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Why You DON’T Need a College Degree to Reach Financial Freedom


Do you dream of hitting financial independence before the age of fifty, forty, or even thirty? In this episode, we’re joined by two of the SheeksFreaks community’s finest—a pair of scrappy entrepreneurs who decided to skip college and pursue a much faster path to financial freedom.

First up, we chat with Adrian Zapata, a twenty-two-year-old serial entrepreneur who now owns multiple thriving seasonal businesses. During the spring, summer, and fall months, Adrian delivers lawn care and tree trimming services to the locals of San Antonio, Texas. But, once the holiday season rolls around, that’s when the real cash cow takes over: a Christmas lights installation business that brings in a whopping $115,000 in only two months!

Next, Javier Leyva shares how he was able to achieve financial independence by just twenty-six years old despite his underprivileged upbringing. After performing his own cost-benefit analysis, Javier determined that getting a traditional bachelor’s degree wasn’t the right path for him. Instead, he joined the workforce and took actionable steps toward FI—doubling down on saving money, finding a higher-paying job, and increasing his income with the house hacking strategy!

Mindy:
Hello, darling listeners and welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. Today is about two exceptional young men who made choices in their late teens that set them up for financial success. Your jaw will drop as mine did when you hear the numbers that these guys are putting up.

Scott:
One of these stories is about smart, scrappy, hustle and entrepreneurship, and the other is about the mind-blowing ease of achieving financial freedom by 30 if you just make three to four big decisions right, or a certain way, at least, early in life around housing, education, transportation, and of course the cash flow positive spouse.

Mindy:
And we want to share these stories with you because we know that there is a young person in your life who will hear them and be inspired. Right now, in the beginning of 2024, is the time to make big changes to your finances. So please, as you’re listening, think of who you can share this episode with in your life. Hello, hello, hello. My name is Mindy Jensen and with me as always is my house hacking co-host Scott Trench.

Scott:
And with me as always is my flipping co-host, Mindy Jensen.

Mindy:
Thank you, Scott. All right, first up, let’s bring in Adrian. At just 22 years old, Adrian runs a successful Christmas light installation company in San Antonio, Texas. When it’s not holiday season, Adrian is running a year-round lawn mowing service, and he has his long-term eyes set on real estate investment. Adrian, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I’m so excited to talk to you today.

Adrian:
Mindy, Scott, thank y’all. It’s a pleasure to be here, for sure.

Mindy:
Adrian, we are talking to you in mid-December, which is the height of the holiday season and a busy time in your life. Can you tell us a little bit more about your business, both the lawn care side and the hanging light side?

Adrian:
Absolutely. Yeah, the Christmas lights installations, we’re a all-inclusive Christmas lights installation company located here in San Antonio, Texas. We provide absolutely everything, all commercial grade lights, custom cut extension cords, that way it has a nice, professional looking fit to the home, the timers, anything and everything the customer needs, we provide it. From there, we have a 24-hour callback guarantee. So let’s say a bulb goes out, or we’ve had it to where a big, windy rainstorm comes in and it knocks a whole side of lights down. In that case, it’s a quick call to me, it’s a text message to me, and then we’ll have a crew back out there to get that fixed, ideally within that 24-hour time period. So that’s that.
From there, the lights still stay on until typically about that second week of January. From there, we’ll go ahead and start scheduling everybody, putting them on the list, and then come back, take everything down. We label everything, so far right side, label it, middle, label, and then put it nice and neat into our containers. And then we have storage units that we’ve been paying for the past few years. So we’ll go and we’ll store everything. As far as the customers go, they’re not buying the lights. What they’re paying for is pretty much the 100% guarantee of big, bright, beautiful lights and really their peace of mind, not having to touch anything. But each year we’ll come back. We have a plethora of different color options from all white, to two red, two white, to a five color multicolor, to a pink Barbie Dream House. And we sure, we did do one of those this year. So that’s how that goes with the Christmas lights installations.
And then lawn care and a whole lot of tree trimming, here in Texas, typically it really picks up around spring, so we’ll cut grass all through, and again, a lot of tree trimming. Typically, we try to hit four days of lawn care and then usually a Friday, Saturday for tree trimmings, that’s pretty much how the week goes. And ideally it’s like eight to 13 yards a day. And then on the tree trimming days, we just try to stack as many as I can. I’ll try to close as many as we can throughout the week, and then just set them up for that week. Once we have enough tree trimmings filled up for that week, then I’ll start scheduling the next weeks after. So that’s both of them.

Mindy:
Okay. You used the word crew. How many people work for you?

Adrian:
It depends on the time of year. For Christmas lights, definitely grab more people. One, two, three, four, five. We got up to like six, seven people for Christmas lights in total. That’s including everybody from my girlfriend’s mom, she helps me do all the estimate stuff. She bulbs and clips lights, gets a lot of stuff ready like that. Then I have my installers. I have ground people that just do ground stuff, handing up lights. I have some people that hand up lights. One of our guys that works for us, he brought in his sister, and she does all of our TikTok. So then she does a lot of really wrapping trees, stuff like that. And then we have our people that are good with getting on the roofs, typically skinnier guys like me, somebody that can move it around. If you climbed trees whenever you were younger and ran around on houses, typically you’re usually the person installing Christmas lights.

Scott:
That’s awesome. This business is obviously highly seasonal. What’s the magnitude of the business in a holiday season? What are you expecting to do this year in terms of revenue for this thing?

Adrian:
It’s funny to say it, but in the two months of Christmas lights installations, we make double what we make in lawn care and tree trimming. Numbers wise this year in just lawn care and trees, we did like 45,000, I believe. And then in Christmas lights installations from October 16th is when we started, and I just did the last one December 8th, and we closed in two months just shy of 115,000.

Scott:
That’s unbelievable. And this is revenue, right? So there’s expenses associated with this, but this is really profitable. You have one month of payroll or two months of payroll for this business that generates 115,000 in revenue.

Adrian:
Yes sir. Well, yeah. And then also we come back January to take down all the lights, but yeah, that’s everything. And then also, yeah, each year I at least spend 20 plus thousand on more Christmas lights every year.

Scott:
So there’s an investment in inventory, yeah, that you got to have, here, for this business. So how long have you been doing this and how’d it get started?

