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Nerds Guide to FI

Nerds Guide to FI

By Sarah
Hey friend, I am Sarah. Welcome to the Nerds Guide to Financial Independence Podcast! I am a solo mama of one, running on too much taco bell and refusing to give up a weekly fancy latte. I’m here to show that financial independence can be for anyone who wants it badly enough. Investing in real estate doesn’t have to be scary, take vast DIY knowledge, or involve heaps of debt. When I am not sharing my own progress to FI, I’ll be picking the brains of like-minded debt contentious investors. I am so glad you are here, my fellow aspiring retirees. Come join the IG party: @nerdsguidetoFI
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23. PAULA PANT on fearlessly out of state investing, using escalation clauses, and crushing numbers (we both hate on COC!)

Nerds Guide to FI

26. Dying to Airbnb? Lean FIRE with 5 properties (2.2M!) in 2 markets: Systems, processes, and tips after 2,000+ guests with Travis from @youngretireeby33
From stumbling into house hacking to building an Airbnb empire, Travis from @theyoungretireeby33 has a LOT to share with us. Travis began his journey to FI after reluctantly reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and his eyes were opened to different types of investing. At 24 he bought his first home and rented out 2 of the bedrooms-and realized he could live for free! Living in Orlando, he realized that short term rentals were where the money was at. Fast forward to today, and Travis is an expert in short-term rentals, and lucky for us we get to pick his brain. We get real about Airbnb ownership, namely: what are the odds my house will get trashed? Travis explains how you can screen potential guests like you would screen a tenant, why your cleaning crew will be your best friend, and what to do when a guest steals your throw pillows (his answer might surprise you).  After hosting more than 2000 guests, Travis learned from first-hand experience how to handle situations and he shares the small touches that earn him great reviews. We chat about vacation home loans and financing, property management and the processes he uses to make things easy. He shares the software he uses to automate and outsource his bookings! I'm not going to lie, now I just want to Airbnb something. You can find Travis on Instagram @theyoungretireeby33 and check out his guide to Airbnb hosting!
December 08, 2021
25. Finding deals in Maui, ignoring what the haters say about HCOL areas, and optimizing properties for $500/mo+ cashflow with Zasha @investwithZasha
This week I’m talking with Zasha, a fellow mom, woman in STEM and real estate investor (did we just become best friends?) about what its like to invest in a high cost of living area. Zasha lives and invests in Maui, Hawaii both, in rental properties and flips. She didn’t start out with any real estate or financial background, instead she was a civil engineer for ten years. Before she was married, she sold her home she shared with her mother, and netted $100k+ profit! She had no idea this was possible and started to learn more about investing in real estate. Zasha has a wealth of different experiences in real estate, from flipping homes to rentals in section 8, to building attached dwelling units on her properties. We talk about criteria we look for when shopping for homes-you can’t beat that corner lot! She demystifies renting to section 8 tenants, and like most things, its less intimidating than it seems. She has worked her way from FHA loans to BRRR to using private money and partnerships. She has even dabbled in seller financing. Zasha isn’t afraid to try new things and make them work for her. Like me, Zasha’s goal is to make passive income month and be on the path to financial freedom. Though I’ve been reluctant to jump on board, Zasha has sold me on the importance of a morning routine for success. She talks us through her tips-she wakes up at 4:30AM (ok probably not going to be able to do that one) and plans her day, visualizing what she will accomplish and using affirmations. Exercise is key and working on mindset daily. We both talk about balance and what's important to us. After this conversation I’m inspired to start thinking about my mornings differently. Step one: visualize owning a home in Maui… You can find Zasha at @investwithzasha on Instagram!
