You know, some people's parents told them to "Save up for a rainy day." I, on the other hand, never had those parents. Being the product of divorced parents, I watched my mom work, pay rent, and buy lots of things we never needed. During the summers when I was with my dad, I watched him spend like crazy on credit cards and live way beyond his means. The whole concept of "planning for my future" was very foreign to me. That is, until I met my friend Nona.
Nona came from a very traditional Tongan family (Tonga is an island in the South Pacific). Her family was very big on saving, living modestly, and owning property. "You are making good money now," She told me one day over coffee. "You need to buy your first home."
"My first home! What!? I'm 19 years old", I thought to myself. I should be worrying about when the newest Coach purse comes out! After some discussion with friends, family and a lot of prayer, I thought, "Why not!"
I was living in California at the time. It was 2002, when interest rates were 1%- okay, maybe not 1%, but they were low! I asked if anyone knew of a good agent, she then put me in contact with a mortgage company, the next day we went out looking and the day after that... I put in a full price offer on a Condo in the Valley. It all happened so fast.
I had only lived in my condo for about 12 months, when certain circumstances in my family led me to move back to the Midwest. You would think that only living in a home for 12 months, I would have walked away with little to no money right? Not in California! My condo sold for $15,000 over asking price in one day!!! At 20 years old, I had made a $30,000 profit on my first home!
Please, don't get me wrong. I am not bragging. If anything, I would want people to know that if a small town, 19 year old girl from Neodesha, KS can make money in real estate. Anyone can! Buying that first home is always scary, put think about the payoff in the end. It's a great way to save, without realizing you're saving!
Now, that is saving for a rainy day!