Adrian:
This has now been three years that I’ve been running it by myself. It actually started in college with one of my buddies. My friend Tommy came up to me one day and he was like, “Hey Adrian, I have a friend back home. He’s making some good money doing Christmas lights installations. Next year we’re going to do it.” And I said, “Hey, Tommy, I’m broke right now. Right now we need to do it.” So we both brought in 25 bucks, we made cards, and we walked around the neighborhood, or we walked around San Marcos, Texas.
I think we got two customers, probably like 1,500 bucks, paid a little bit of our rent, bought some beer, bought some food. That was a good time. That’s how that started. And then I ended up moving back to my parents’ place. I dropped out of college about a year and a half in, moved to my parents’ place after our lease ended, and then pretty much lawn care the rest of that year. Saved up enough money, went to a course in North Carolina, and then was the youngest one there. Took all my notes, did all the stuff, came back home, got it started. So now it’s been three years running it by myself here in San Antonio.

Mindy:
What was the course?

Adrian:
It’s a Christmas lights installation course. It goes over everything from the sales, the business, everything you need to the installation stuff, the safety equipment, how do you custom cut an extension cord? How do we run wire from here to there? And then there’s a random tree 50 feet that way. How do we light up that tree? Stuff like that was taught in that course.

Mindy:
Oh my goodness, I didn’t even know there was a thing. I’m so delighted for you. And this is crazy, because I would think that you would be hanging up the customer’s lights that they own. I love that you’re hanging up lights that you own, because maybe the customer is like, “Hey, that worked, but I’m moving.” So the customer is essentially lost because they don’t live there anymore. But then you can come in, you still have the lights. Do you stock up after Christmas sales?

Adrian:
I stock up, honestly, in October. Really August, September is when I start stocking up. I for sure bought like 20 grand worth of lights at that point, August, September. And then because it’s a little bit cheaper, if you buy it sooner, it’s a lot cheaper. If I was to get it right now, and it’s still hits where a late customer will come in and they’re like, “Hey, we need a whole lot of mini lights.”
And San Antonio this year, again, ran out of mini lights. So I had to take a detour trip up to Lake Travis in Austin, bought another five grand worth of mini lights, and then came down just so I had enough. So at the end of the season, you want to make sure you have enough, you want to just make sure you have more than enough, really just in case you get a big one to pop up out of nowhere. But no, the only reason that I would buy extra lights at the end of the year is just for tax purposes, trying to make it show that I didn’t have or make enough money, make a whole lot of money. And that’s the only reason that I’d buy lights at the end of the season. But typically it’s all before. I stack up before.

Scott:
What’s a typical job? How much are you getting paid? How much do you have to put in for new equipment, or lights, or anything like that and labor? Not a big one, not a small one, average job.

Adrian:
Typical average price is like 800 to 1,800, really just depending on the size of the home and the different options. An average, let’s say just a house, you’re probably looking at like 800 to maybe on the bigger end, 1,400. But we have big old 60 inch lit wreaths. We have ground stake lighting. We can wrap up trees up to 20 feet tall. So it can definitely go up higher. But the typical average is that 800 to 1,800-ish range. And then we try to do about three of them a day.

Scott:
Who’s the client? Is this someone who just wants to beat their neighbors and have the best Christmas lights? Who’s paying you $1,800 to hang the Christmas lights?

Adrian:
There’s definitely a competitive aspect to it. At a certain point, I have customers that are neighbors, too, and they’re like, “Yeah, let me just get a little bit more, because you know.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I got you. Okay, we’ll do something. We’ll do something a little bit cooler.” But typically they’re either younger families. So I’ve met a lot of 30, 35-year-old multimillionaires in a $3 million house, and I’m like, “How did y’all get this house? This is insane.” But a lot of them, typically younger parents, if they have a kid or grandkids around, anywhere in that seven to, I think the cutoff is typically around that 18 number. Once they get past 18, a lot of the parents don’t really care that much. It’s mainly grandparents at that point. So either younger professionals that have younger children or older grandparents, typically business owners or people higher up in their companies.

Mindy:
Okay. You said you do three in a day? I live next door to the house that people drive past. I live by the Griswolds. And it takes him, he starts the day after Thanksgiving, no, the day after Halloween, and he’s putting them up until the day after Thanksgiving. That’s when he first turns them on. And it’s just this massive, he’s probably putting up way more than you are. But you do three in a day. How many people are working to do the house? Is it like a whole team just converges on the house? But for 800 bucks, and you already own the lights, probably, that just seems like such a no-brainer to continue this. I love this idea.
My frugal self is like, “There’s no way I would pay $800 to put lights on a house.” But also, there’s no way I can compete with my neighbor, so why would I even try? I love that you have come up with this and decided to pursue it. What was it like leaving college? Because you’re supposed to go to college, everybody’s got to go to college. How are you going to get a job if you don’t go to college? How did you make that decision to separate from college?

Adrian:
It was one, I guess it was semi-calculated. At a certain point in time you’re just tired of school. But at another point, I had other friends that already graduated with that same business management degree that I was going after, and I asked them, I said, “Hey, man, now that you moved back to Houston, how much are you making?” And he goes, “This year I should make around like 60,000. And then next year, just depending on how everything goes, how I grow, hopefully I can hit about 70,000.” So at that point I broke it down.
And I’m like, “Okay, 70,000 in four years.” If I was to leave here right now,” because I was going to start my own business afterwards, anyways. I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit in me. I always knew that I was going to leave college, go start my own business. So at a certain point I was like, “If I was to leave right now, move back to my parents’ house, in four years from now, could I make 70,000? And then in year five, could I possibly make a little bit more than that last year? I guess just have more room to grow each year rather than working at somebody else’s company?”
So I was very happy whenever I left college. I didn’t have to go to my classes anymore. Now, the education doesn’t stop. That’s one thing that doesn’t stop. It’s really just being able to pick your teachers. So I went from my professors that they told me I was going to, now I got to go find Alex Hormozi, Jason Geiman is my Christmas lights teacher. There’s a whole bunch of places that I’m able to go, but now it’s really education stays, finding new teachers.

Mindy:
I love that mentality.

Scott:
Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement in SheeksFreaks, how you got involved in that group, and if that’s contributed to your success?