November 04, 2021
24. The legal take on buy and hold real estate from the owner of 100+ SELF MANAGED units | Bonnie Galam Esq.
We’re kicking off season 3 with Bonnie Galam of Landlord Law School™! Bonnie became interested in real estate investing during law school, and now self-manages 100+ units with her husband, along with her own firm, podcast, and website, offering templates and trainings for new investors. WHEW...its not clear when she sleeps. We talk about her journey into investing and using the BRRR (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat) strategy. Though we both agree it feels like everyone and their mother is getting into real estate, we know there are still deals to be found! I ask Bonnie what its really like working primarily with student housing: Do the tenants pay their rent? Is everything just always covered in beer?  But it sounds like student housing isn’t as intimating as I thought (although wood floors are a MUST). I have a list of legal questions for Bonnie including: - “I just went online and formed my own LLC…is that terrifying?” -Do you need an LLC per property? -When’s the best time to form your LLC? -How should I tighten up my lease terms? We take a deep dive into LLCs and I ask her about the Series LLC. Bonnie teaches offensive asset protection methods, like getting everything in writing, good contracts, estate planning, etc. I learn that you can often get lease templates from attorneys and its more cost effective than having your attorney look at your existing lease. Every year Bonnie does an “asset protection self-audit” and asks herself “What didn’t work this year? How can I tighten up my lease to prevent this going forward?”. Bonnie is a wealth of information and offers so much information through her podcast, website and her Landlord Law School™ included in the links below. I have a feeling you’ll want to listen to this one and take notes! I feel smarter now after recording this podcast with such as fellow boss lady, love her and some killer #lawyershit Find Bonnie: podcast: Good Bones Real Estate Investing Tools Mentioned:
October 25, 2021
23. PAULA PANT on fearlessly out of state investing, using escalation clauses, and crushing numbers (we both hate on COC!)
This is a complete “pinch me” moment. I am thrilled I was able to connect with the one, the only, Paula Pant! In my eyes Paula is the Michael Jordan of the FI community (hence episode #23…see what I did there?) and I am beyond excited to share this conversation with you today. If you aren’t already a giant fan of Paula Pant of Afford Anything, you will be when we are finished with this episode. Paula has created a blog, a podcast, a community and now a comprehensive real estate investing course that takes her students through the entire investing process. Paula talks about beginning in real estate-one of many different investments she uses to achieve FI. Paula takes us through her most recent deal in Indianapolis from start to finish and we are able to cover so much ground. If you’ve been curious about out-of-state real estate investing this is the perfect episode to listen to. We talk about Paula’s “1% rule” (article linked below) and what we look for when starting to search for properties. Filtering through criteria is like filtering through a dating app. Sometimes you need to adjust your criteria and broaden your search before you “swipe left”. Paula takes us through how she was connected in a new market with investors and networking. She guides us through the negotiation process-and knowing when to let go of a property. We learn what an “escalation clause” is and how she utilized it in her process. We go through our thoughts on running the numbers-we are both “cash on cash returns” haters. Paula is a pro at zooming out to see the bigger picture. She analyzes how these investments contribute to wealth in the LONG term, while looking at the short-term opportunities. Paula has a comprehensive spreadsheet as a part of her course-which piqued my interest to track this. Her course covers EVERYTHING you’d need to get started in real estate including: finding a deal or creating a deal; local or out of state investing; financing; renovation vernacular; building your team; and buying negotiation. Enjoy the episode, I know you’re going to love it! Links and Resources @paulapant on Instagram Podcast creation platform: or download the app Property Management Platform:
September 22, 2021
22. Growing up real estate, loving inheriting tenants, and chasing her like-minded dream | Kier Vogt
I’m so lucky to keep meeting awesome like-minded investors through this community, and that’s how I met Kier. We talk about everything from her real estate journey to comparing strategies to mindset and of course our favorite tasks to outsource. Kier grew up with real estate in her blood. Both of her parents were in real estate, and they brought her along for the ride…including helping with all the fun stuff like painting and cleaning out hoarder houses. By the time she graduated high school she was ready to go straight for real estate as a full-time career; but instead, she got her degree first and her real estate license. Once she had her w2 job and met her husband (a contractor how perfect is that?) they bought their first flip in cash. Soon Kier got a taste for cash flow and her real estate journey took off. We talk through her experience doing a live-in BRRR (buy, renovate, rent, refinance, repeat) and agree that inheriting tenants isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. We get into some of the nitty gritty of property management, comparing notes on tasks we outsource and what we take on ourselves. We realize everyone suffers from the comparison game and there is NO timeline you need to follow during the path to FI. The best part about this community is surrounding yourself with other like-minded investors that inspire you. Kier is also a fan of Jen and Joe Dellafave (episode 18 & 19) and is considering utilizing creative financing. She mentions some great auction websites to look at, and we compare tools for running the business. Kier has a lot of things to look forward to and I’m excited to see her continue this journey to FI! Check out her Instagram @realestate.kier and her courses, she has a ton of great resources to share. Enjoy the episode! LINKS Instagram: @realestate.kier Website:
