Imagine that you are on a Hawaiian vacation lying on the warm beach next to the blue ocean. You are wearing your favorite nice expensive pair of sunglasses and you have a cold tropical drink in your right hand. This is the life right? Many of us probably have at least been able to experience something like this before. If you have a career job, chances are that you get to take a 1-2 week annual vacation.
The amount of money the average American spends on an annual vacation is about $4,700. Now that can be quite a chunk of change for the average American, who brings in about $51,939 per year (the current US median household income). Do we Americans really spend more than 9% of our annual GROSS income (probably closer to 15-20% of after tax income) on a 1-2 week vacation? And vacations are always over so fast! We might as well just flush that $4,700 down the toilet!
Now, hopefully these people get paid vacation leave from their jobs. At least they are getting paid their normal wages for what they would have earned while they were gone. I don’t think that everyone has this luxury however. Even with having paid leave during a vacation, setting yourself back $4,700 for 7-14 days of relaxing is hard to justify in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love vacations and kicking back on the beach! But we have to remember that if we are treating every dollar as a seed (a seed that can eventually grow into a fruit bearing money tree), then we are eating a bunch of those seeds for a very short period of relaxation. Think of all of the future money that could have been generated from that original seed.
I don’t know about you, but towards the end of a vacation I almost start to feel guilty. Almost like a buyer’s remorse feeling. I start to add up all of the money I spent on dining out, hotels, travel, shopping, etc… and as the number starts to get bigger in my head I start to feel worse about it.
Now imagine once again you are on that same Hawaiian beach with your sunglasses and tropical drink. Imagine having absolutely ZERO of that guilty feeling for all of the money that you have been spending on this trip. You feel no buyer’s remorse what so ever because you know that you will be making more than ten times what you are spending on this vacation during the same time period, WHILE YOU ARE RELAXING ON THE BEACH!
You are making this money passively, between your rental properties and your online business. You have a property management company that runs your real estate portfolio 100% for you so you don’t have to take a single phone call from a tenant or deposit a single rent check at the bank. It is all taken care of for you.
With your online business, you might log on with your phone or laptop a couple times per day just to check in and see how things are going, but there is no “work” to do. Everything is automated. You have put systems in place that will continue to generate revenue for you whether you are at home working on these businesses or you are on the beach in Hawaii. The money just keeps coming in… and every month it is a little bit more than last month.
Now this would be the ultimate vacation right? I mean… why don’t you just extend your vacation a few more weeks? Might as well right? Done! It’s booked! Screw it!
Does this just sound too good to be true?
If you are willing to buckle down and to sacrifice some of the luxuries you enjoy right now, there is absolutely no reason in hell this could not be you just 5 years from now. The problem for most people is that they just aren’t willing to do this. They make $52,000 per year, live in the most expensive house they can possibly afford, drive the most expensive car they can possibly afford, and wear the most expensive clothes they can possibly afford. The average American spends 104% of his/her annual income each year. I will tell you right now, this dream of beach money will never come true for someone who is going into more and more consumer debt each year. It will never come true for someone who does not have their personal finances in order.
There are a few simple principles for someone who wants to change their current financial situation and make room for the future possibility of enjoying beach money:
Pay Yourself First
There is no getting around this one. Every single time you get a paycheck, you should be setting aside a substantial amount of money to be used for investing, a side business or real estate. PERIOD! My wife and I personally set aside about 40% of our after tax income for these very same purposes. I understand that for many people saving this amount would be near impossible, however I recommend saving as much as you possibly can. You should set a goal tonight to try and start paying yourself at least 20% of your after tax income. This might mean cancelling your direct TV subscription and selling your brand new Lexus and buying a used Toyota Camry. Do whatever you’ve got to do! The money you save will be your seed money to start building and acquiring assets that can eventually put money into your pocket automatically, even while you are at the beach!
Acquiring assets alone will not be enough. You need to learn how these assets work. If you jump in totally blind you are likely to crash. You don’t need to be an expert on anything by any means, but you need to learn the basics before jumping in head first. If you want to invest in real estate, start out by buying a few books each month on real estate investing. Learn how to study a market and find out which property types offer the best cash flow. If you want to start a side business, buy some books on accounting/bookkeeping, marketing or sales. Take a night time business course from your local community college. Do what you need to do to learn about the things that will eventually make money on their own with or without you being present.
Surround Yourself With People Doing What You Want To Do
Birds of a feather flock together. If you want to get into real estate investing, start meeting people who are already successful real estate investors! Get on the internet and Google “real estate investment club in _________ city.” These clubs usually charge about $20 to attend one of their events. They have guest speakers and they usually give some time just for networking with other people who attend the event. The best part about these clubs is that almost everyone there either is currently a real estate investor or they are looking to get into real estate investing just like you. Start getting together with these people, talk and learn about real estate. You never know maybe you will even meet someone who wants to partner up with you!
This step is extremely important. This is the part that is holding back about 95% of the people out there. It is good to save money, get educated and meet other people, but eventually if you don’t take action… nothing will ever happen. You could read 100 books just on real estate investing, but until you buy that first property you are not going to make a dime in real estate. Like I said earlier, you don’t have to be an expert to get started. You probably will make some mistakes here or there, but if you knew only the basics before you started then you probably won’t make any fatal mistakes. I made several costly mistakes when I bought my first investment property… but I still own it today and it is still making me money.
Mistakes are how we learn. So maybe you buy your first rental property and a few unexpected expenses come up that you did not consider before you bought the house. Well, now when you go to buy your second rental property you will remember to calculate some of these unexpected expenses. We get better as we go, you just have to take that first step!
Beach Money Reality
The concept of beach money truly can become a reality for you if you get committed and take the steps necessary to get started. The fact that you are reading this right now says something about you: you are looking for something more and trying to figure out how to get it. You are already a lot further ahead than the other 90% of the population who is just sitting around waiting to win the lotto. This website is a great place to start. It certainly won’t have everything you need, but I will do my best to start pointing you in the right direction.