Adrian:
Y’all are the reason I got into SheeksFreaks, actually. I was listening to one of y’all’s podcasts, and this guy, he was just doing some crazy stuff. And like, “What’s this dude’s name?” Name was Jabbar. And I was like, “Hey, okay, well, let me go look this guy up on Instagram.” So I look up Jabbar on Instagram and then he’s talking about the SheeksFreaks, and I’m like, “How the heck? I need to join this group. I need to join this group.” Because at a certain point, I have friends here, but my friends here, we work out and we throw the football, we don’t talk about money. There’s a small, little bit.
So whenever I found this group or I heard about them from y’all’s podcasts, I immediately went and I sent Jabbar a long, old message on Instagram. And then I sent another message to Dan. And a couple of days later, I guess, well, probably later that day, Dan reached out to me. And I ended up joining a call and I loved it. But yeah, that community is freaking awesome. Everything from being able to have, both Mindy and Scott have been speakers, have been guests. We have a whole plethora of other guests.
And then we also have stuff like our weekly calls. We have goal getter groups, so I know y’all had been on here the other day, but Ben, Sarah, another girl named Mia, and then me, were all in our little goal getter group, so every Wednesday, or every Thursday, I’m sorry, we always call in the morning. And it goes over what did we do this week? Did we get what we needed to get done last week? And if yes, cool, if not, why not? There’s also issues with one of our girls, she had to fire two people. So that was one, we get to talk about it, figure out why, little stuff like that. So I like the goal getter groups, and then also just being able to see other people our age doing some high level stuff and knowing that it’s for sure possible.

Mindy:
Community is so important. And you hit the nail right on the head. You said, “My friends locally, we work out and we throw the football, but we don’t talk about money.” If you want to get ahead, you need to surround yourself with people who also want to get ahead because you have questions. How do I fire an employee? Well, your friends who don’t have employees aren’t going to be able to tell you how to fire your employee. You need other people. That’s a really big task for anybody, at any level, frankly. I’ve never had to fire somebody because I don’t have employees and I’m totally fine with that, because I don’t want to do that. But that seems like that kind of thing, running a business, “Hey, I’m having this problem in my business.” Somebody who has never run a business is not going to be able to solve that for you.
And having this community of same age people, because I can see you, at age 22, joining another community with people who are maybe much older, and they don’t take you seriously because you’re so young, and they just automatically discount you instead of listening. So finding a community of your peers who are go getters just like you is going to just lift you up and you’re going to go and make $200,000 next December. I can’t believe you make so much money hanging Christmas lights. I’m so excited for you. That’s awesome.

Adrian:
I have 200,000 written down. I think about it every night.

Mindy:
Well, call me next December and tell me, “I hit my 200,000.” Actually, you’re going to call me in October and be like, “I got bookings for 200,000, Mindy. So I bumped it up to four.”

Scott:
One of the last questions here around what is next? What’s the plan going forward? We have 200,000, but are we going to expand both businesses? Are we going to branch out into adjacent categories? Where are you going?

Adrian:
Yeah, right now, Christmas lights just got done. We’re pretty much good. I hit all my goals as far as I should be able to get my house hack this year. So ideally I’d rather go duplex and do the house hack that way. But if I do something like Mindy, where it’s a live and flip, definitely down for that as well. But I have all the money set aside, everything from down payment, to closing costs, to save my butt money. I got it. So I got that. I got taxes money set aside, so that’s taken care of as well. The next thing now is making sure all the Christmas lights customers are taken care of, getting everything in order as far as take down schedule, and then getting back into the flow of things with the lawn care customers, telling everybody that I’m back into cutting grass, that Christmas lights just ended. So getting other people’s yards cut right now.
And then once we hit the spring, I am still, a piece of me thought maybe, “Let’s leave out of lawn care and tree trimming and go do something higher leverage right now.” But since I do want to get that house hack, I want to be able to live in the house hack and know that I’m going to be able to make money, and be, I guess secure for this house hack. So I’m going to go back, cut grass, trim trees this year, keep it running. And then next year for Christmas lights pretty much the same thing, start getting everybody on the schedule this August, September, get all that going. And then next year, pretty much around the same time is when I’m going to make, I guess, my big jump.
Instead of going and buying another property next year, instead I’m just pretty much going to keep that cash, sit on it and then allow myself to go and, as y’all like to say, play to win. So from there, I’ll probably get rid of the lawn care and tree trimming company, and maybe go use my sales and real estate stuff, and probably go be an agent, or maybe get into a bigger business like gutters, bigger tree trimming, stuff like that. Something that also goes with the Christmas light side of things, since I already have so much equipment, and different vehicles, and stuff like that.

Scott:
You probably thought of all this, but one thing that comes to mind is the events business, like setting up tables, chairs for people when they have family gatherings, or birthday parties, or those types of things, and decorating, same type of work as Christmas lights.

Adrian:
For sure. We went to a wedding earlier this year in California, and actually, I got there earlier during setup, and I went to go talk to the people that did the Christmas lights. And they have this little, I guess it’s a metal plate that goes on the ground with the pipe that goes up, and that’s how they run their stringers of lights. And they’re different lights than the C9s that I have for Christmas. But it’s all the same thing. It’s cut the wire, put the male, put the female, run the extension cord, and go. So definitely something to think about. I have a list of stuff, I’m just going to write it all down, do a pros and list, and I have a year to figure it out.

Mindy:
Okay, Adrian, what is one piece of advice you would tell someone like yourself who is young and wanting to start out on their own financial freedom journey?

Adrian:
Couple things. One thing is education. Go find the education in a topic that you’re actually chasing, whether that’s sales, whether that’s just personal stuff, trying to get yourself better. But that’s one thing, stay educated. Get around good people. Get around not only good people, but good environments, habits, a lot of things is focusing on your habits. If you don’t have good habits in the first place, then you really can’t move forward. So at a certain point in time you have to work on yourself before you can really start growing. So just find what you’re going after. You go educate yourself on it, go fix your habits, and you got to risk it to get the biscuit.

Scott:
By the way, I just want to point out something. If you just did the Christmas light business, you’d probably bring in a hundred grand a year starting next year in net profit, right, easily, 150, something like that?

Adrian:
Yes sir.

Scott:
And it’s a month and a half of work. If you wanted, you could just live the most crazy lifestyle, work that one month with that business, staff it up, staff it down, and you’re golden on that front. So what a fun situation for you to be, and that de-risks everything else you try for the rest of the year with that one business, giving you nine months to go take over the world and build an empire or just chill, travel the world. Awesome, awesome stuff, here. It’s so exciting.

Adrian:
That’s a thought. I’ve put myself in a good place so far and I’m definitely excited to see what the future has in store.

Scott:
That’s right. You put yourself in a good spot. I love that. I love that confidence and the accuracy of that. That’s awesome.

Mindy:
He put himself in a great spot. Not a good spot, a great spot. And you’re 22. If this whole thing crumbles, you’re still 22, you could pick yourself up. You’re not married, you don’t have kids, you live with your parents. There’s so much safety net underneath you. This is just fantastic. I love your story. Adrian, this is fabulous. Okay, so where can people find you? Where can they find you, your lawn care business, your lights business? Hit me.