September 21, 2021
21. Using real estate & Etsy to exit the rat race to follow her passion | Brick by Brick Wealth
Instagram is an amazing resource for meeting like-minded investors in the real estate community, and that’s actually how I connected with Casey from @brickbybrickwealth. We discover we have a lot in common, including that we are both “talkers”, so we get into a LOT during this episode. Casey began her career in SoCal and realized the 9-5 job with the long commute just wasn’t for her. She soon found her niche helping real estate investors. Fast forward to a move to Memphis with 2 kiddos, her husband and a cat. She tried her hand at running an Etsy shop, but she quickly realized her time is a limited resource, and you can only produce so many items in a day. Casey and her husband soon began investing in rental properties (5 total) all with 20% down and traditional mortgages. Casey and I talk about what we’ve learned from rehabbing rentals (you can probably leave that popcorn ceiling untouched), and how sometimes a late fee can be quite exciting for us landlords. We talk about our methods of running the cash flow numbers for a property, and agree that usually the best answer lies somewhere in between the worst and best case scenario. We compare tenant screening methods and our deal breakers, and we also talk about some of the things we just have to let slide.  Casey was encouraged by her sister to teach other people how to invest. She spent a year creating a 6 week immersive course to teach her process from start to finish—including helping others with out of state investing. You can check out Casey’s Instagram @brickbybrickwealth and her website!
September 07, 2021
20. FI though house hacking, paying off debt, and the (essentially) endless perks of the small but mighty real estate portfolio | The FI Couple, Ali & Josh
IT IS MAY 8.  You know what that means?  Um, sooo it is my BIRTHDAY.  YAY, 32.  I think this is ABOUT to be my greatest year yet (despite my strong belief that it is all rather blah on the birthday front after age 21).  So, I thought there would just be no better way to celebrate than to share this AWESOME podcast with my newest BFFs around the IG #reicommunity -- Ali & Josh aka @theficouple -- if you do not know these two yet, you are about to LOVE them. Their journey to financial independence began in 2017. Ali was about to graduate from her master’s program, and decided to add up how much they owed in student loans. It totaled over $100k! Like I did, Ali and Josh found Dave Ramsey and started the baby steps according to the total money makeover. They were planning a wedding, starting to make progress, and then Josh was laid off. Eventually they decided there had to be a faster way to pay off debt and eliminate expenses. Enter Bigger Pockets and Set for Life. Josh and Ali found their first house hack in 2018 and learned that sometimes no matter how great the numbers look on paper—location trumps all. By 2019 they had paid off $50k of student loans! In this episode we dive into the ins and outs of FHA loans and live-in flips (windows are EXPENSIVE), the tenant screening process, and how far you can go with networking and referrals. We discuss the real estate snowball and how we feel about using debt responsibly. Josh shares his advice for first time investors that is surprisingly simple (hint: is your personal budget in order?). If you came here looking for beauty tips, I share the best ways to deal with paint in your hair (occupational hazard). We discuss imposter syndrome and how much we grow as we go through this investing journey. We had a great conversation that I know so many of you will relate to. Enjoy the episode!
May 08, 2021
19. Creative Financing 102: with Jenn & Joe DelleFave (Part 2)
Today I’m sharing a PART 2 of my  conversation with Joe and Jenn DelleFave. If you haven’t listened to episode 18 yet, I would listen to that one first. There was just too much great content to edit this down to one episode! Jenn shares that the key to talking to people with confidence was creating a script for herself (genius) and the couple plans to create courses to help you do the same. Joe explained how Covid 19 pushed him into going “all-in” on their business. With 23 active deals (as of this episode) at one time, we talk about some of their best practices as business owners. They share how they knew when it was time to outsource some of their work, and what shifting from working IN their business to working ON their business looks like. Having a winning team is a crucial element for their success, as well as automation. They take time at the beginning of each month to reflect and write down their “wins” from the previous month—LOVE this idea. As long as you’re moving forward you are probably making more progress than you are giving yourself credit for. Jen talks about blocking her time out in her calendar, including family and personal time and creating boundaries. She also advises taking advantage of hiring an accountant. Its just SO worth it. Anything they can do to streamline and automate their business they do and continue to evaluate what's working for them.  I probe them on their personal finances and relationship to debt. We talk more about the advantages of their business model-and the fact that all of their debt is non-recourse debt. Most advice on creative financing is now outdated and things are changing quickly. Joe and Jenn have been fine tuning their skills with mentors, coaches and mastermind groups and are getting ready to share courses with you! Follow Jenn and Joe on Instagram @jenndellefave @josephdellefave Resources:
