit understand it more and just help me kind of navigate the puzzle that is taxes to me right now.
50:03 But it's a whole learning lesson. Oh, yeah. I have a couple of books on tax strategies for real estate investors, specifically, that I still need to read. And I'm in the process of reading. But I would say that's my biggest piece right now that I'm really trying to learn.
50:19 Because when you start to increase your salary and you start to purchase assets, it does get more complex and you realize how much you are actually paying in taxes if you do not properly complete your taxes.
50:34 So that is one thing that I'm trying to learn right now. And I feel like a fish out of water. Oh my God. I have to write off depreciation for the home and the mortgage interest and property taxes? Oh, my God.
50:48 For people listening, I literally don't know any of this. I feel like I am the dumbest person in the room when it comes --
-Total imposter syndrome. But also truth, because I literally don't know anything about taxes.
51:02 But I'm excited to learn. And just like everything else I've done in my life, I'm okay with starting at the bottom. I'm okay with admitting I really don't know anything about taxes, and I can't wait until I get through this tax season, and I can maybe help someone else next season and just realize --
-Then we'll bring you back.
51:19 Yeah, exactly. We'll come back and it'll be our pro Strategist Danielle on the podcast. But yeah, I would say that's the biggest thing I'm trying to learn right now, I am learning right now.
-Something you said in that moment that made me think of another little quote that's sort of really inspirational in my life is you said whenever it comes to taxes, you feel like the dumbest person in the room.
51:43 A lot of people feel that way. One, even if they're not the person who knows the least in the room. But the quote that I heard is, if you're the person in the room who knows the least, you have the most to gain.
51:54 So at the moment --
-Oh, my God.
-All these people that you're finding yourself around who know a lot, they're giving you their time, whether it's paid or a friend, for example, and you're able to absorb and take that in.
52:08 You're a sponge right now. You have nothing blocking you from taking in everything they say. And like you said, next year you might know more than me, sort of thing, and I'll be the sponge, and we'll do this again.
52:22 What about you? How are you doing with your taxes? I know it's your tax season as well, here with a new homeowner.
-Yeah, I told you I have a budget spreadsheet, so I was able to put everything together.
52:35 I got an accountant from we've mentioned his name like 20 times in this episode. It's the perfect lead in for next week's episode, episode four with Brian Balduki. He gave me a referral for tax accountant, and I'm working with him and waiting for submitted everything and waiting for it all.
52:53 It hasn't been too much of a conversation once everything's been submitted, but he asked me all the questions up front to sort of learn everything, so it's a little bit more complicated for me. I don't know what you've done in your house...
53:07 But I added egress windows to the basement and which I'm going to be renting out. Bought furniture. I'm furnishing it. I added a kitchen at the beginning of this year to the basement. So there's all these expenses that... yeah.
53:20 So much money that I can't believe I spent that much money in a month on something that well, ever since I bought the house. But anyways, we are at time before we wrap up for anybody -- First of all, thank you.
53:35 This was super. I loved this conversation. I had so much fun. I hope you did, too.
-I absolutely did. That's why I came, just to be able to talk with you. And we don't know each other that well yet.
53:47 A really cool learning experience.
-Yeah. It's always so fun. The question, what's something you know now that you wish you learned sooner? Feels like the sort of question that's like, "Ooh, let's look into someone's deep personality, like, what's impacted their life?"
54:00 So it always is a fun conversation.
-So for anybody who wants to check you out on social or follow along any projects you're working on, where can people follow up with you?
-Instagram is definitely the best place, just because I have not expanded social, because I'm trying to somewhat maintain not being on a screen all day, but still connecting with people through social as much as possible.
54:25 So definitely instagram. You can find me at Danielle Daly, D-A-L-Y. Definitely connect with me on there. Feel free to DM me. I've met a few friends just from Instagram, which is so fun, like, in the real estate community.
54:38 So definitely feel free to connect with me there. Or you can find me on LinkedIn and Bigger Pockets. I also have a membership on there. So you can connect in either of those places is awesome.
-And if you're in the Denver area, you might find Danielle at some meet up.
54:52 And if you do meet her and you heard this episode, let her know. Tell her you heard her on the I should have Learned This Sooner podcast.
-Yes. Right back at you, Tim. You might see Tim roaming around.
55:02 You might see both of us.
-All right, thank you so much. This was so fun, and I can't wait to talk to you soon. Take care.
-This is great. Thanks, Tim.
And, wow, I hope you all enjoyed that episode as much as I did.
55:20 It was such a beautiful conversation. There were so many little pieces of advice and so many lessons that Danielle has learned over the years, even recent lessons that just inspire me. She came from a background where she didn't have much money, and she lived frugally, saved up, moved, and then worked her way up through a job here in the Denver Metro to make over six figures from $30,000 to over six figures in less than three years.
55:58 That alone is just astronomical to me. I love that story, and if she can do it, honestly, I feel like almost anybody can. There was so much in this episode that I really loved. The first thing that really stood out to me, number one, was her idea of... she's a forward thinker.
56:18 However, she wants to appreciate the time that she has now. Because the past, once it's the past, it's gone. That is definitely a lesson. I think whenever I was in my 20s, it's really easy to want more.
56:37 And trust me, being in my 30s, it's nice. My pay has increased, and I feel like the brokest decade of my life is behind me. But there are certain things about those past times that I wish I could just squeeze and hold and sit in those moments a little bit longer.
56:55 And the other thing that I especially loved was her idea of take action now. And learn about yourself. I brought it up several times to her because she was proof of it. She talked the talk and walked the walk in this conversation.
57:10 She took her own advice over the years. You know, she came from a low income family and just did everything she needed to do to set herself up. And I wish Danielle all the best of luck. I have a feeling in a few years or maybe next year, we're going to do that tax episode.
57:29 But in a few years, Danielle is going to come back and share her story and just be thriving and doing everything she wanted to do because she has the mindset, and she's bringing it to frugality. Frugality?
57:44 She's bringing it to fruition. The frugalness is still on my mind from recording the episode. Anyways, that's it. Check me out on Instagram and Twitter @contimporary. It's like Contemporary, but more fun.
57:58 And until then, I will see you soon. Bye bye.
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