Adrian:
Y’all can find me on Instagram, it’s Z-A-P-A-T-A_B14. That’s to find me. And then to find the SheeksFreaks, you can either go to SheeksFreaks on Instagram or Dan Sheeks, send him a message, shoot him just a quick, little DM and he’ll get back to you for sure. That way you can come and hang out with us. We have meetings typically every other Sunday. And then if you get lucky, you’ll get put in my goal getter group on our Thursday calls. Yeah, so that’s how to get ahold of me, get ahold of Dan.

Mindy:
Awesome. And if you need any of those links, they will be in our show notes or you can always email me, [email protected], and I will connect you up. All right, Adrian, this was so much fun. I really appreciate your time and I cannot wait to hear from you in August when you have blown through the goal that we have set today.

Adrian:
Mindy, Scott, it was an honor. I appreciate it. And y’all have a great rest of y’all’s day. Thank y’all.

Mindy:
Thank you. We’ll talk to you soon. I am so excited for Adrian success. I know that he is going to do huge things with his business. And the two things that really stand out about him is that he didn’t have an idea, and then hem and haw about it, he started it. He took action. He created this lawn care business. And then his friend came up to him and said, “Hey, we could make a lot of money hanging Christmas lights.” And he said, “Okay, let’s do that.” He took action again.
And then on top of that, he paid for a course to jumpstart the side, side business of hanging Christmas lights. I think that takes a lot of maturity and a lot of courage to fork over money to learn how to hang Christmas lights. That’s maturity I don’t have at, what is Adrian, 22? I’m a little bit older than that. And I would not have paid to … How hard is hanging Christmas lights? Well, it turns out that there’s a lot of things that you need to know, and he took a course. And now he’s way better at it. And that just jumpstarted his business and he’s making huge numbers. And next year I know he’s going to blow our predictions out of the water.

Scott:
Yeah, it makes your mind turn about these seasonal businesses. He makes so much money in such a short period of time. That is going to be so freeing and so powerful for him. I’d hope he doesn’t sell the business in the next couple of years, because think about the optionality that gives you to come back to San Antonio for a two to three month period during the holidays, make a hundred grand, and then you could be traveling the world, doing whatever you want.

Mindy:
All right, now let’s talk to Javier. Now 26, Javier catapulted his career by making a strategic decision early on. At age 18, he ran a cost benefit and time analysis, and decided he’d forego a bachelor’s degree and opt in for a straight path to FIRE instead. Javier is now a successful real estate investor who has reached financial independence. Javier, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I cannot wait to jump into your story.

Javier:
That’s awesome. I cannot wait to talk to both of you guys. I’m honored to be here. Thanks for having me.

Scott:
We got to start this with this analysis that you did at 18. Walk us through what that was, what looked like, and what was going through your mind at the time.

Javier:
Sure. Yeah, at 18, I had just gotten my first job as a janitor, actually, because my parents didn’t save money for college for me. And the goal was for me to go play football, actually, and I got some half scholarships. But even with the half scholarship, it was going to end up being like $16,000 for tuition. And I decided to opt for a community college instead, did a couple years of that just because it was going to be $3,000 instead of 16K a year. And then it was actually when I was 20 years old, and I got my first internship at an engineering firm, and I was looking around and seeing all the other engineers that were, I was noticing, extremely grumpy, and pretty overstressed, and overly worked, and severely underpaid, in my opinion.
When I looked at my path and saw that I had the opportunity to make a decent amount with just my associate’s degree at where I was, I had a job opportunity to go work for another engineering firm, still as just an engineering assistant, nothing that required a bachelor’s degree and making $42,000 a year, and the engineers in my firm that I was currently working at were making $45,000 a year. Within three years they were going to be bumping them up to like $60,000 a year. So that’s what I had to look forward to. I can go to school, get my mechanical engineering degree, continue on with that, and pay another $20,000 in tuition cost for another two years, so 40K in tuition, plus forgoing the opportunity cost of earning $42,000 for the next two years.
So two years later I might come out with my bachelor’s degree and I’ll be $124,000 in the hole, compared to me without it, and my reward for that would be a stressful job making $3,000 more. Maybe I’d get another $18,000 more. And after putting it in an Excel spreadsheet and looking at the difference of where that would put my net worth if I just kept my 70% savings rate, I found out that it would take 13 years for the bachelor version of myself to catch up to the net worth of myself without a bachelor’s degree. But the interesting part was that I could be financially independent within eight years without a bachelor’s degree. So there was no point in, I guess, getting the bachelor’s degree if I could do it sooner with less risk, and less time, and energy, effort upfront by doing it without.

Scott:
What kind of engineering was this?

Javier:
Mechanical engineering? I was at an MEP firm. I was just an AutoCAD drafter at the time, writing blueprints in the computer for smart people.

Scott:
We interviewed Preston Cooper from XX FREOPP, who did an analysis on the ROI of a college degree.

Javier:
Yes.

Scott:
Fantastic data. I see, it sounds like you’ve seen that one?

Javier:
Absolutely. And I try to push people towards that resource as much as possible. I was actually looking through it in preparation for this interview. And for example, the college that I was looking at, I won’t say the name, but out of the 48 degrees that they have on FREOPP.org for that ROI of college website, 24 of the college degrees had an ROI of under a $100,000. And the part that was awesome about Preston’s, or the part that’s not explained in that interview is that it’s not emphasized enough, is that that’s over the course of a working career of 42 years. And so $100,000 over the course of 42 years is like you’re really not seeing that until the last, the back end, the last 10 years, maybe, of that. It takes a while for you to dig out of your hole that you dug yourself into by getting all the debt to go to college in the first place.
But if people that are pursuing the financially independence and trying to retire at an earlier age, it doesn’t make sense to do that if you find these strategies early on, just because all the sacrifice is front loaded and you don’t get to see the benefits until the end, but you end up being retired by then, anyway.