May 01, 2021
18. Creative Financing 101 with Jenn and Joe DelleFave (part 1!)
What comes to mind when you hear “creative financing”? In today’s episode I sit down with Joe and Jenn Della Fave to learn about their unique business model. I met Joe and Jenn through a like-minded investor group and was immediately intrigued when I heard their story. They bought their first flip together in 2008—such an ideal time to start in real estate investing right? Joe had watched his parents and grandparents invest in real estate, and had the benefit of seeing what worked, and what did not. Pretty quickly into their journey they realized they did not have interest in being landlords. They wanted to do things differently in a way that would work for them. Cue the infomercial VCR tapes (yes, that’s how Joe learned) and so began years of working within the “creative financing” umbrella. Joe and Jenn have created a business in which they are able to offer “rent-to-own” properties and deals that benefit them, the seller, and the future buyer. As Joe explains, “If you do real estate right, everybody wins”. They talk with me about what makes a great future tenant buyer and how having a tenant in a rent to own agreement is different from your typical renter. This all makes more sense as we go through an example “deal” and you really see how this works in action. (40:50) What exactly happens with that down payment from the tenant buyer? Tune in at 58:50 and they explain it all more clearly.  We talk about how the couple finds the perfect properties, oftentimes using leads from direct mail (I for sure took some tips from their letter campaigns) and the importance of having the right people on your team. We agree that Facebook is a great resource for reaching people interested in selling, as well as referrals. Ultimately networking with other investors brought great results as well. Joe and Jenn were so transparent during this interview and gave great examples with numbers, so by the end of this episode it will all start to click, I swear. We have more to discuss so look out for the continuation of this conversation!
April 23, 2021
17. You bought your first rental property, now what? | with David the Diy_Landlord
So…you bought a rental property. Now what? David from @DIY_Landlord is back on the pod, and we are diving into the ins and outs of managing your properties. There is a TON of incredible advice shared in this episode, so I marked the highlights for you. Have a pen and paper ready and be prepared to reference this again and again. I am beyond excited to share this with you all! [3:19] Understand the laws—GOOGLE is your best friend here. -Try searching things from the tenant perspective, ie “how to stop my landlord from evicting me in xyz state”. - Know the basic safety regulations (smoke alarms, lead paint, etc). - How much notice do you need to give? When can you change rent? The more you understand, the less you’ll have to fear! [7:48] Tips on inheriting tenants: -understand who your tenants are before you even purchase the property -set expectations and provide guidelines for tenants (rent payment, what you are doing for them and what you aren’t) -use a letter of introduction: there’s a good sample on Bigger Pockets [13:55] Make sure your accountant loves you: -use a sheet for every property and list out your expense categories separately, including capital expenditures -pros/cons of accounting software: buildium, app folio, quickbooks (don’t worry excel or google works just fine for me) [26:30] Get informed delivery for your PO box and thank us later :) [28:10] Have a list of major contractors ready -you need HVAC, electrician, plumber, handy man (your local home improvement store often has a list!) -network with local real estate investors -see how things are fixed so you can troubleshoot things in the future and save yourself some cash [43:26] Marketing your properties [50:20] Formula for how you list, showing properties, etc. -features, location -include tenant qualifications [56:15] David’s tenant screening process -check for evictions -landlord reference (2-3 years) …these are valuable! Have some questions ready. -credit report -criminal history -income 3x the rent Resources you should check out! Rently
March 18, 2021
16. Humble, house hacking roots to FI before 30 with a solid pile of cash allowing him to work on what he loves (hint, a new PODCAST!) | Felipe Mejia
Whether you have just started learning about real estate investing, or have been in the game for a while, you’ve probably heard the name Felipe Mejia. Today I got to pick his brain about everything from his beginnings in real estate, what he looks for when buying a property, his personal finances, bitcoin, and credit repair (we truly talked about ALL the things in this one). Shortly after his parents’ divorce, Felipe saw the power in real estate firsthand when his Mom converted her basement to pay her mortgage. He talks about his adventures in mobile homes and a giant flood that became a $30,000 blessing. As we walk through his journey, we get into the nitty gritty of getting started in real estate: the importance of becoming bankable, forming your LLC early and why you probably shouldn’t quit your w2 job just yet. Felipe recalls going “all in” with a cash buy in Nashville that snowballed into the 20 units he has today. He explains the moment that led him to discovering his “WHY” and how it shaped his investing decisions going forward. We discuss the benefits of leveraging a line of credit to grow your portfolio quickly without a conventional mortgage and the strategy he used to get one. Felipe runs down his list of what he looks for in his properties and shares some sage advice about plumbing that he will never forget. Switching gears, I ask Felipe the details on how he and his wife run their personal finances AND find out that he keeps a whole lot of cash on hand. He tells me about starting his new podcast, Rat Race to Financial Independence, and how he hopes to bring more diversity into the real estate conversation. We don’t agree on everything, but I love to hear his take on investing and cryptocurrency (I’ll stick to my long- term investing, thank you!) and how real estate and stock market investing are more similar than you think. This conversation was a fun one, and I know you’ll appreciate the wisdom Felipe shares for newbies and seasoned investors alike. Enjoy the episode!
February 26, 2021
15. Appriaser to 4 million dollars in real estate with none of his own money, overcoming limiting beliefs, and mastering ARVs | Josiah Smelser The Daily Real Estate Investor
Josiah and I became friends through Instagram-- as we quickly bonded over our mutual love of the late Rick Jarmin. I first found Rick after listening to Josiah's podcast-- the Daily Real Estate Investor.  Then, I too was able to kindle a love connection -- as I learned that Josiah, and one of my own podcast guests-- David @diy_landlord --- have eerily similar background stories that include mission work and living in Africa.  Who knew?!  In terms of his journey into real estate, Josiah was able to raise and use private money to reach 4 million dollars of real estate, and 20 properties.  We both love all the perks of 1-4 unit homes for achieving one's FI goals.  He walks through how he started, at a big 4 accounting firm and hating life.  From there, he became an appraiser which helped him learn the market and to estimate ARV like a pro. (getting ARV wrong is a big way to mess up a BRRRR!) A big hurdle for him, in the early days, was a lack of credit score.  He reviews how he was able to get and maintain a high credit score using a line of credit.  We reminisce about our Dave Ramsey roots, but share the conviction that credit scores do matter today.  But what is irrelevant? Trying to achieve "number of doors" goals, instead of focusing on cash flow.   He also loves the rental property debt snowball method, believing that 1-4 unit homes are the ideal retirement plans.   We talk in-depth about a lot of topics, including self-limiting beliefs and mindset.  He shares that Chris Gerber wrote one of his favorite books, called the E-myth Revisited where he talks about how you need to be working ON your business, and not IN your business.  A lesson I have been working hard on in 2020 with all my outsourcing.  He shares why he loves mortgage brokers, auto paying everything he can, and keeping no personal debt.   I also would like to think Josiah played a role in my most recent, successful home appraisal for my house hack -- as I learned that you can supply your own comps in advance as well as a list of repairs and their associated costs. My appraiser seemed gitty when I told him I had two realtors assess the home, pull comps, and that I already had emailed all of them over to him in case it would help with the assessment of the home.  I also provided him with a hard copy & emailed a copy of the repairs and changes I did to the property.  Thanks, Josiah, my $310,000 appraised value on my house hack I bought (with private money) for $280,000 brought joy to my heart.  Hope you guys enjoy the conversation as much as I did!  Check Josiah out over at the Daily Real Estate Investor-- or on his new (second!) podcast-- Multifamily Mavericks.  