Scott:
Just a couple of points here on that. That analysis is fantastic. Great work from Preston Cooper and FREOPP. Absolutely, the assumption’s that are you going to work a full career? There’s a 5% cost of capital assumption in there. And if you’ve put the stock market 10% assumption in there, that changes the ROI of many of those degrees in there. If you’re a house hacker, a real estate investor, and you can get much more than 10% on that, that further diminishes the value of those degrees. That’s a key assumption of the model. He doesn’t hide it, but it’s when you can’t change when you’re looking at those ROIs in there, to really nerd out about the modeling, here, which it sounds like you started doing at a ripe, young age of 20.
But one of the things that surprised me about what you’re saying here is overwhelmingly the engineering degrees, one of the takeaways was a degree matters more than the school, and engineering is almost always a positive ROI career choice. And anthropology is almost always a negative ROI career choice, for example. And there are many other degrees that I could use, or pick on, or talk about as high or low ROI, so no problem with any of those. But just the fact that you did it on a mechanical engineering degree at a state school for $16,000 a year and still came to this conclusion is pretty concerning for the ROI of college for a lot of people that are contemplating going there.

Javier:
Yeah. Absolutely. I agree and it blows my mind, just the fact that there’s so many people that are still touting college as being the most efficient way to become successful when there’s so many other options. And I did part of college, but I still did it as cheaply as I could, getting my associate’s degree. And I think I used that efficiently. I learned how to do AutoCAD in my associate’s degree, and that got me my internship, and then eventually, I skilled up from there, and branched out, and got raises in other ways, primarily using FU money and all the tactics that I learned from the FIRE community. And I feel like the financial literacy portion has been more beneficial than most education that you can get from college. And that stuff is all self-taught or you learn from people that are willing to teach you.

Mindy:
I love that. And to anybody listening who is like, “Hey, what Javier is saying makes some sense, but I’d like more information.” We interviewed Preston Cooper back on episode 251 to talk about his enormous study over 30,000 different undergrad degrees, episode 251. He came back again on episode 293 to talk about master’s degrees. There were fewer master’s degrees. But again, the ROI conversation is the same. And Preston is an absolute master at taking this very complex information, and distilling it down, and being able to explain it really easily. So there’s lots of links in the show notes. There’s a link to the actual article and the documentation that he used. And it’s fascinating. If you’re on the fence about college, those are two great episodes to listen to. Javier, since you didn’t go to college, or you only went for two years, and you need a four-year degree in America to be successful, how on earth did you become FI in just not even 10 years after graduating high school?

Javier:
Me and my wife got to cash flow FI, is what I like to call it, by house hacking, moving into a camper, and saving and investing 70% of our income.

Scott:
What’d you do to earn that income in the meantime? And then I’d love to go through those three choices

Javier:
Sure. Mainly, other than doing that engineering internship, skilled up, and went to another internship for a while, but the awesome part around there was following the financial independence community. You pick up on skills and just the concepts of having FU money. And there was a point where I was able to do an office space moment, where I told my boss that, “Hey.” We didn’t have a lot of work at the time, and the other engineers were stressing out. So I told them, “Hey, the engineers can have my hours. I’ll take a step back. Maybe later on you can hire me on full-time or as a permanent employee.” Because I was temporary at the time. “And they’ll be happy. I’ll get some time to go spend with my family and stuff. And a couple days later, he came back and gave me a promotion and a 12K raise.
I don’t know if he thought that I was leaving, or if he just liked the initiative, whatever it was, I was like, “Whoa, this is more than I expected to make for the rest of my life.” I was content with 42K for forever. The math still worked. “But I’ll take the raise.” That happened for a while. And then eventually, later on in my career, during COVID, I was laid off. And thanks to FU money again, and also paying attention to FIRE podcasts, I came across the Salesforce careers that were talked about a lot, I heard it first on the Choose a FI Podcast. And I took a three-month course, took a $100 certification exam, and got the skills needed to go and eventually acquire a job paying a 100K salary.

Mindy:
For people who are not quite familiar with Salesforce, what is that? This is a comment that I have heard from multiple people, “Yeah, I took a three-month course, and now I make $100,000 a year.” Honestly, that seems like a scam. And I know it’s not, but it sounds like a scam. What is Salesforce?

Javier:
Yeah, honestly, I would’ve agreed with you. If the podcast that I was listening to had not built my trust over the course of four years, I would’ve absolutely thought the same thing. But I felt like there was enough people saying it, and enough people were talking about it, that I was like, “Well, what the heck? I have seven years worth of financial runway and I’m laid off right now. I can take it this time to take a step back and figure out what would be best for me.” I had a couple options. And I know this isn’t what you asked, but was able to choose the thing that worked most and had all these perks of being able to do remote work.
And to answer your question, what Salesforce, I guess is, it’s basically a software that businesses use to optimize their business processes, whether it’s selling to people, or getting customer data into places, or just making sure that all their backend processes are working correctly, and the customers have nice websites to view. Essentially what happens is Salesforce is a software that is sold to companies. And these companies now have this Salesforce software, but they have no way … They don’t know how to implement it into their business model. So they hire people that have Salesforce certifications, that know what they’re doing, in order to implement it for them. And they hire them as typically W-2 workers, and they become their Salesforce administrators. Or you can do a bunch of other stuff. You can hire contractors and the contractors handle the stuff for you.

Mindy:
Yeah. And to be clear, I’m not calling Salesforce a scam, it is a legit company. It’s just it sounds like such a scam until somebody explains. And even when somebody explains it, you’re like, “Yeah, but three months in and I can make $100,000?” I know so many people who work for Salesforce, and do this exact same thing, and they’re all making six figures.

Scott:
Remind me how much the Salesforce program costs.

Javier:
Salesforce actually gives away all their training for free. You just go onto their site, and trailhead.com. And they want everyone to know how to do this stuff. They want people to go out and learn how to use their platform. And then it’s not that Salesforce is hiring me directly, it’s other companies that are using Salesforce as software and they hire me because they want someone that knows how to use the software.

Scott:
To me, Salesforce does not sound like a scam. We use a different CRM here to run business processes called HubSpot, which is very similar competitor to Salesforce. Salesforce is also very reputable. But this makes perfect sense. There’s a free training you can get. And within a year or two of taking that free training, you can get a six figure income. And you did that instead of going to college and getting a mechanical engineering degree, and are thriving now in this role right now, and financially independent. That’s pretty awesome.
But a big part of this story that I feel like we just missed is you said, “I have seven years of financial runway, and what the heck? I’m laid off, I’ll take a shot on this thing.” That’s a powerful position to be in that a lot of people don’t have. And they can’t take a chance on this thing That might be a scam, even though, again, very reputable company. But maybe somebody else might be thinking, “Hey, that’s going to be a waste of time.” How did you get to seven years of financial runway to be able to have the luxury of making this choice that has paid off so well?

Javier:
Yeah, that’s fair enough. During that first internship, I had picked up, Set for Life actually was the first financial independence book that I ever-

Scott:
I did not know that.

Javier:
Yeah.

Scott:
That’s great. Thank you for the plug.

Javier:
Sure thing. Actually, I feel like I’ve been doing a good job holding in the fanboy, but you’re kind of my role model, Scott. Yeah, so I’ve been really happy to be here, and meet with you, and talk with you, because-

Scott:
Thanks.

Javier:
I try to model a lot. Yeah, you’re welcome. You’re welcome. Try to model a lot of the stuff that I’m doing based off of how you’ve done things in the past. I really appreciated the book and how actionable the steps inside of it were. It felt like it fit perfectly in my life, like, “Starting from scratch, zero net worth, how do you get to become financially independent in a reasonable amount of time?”
You save aggressively, you increase your income as much as you can, and you invest it wisely. House hack if you can because that’s going to be the biggest ROI you can get. And basically just implementing those things. Never got a fancy car until recently, but originally it was just like getting junker cars, one, $2,000 using them for two years, and then once they broke on me, I could still sell them for the same one to $2,000 that I bought them for, because there’s so much utility that a car has, and it won’t go below a certain value. But just doing, I don’t know, all the little stuff that the FIRE community talks about, and they just kind stack up over time.

Scott:
Well, tell us about your house hack. How’d you get into this property or your first one, maybe, but let’s go through them and how’d you get your house hack?

Javier:
Okay, sure. The first ever deal was, actually, it was my wife’s house. We were just getting together and she had this new construction, three bed, two and a half bath house that was getting built. I was currently looking for my house hack. I was looking for a multifamily, but it wasn’t happening. And eventually we both wanted to move in with each other, so we struck this deal to where the house was still hers, I would move in, we’d live in the same bedroom, and I would pay for all of our groceries, but I would also manage any house hacking stuff that we would do, because she was interested in doing it also.
I told her about some of the pros of not having to pay for your housing, and she was like, “Okay, I’m for that.” Like, “Okay, are you okay with renting out some bedrooms?” She said, “Yeah, I’m okay with that. I had roommates in college.” So I said, “Okay, neat. I’ll be the property manager and I’ll get to learn along the way. You’ll get all the profits, obviously, because it’s your house.”
And we did that, but her mortgage was 1,150. We rented out the bedrooms, $750 each, I guess furnished, and that includes utilities and everything. Our utilities were about $300 a month. So it worked out to be like we were getting $1,500 of rent, and the mortgage and utilities was 1,450. So she had an extra $50 to go shopping every month if she wanted to. It was a good thing. And eventually we decided to try out Airbnb just because we heard that could maybe make some more money, and we might not be perfect at it at first, but we decided we wanted to at least learn, and we learned a lot, and it let us perfect our craft for future house hacks and other investments.

Scott:
Three huge barriers to getting ahead financially, the negatively cash flowing assets that most Gen Z-ers and millennials acquire, are the financed degree, the financed car, and the expensive house. And you’ve now avoided all three at this point in the story, and you’ve accumulated a bonus asset, which is the cash flow positive spouse in the process, there. So that’s pretty fantastic. That’s a pretty powerful set of advantages of the journey to financial independence. What happens next after this house hack is rented out, with that tongue in cheek comment?

Javier:
Sure, absolutely. Yeah, my spouse is definitely my number one asset, for sure. She is too embarrassed to come on a podcast like this, but man, she’s great. And yeah, like you said, there’s nothing like having someone that’s willing to go in the deep end with you, and go along with all your crazy adventures, and someone that’s actually just as passionate about it. So it’s awesome having that, and we’re both rowing in the same direction, and I’m super appreciative of that. My wife is in the Air Force. So we were originally living in San Antonio, Texas, and she was going to get orders to move to another duty station eventually. That’s where the Salesforce career kicked in, and I was looking for something that would be remote. That filled that void, and now I can go work anywhere and move along with her.
We ended up moving to a little town called Crestview, Florida. It’s right near Destin, Pensacola area, the Panhandle of Florida, pretty popular, little tourist destination, but we moved to 30 minutes more inland, so it’s kind of away from a lot of the tourist stuff, in an area that was more affordable. And we found the only duplex in the entire Trice Metro area. Out of 1,500 listings, we could only find one house that wasn’t even labeled as a duplex. It was a single family. And I had to look through all the pictures to notice that there was a mother-in-law suite.
So we closed on that deal, thank goodness, because it almost backed out a couple times, and our hopes were so high for that thing, because it was the only thing we could find that we could house hack. But eventually we rented out the mother-in-law suite on Airbnb. That was a two-one. And that one was bringing in anywhere from, it was probably averaging about $3,000 a month on Airbnb. And the mortgage for this place is 1,960. And now we upgraded from living in a master bedroom in a house to living in a three bedroom, one bath like main house that we had all to ourselves, and there was just a mother-in-law suite next door that we were renting out, had a full driveway. We never saw them. So we had all this privacy in a huge house. And we were living for free plus some cash flow. While we were doing that, we were renovating this house, the main house that we were living in, we were adding another bedroom and a bathroom, and eventually we’re slowly acquiring furniture to do an Airbnb for this house as well.
Eventually we moved into the backyard of this house in a camper, because we always wanted to do the tiny house thing, and that made the house hack numbers a lot prettier, brought in an extra $4,000 a month of income. So now we’re living in a camper that most people think is kind of weird, but we’re pretty excited about it, at least at this stage in our life, when there’s just two of us, it’s pretty fun. And we get to take it off-

Scott:
Are you in it now?

Javier:
… to fun places. No, no, no. This is a big house. This is the Airbnb.

Scott:
I was going to say, that is a roomy camper, that is not a tiny camper. Okay. So you are bringing in $7,000 a month, and I get it. Destin’s going to be super seasonal for this. So yeah, that’s your average. You have $1,900 payment, so you’re making almost as much as you are from your six-figure Salesforce implementation job from this property. And you wanted to live in that camper. If you didn’t want to, and you wanted to move back in the main house, you’d still be positively cash flowing your house hack in a pretty nice house for a young married couple, presumably you don’t have kids yet.

Javier:
Correct. Yeah.

Scott:
So this is fantastic.

Mindy:
Is it just the two houses that you own right now?

Javier:
Just recently, this is pretty new, and within the past two months, we listed our … I guess, okay, four months ago we purchased another duplex in the nicest part of town. She was on deployment. And the goal was to just start paying off debt, and small things here and there, but this deal fell on our lap and we did an owner finance for another duplex basically right on the lake of this beautiful park in Downtown Crestview, and decided to Airbnb that place as well. So now that is two additional listings. It’s a two-bedroom, one-bath on each side, but we also have it listed as a four-bedroom, two-bath, so you can rent both of the sides of the duplex together. So it was three extra listings that we added to the portfolio. And that’s really kind of what gave us the extra little push to get to our cash flow FI number.

Scott:
Awesome. So what are the numbers in that one, if you wouldn’t mind? How much are we doing there and what’s the seller finance payment?

Javier:
It’s only been live for two months now. The first full month that we had, this is probably our slow season right now, and it made about $7,500 for the month, which is pretty good. And I’d be okay with saying that that’s the average for the year, just because we don’t really have the data for the rest of the months. So 7,500 in gross revenue. And at least the mortgage part is about $2,200, maybe 23 once you include insurance. But there’s also expenses that … Yeah, your jaw has kind of dropped, Mindy. But yeah, there’s also expenses that come along with Airbnbs. We pay cleaners so that we’re not having to do it ourselves. We have to pay utilities, and restocking supplies, and stuff like that, and one-off repairs here and there, but overall, it’s very worth it.

Scott:
How much cash did you put into this deal?

Javier:
That one, we put a down payment of 50K, and then it was about $25,000 in furnishings, and that’s it. 75K.

Scott:
Then the seller financed how much?

Javier:
325.

Scott:
Awesome. And this is just fantastic. So you have two home run properties nearby each other in Crestview, near Destin. I had Destin in my head for a minute, there. And you’re generating, wow, easily $10,000 in cash flow, 8,000 easily, 10,000 probably, from these properties on an average basis per month.

Javier:
Yeah. I have the numbers on me, or at least I have them memorized at least for the entirety of our real estate business where it’s about 16,500 in gross revenue from both properties on the Airbnb side and the property back in Texas that’s a long-term rental now. The expenses for all of those properties comes out to about 11,500. That leaves us with about $5,000 left over of cash flow a month. But that’s after all expenses, after tax, and everything. And that’s being I think, pretty conservative, taking into account our low season numbers instead of our high season, because we just don’t have the data for that.

Mindy:
If you’re going to run numbers, you want to run them at the low season because if you’re saying, “Oh, I’m going to make $5,000 this month.” And then you make 10, you’re like, “Oh, that was a bonus.” But if you think you’re making 10, you’re like, “Wow, I only made five. I wonder what happened.” The reverse doesn’t work. So I love that you’re running your numbers conservatively. I love that you are making so much money in real estate. I thought you couldn’t make money in real estate right now.

Javier:
Yeah, I think house hacks break that rule a little bit, and then sometimes you just get lucky, or you put yourself in a position to get lucky, and we had enough resources, and there was a person willing to sell at a good price with a good owner financing, in the perfect location, in a small town that most people don’t consider doing Airbnb in. And we were just able to get a good deal.

Mindy:
Yeah. I hate to correct when my guests say something that is completely inaccurate, but you just said something completely inaccurate. You said, “We got lucky.” No, you didn’t. You prepared. You prepared. You saved your money. You were investing 70% or saving 70% of your income, and you were prepared to take action when something popped up that met all your criteria. You didn’t get lucky, you were prepared, and luck happened, or the perfect thing happened, and you were ready to take action. So, sorry, I have to correct you.

Scott:
He got lucky. But only the people with cash, and time, and the skillset, and the experience set that Javier has built up are in position to get lucky.

Mindy:
Yes. It’s not luck. It is preparedness. And you took advantage of something that you were able to take advantage of because you were prepared. You’re saving for the future, and now the future’s here, and you took advantage of it. So there you go. But yes, I agree with all the rest of it. You’re awesome.

Javier:
Well, thank you. Yeah, I guess that’s what financial independence is about. It’s just about creating opportunities, and building options and flexibility into your life, and that comes way before you have your magic FI number. I, every year or so, came across an opportunity of whether it was increasing my income, or finding a good deal, and that came along just because I was on the journey at all. It didn’t have to be at the end of my journey when I already had the numbers to say that I’m financially independent.

Scott:
You’re a member of SheeksFreaks. Can you walk us through how you joined that community and if that’s been helpful to you?

Javier:
Yeah, absolutely. I think I found it on one of your podcasts, where you brought Jabbar on your podcast. And I was like, “Holy cow, there’s another young person doing this stuff.” And he was way younger than I was. He’s a rock star. But yeah, I heard his show on your podcast and decided to check it out. And at least, I think I messaged Dan, and he told me to come check out one of their Zoom meetings, and I was hooked as soon as I saw all the youthful faces that I was not used to seeing and the FI space, I was like, “Man, this is awesome. I’m the old person here.” I was used to being the weird, young one whenever I’d show up to all the Choose a FI local groups, or Camp FIs, and stuff. And so it was neat meeting other people that were super fired up about it. And the fact that I could help them out in some ways was awesome. But just the fact that you’d find some community, and it helps you normalize the goals that you have, and that’s the best part about it, honestly.

Scott:
And do you have a piece of advice for other young people who want to repeat your rapid attainment of financial independence here?

Javier:
Yeah. Okay. I would say never stop learning and prioritize financial literacy while you’re young, because that’s going to give you a lot more options and flexibility than just the standard advice of someone saying, “Go to college.” Do the math on big financial decisions rather than just taking standard advice. And find a community that normalizes your goals, like I just finished saying. So yeah, in any way that’s possible. SheeksFreaks was awesome. I’m glad I found it when I did, at 25, but I wish I would’ve found it at 14. So if any of the listeners have people that are young adults, or they are young adults themselves, I’d encourage them to go check it out. And we’d love to have more people, and get to share, and encourage, and get to FI together, so we have some friends to hang out with when we’re all young and looking for things to do.
But it’s not just like SheeksFreaks, also, there’s a ton of other places. I did FI local group meetups, Camp FIs, Economy is another place, the Economy Conference. But even just listening to podcasts, blogs, and reading books, that was basically my community for the longest time. I wasn’t comfortable going and seeing other people in person. I was just like, “Well, I’m just going to do this stuff and listen in my ears to you guys and everybody else in the FIRE space.” And that was honestly enough to make it to where I surrounded myself with people that were giving me good encouragement and good advice. And yeah, it made me feel like everything was normal, because I knew other people were doing it. And now to a point to where when I hear other people not doing this kind of stuff, it seems like they’re the weird ones and not me.

Mindy:
I completely agree with that statement. I live in Longmont, it’s a hub for financial independence, and it feels very weird when I meet other people who aren’t doing this, too. And I have to temper my comments and my facial expressions, because you saw me today recording the show. I’m like, “Ah, oh my goodness.” And in real life, people say that, and I’m like, “Really? What are you talking about?” So yeah, it’s sometimes difficult for me. But finding community is so important. People who speak your language, people who understand what you’re trying to do, then you’re not constantly trying to explain it or trying to defend your choices. People just automatically get it. And that just helps. It encourages you. You’re surrounding yourself with people who are doing the same things that you’re doing and everybody lifts you up. It’s fantastic when you find people that speak your language.
So I’m so glad that you found the SheeksFreaks, that Jabbar Adesada episode really paid off in massive dividends. Shout out to Jabbar. He was a great guest on the episode. We just had him on a couple of weeks ago as well. Javier, this was so much fun. I really appreciate you sharing your story with us. Is there any place that people can find you to talk more?

Javier:
Yeah, if y’all show up in any of the SheeksFreaks conversations, I’ll be there. And then on top of that, you guys can find me on Instagram @fiby30. I try to put up a little bit of financial content. It’s nothing big. I tried the short form stuff and it’s not my jam, but sometimes I just have something to say and I’ll put it out there in little blurbs here and there, and I even have some videos of me working on some of my Airbnbs.

Scott:
Love it. I think you’re very conservative in your projections yet again, with your Instagram handle.

Javier:
Yeah, fair enough.

Scott:
One last question that I would ask you here is, you talked about other people and all that kind of stuff, and not the community aspect. When you look around at the peers maybe you graduated high school with, is it just a completely different landscape out there? Or are you seeing more people starting to go down this path, to some degree?

Javier:
I think that it’s hard for me to see that. You know what? I will say that there is some progress being made. I know that Florida in general, they just passed a law last year to make personal finance required to be taught as at least a half credit, to high schoolers before they graduate. And I was super pumped about that. And I don’t know what the curriculum is that they’re teaching, but something’s better than nothing. And one of the things I remember in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that hopefully is no longer going to be true if more states pass laws like this, is that rich people stay rich and poor people stay poor, because money is something that’s taught at home, it’s not taught in schools. And you tend to learn that stuff from your parents.
And so if more of this stuff can be taught at the perfect age of 18, before you make any of those big financial decisions or mistakes, that’s where it’s going to create the most impact, and give people some more options and choices that they can think for themselves, rather than just listening to advice that’s been passed around for the past 10 decades.

Scott:
Something went really right with the way you thought about it coming out of high school and going into that second year at community college, because you modeled it out. There’s plenty of right answers for going to college. There’s plenty of right answers for not going to college, but you did the work, and modeled it out, and made the decision based on that. And that’s what counts. And I think that’s the starting point. You change that one decision, you just don’t think, and you go there, maybe, you’re probably still successful, you’re probably still your Instagram handle, fiby30, but you’re not FI by 26, I betcha, without making that decision very thoughtfully. So maybe the stakes weren’t that high for you in particular, but yeah. Love it.

Mindy:
Awesome. Well, Javier, thank you so much for your time today and we will talk to you soon.

Javier:
Yeah, thanks, Mindy. Thanks, Scott. It’s been a pleasure.

Mindy:
All right, Scott, that was two very impressive young men. Let’s talk about Javier. Holy cow. To be able to, at age 18, run a cost benefit and time analysis on college. When I was 18, my plans were to go to college because that’s what you do. I never considered that you don’t go to college after you graduate high school. For Javier to make these decisions at age 18 shows a maturity that again, I lacked and I’m so impressed by him.

Scott:
We don’t usually do this, but I think we have to allude to it in this one. We hung out with Javier for about 20 minutes after the recording, just chit-chatting. And a couple of things, here. Javier didn’t have a privileged upbringing, I would say. He was a janitor at 18, paying his way through a community college, here. And I asked him, I said, “Hey, is it hard or easy to build wealth for you?”
And he said, I think you’re right, predicting this, “It’s easy.” I mean, it’s easy for him because he made a decision that was calculated around his college education that he ran the numbers on. He cut his housing expense to zero. He never incurred a large transportation expense, no student loans, no college education expenses, no housing payment, no car expense. Think how easy it is to build wealth even without the six figure job that he went and got after training course, after several years of accumulating large amounts of cash, bit by bit, month by month for that. And now he’s putting down these big chunks of money. It’s easy.
And it’s hard to say it like that because I know so many people are struggling to get by financially with it. But you make those decisions right, early on, the game’s easy. It’s almost unfair. And he’s got a unfair, positive way for Javier, but he’s going to be a millionaire easily by 30. He just works a job anybody could get after a training module and has made a number of decisions there. Now, he did it because he did it before he had obligations and liabilities that he had built up in his life. But man, that’s a powerful lesson for someone listening to the show that’s 18 or thinking about these choices. The answer is not, don’t go to college, it’s make a decision about it. Make a decision about that housing. And I think it’s something really powerful.

Mindy:
Yeah. And like you said, it isn’t just don’t go to college. It’s choose to go to college on purpose, not just go to college because everybody says, “Go to college after high school.” If college isn’t your path, then college isn’t your path. And college didn’t do much for me, personally. If I would’ve thought about it when I was 18, that maybe I would’ve made a different decision, maybe I would’ve jumped into the workforce right out of high school and had a different outcome. But instead, I spent six years in college getting three degrees that I don’t use at all. And do I regret it? I don’t know that I regret it. I made a lot of friends. I had a good experience. But financially it was a terrible decision. So don’t just do something because it’s expected of you. Do it because you want to do it. And I think that is the underlying message, here. College is not for everybody

Scott:
Or do it because it’s a good decision, because a lot of people want a different type of college experience, the one that provides higher ROI.

Mindy:
All right, let’s give a quick shout out to the SheeksFreaks group. You can find them at sheeksfreaks.com. That’s S-H-E-E-K-S-F-R-E-A-K-S.com. Dan Sheeks is an amazing man. All right, Scott, should we get out of here? Let’s do it. That wraps up this episode of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. He, of course, is the Scott Trench and I am Mindy Jensen saying toodles, noodles.

Scott:
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a five star review on Spotify or Apple. And if you’re looking for even more money content, feel free to visit our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/biggerpocketsmoney.

Mindy:
BiggerPockets Money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench, produced by Kailyn Bennett, editing by Exodus Media, copywriting by Nate Weintraub. Lastly, a big thank you to the BiggerPockets team for making this show possible.

 

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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