January 29, 2021
14. From model to the queen of leverage, long distance self-managing 30 units, and killing the cashflow game | Kata Walters, The Model Investor
HAPPY 2021!  I would say this is the year we all have been waiting for..... but I think it is too soon to tell.  I LOVE this episode with Kata.  She has the BEST accent, and I am so inspired by her mindset and work ethic.  I first became familiar with Kata on Instagram -- where you should totally follow her @themodelinvestor.  Then, I fell in love with her story listening to Josiah's podcast, The Daily Real Estate Investor, in her May 2020 episode entitled "Build a Six-Figure Passive Income Stream With Real Estate Investing." We talk in detail about Kata's childhood with debt-adverse parents -- and how she always dreamed of real estate.  She shares her biggest horror story on day one of self-managing her 30 unit rental property portfolio.  She learned firsthand that cash flow trumps appreciation..... and legit has some of the best cash flow numbers I have ever seen.  ($400 per SFH!) Much to the dismay of all of my Dave Ramsey fan followers, Kata absolutely loves mortgage debt.  As the self-proclaimed queen of leverage, Kata plans to take on as much as she can -- making use of conventional loans, portfolio loans (one of my favorite things), AND seller financing along the way.  If her mindset doesn't get you excited to go crush your own dreams and makes you feel like anything real estate is possible and obtainable, I have nothing left for you (kidding.... maybe).  We talk about section 8, being a landlord for the people, and how you can invest while also making an impact in the communities you serve.  Kata is a buy and hold investor-- but has flipped a few homes along her journey as well.  You know you are a true real estate investor when "appliances are the new purses" -- and I just could not agree with Kata more.  Kata (and my) favorite resources: Venmo 
January 15, 2021
13. House hacking to 7 units with the BRRRR strategy, private money, frontloading CAPEX, and detailed systems | Lauren & Kyle of Rentals to Wealth
I LOVE talking to Lauren & Kyle because they always keep it REAL.  They are the amazing duo behind @rentalstowealth  They used house hacking to get started in real estate... And used my personal favorite method to decide on a location: nearby FOOD.  Sounds funny, but this method can really narrow down neighborhood/area investing classes.   We chat about why it actually may be a bad thing to take a full year’s rent, upfront.  We talk Dave Ramsey, how I am now a HUGE bigger pockets fan even when it used to totally scare me, and talk through our thought processes behind personal and real estate debt.  They have the BEST tips on how they streamline estimating rehab costs -- they are serious life goals when it comes to getting their rehab budget estimates within $500 +/- at the end.  We give some shout outs to Chris & Dave over at The Stealthy Rich.  We share our favorite things about frontloading all the big CAPEX items. They break down how they used BRRRR to scale to 7 units… using conventional financing and private money lenders.  We share a great love of FB marketplace or Habitat for Humanity finds.  Lauren dives though why you should maintain cash reserves,  how their portfolio was minimally impacted by COVID, and how they find the best tenants by prescreening.  The vast benefits of automating.  And how they now automate their emergency calls with a general contractor. I love their thoughts on mindset, building systems to scale, and how they think about building their team with all the best members in the proper seat.  I think this one will motivate you to just jump in already.  It's rather fun over here.  And you do not want to miss all their amazing features with Bigger Pockets! So inspired (and ready for our business trip/vacay).  Resources & Reading: Jay Scott on Estimating Rehab Costs Traction Stessa My favorite way to prescreen tenants 
December 17, 2020
12. Investing 2.0: Index funds, choosing single stocks with a three prong approach, and college/career planning | Oscar from Money Tip Feed
Welcome to the NGFI Podcast, episode number 12.  I am so excited to bring you alllll the investing wisdom from Oscar today.  He is the man behind Money Tip Feed.  He gets WAY deeper into the world of choosing single stocks than I ever have, and makes it seem simple with his three-prong approach.  Oscar could seriously consider early retirement, but enjoys his job and the idea of the rule of 55.  He, along with his wife and two kids, now live in a paid-for home, despite having some challenges in the real estate arena.  They prove that you can make mistakes and still achieve financial greatness.  We talk about kinds of investing "bins" -- 401Ks, IRAs, 529s.  Then, we dive through how Oscar chooses to fill his bins -- with a review of mutual funds, index funds, and single stocks.  We review the age-old debate on the importance (or lack thereof) of including international index funds in your portfolio.  We talk about college and career.  Oscar speaks about the importance of college choice, career choice, and considering working before chasing after that master's degree.  He talks about his own plans for his boys' college, and how he hopes they will have some skin in the game when it comes to paying for their education.  I love Oscar's review of savings rates, including how you can calculate yours too.   He refutes the idea that people should always have a mortgage.  We share our love of Morningstar and using free online resources to educate yourself on personal finance.   Can't wait to hear what you think of this one, and look Oscar up on Instagram and YouTube.  He is producing some killer YouTube content I know many of you would devour.  Finally, you will learn where to always keep an eye out for me, or for Oscar, IRL, after this pandemic eases.  Thanks for listening! 
December 03, 2020
11. 2020 will not kill me. WFH mom by day, house hacker by night. My whole story, your questions, and how my mindset will make the dream possible | with ME, Sarah of NGFI
So, THIS episode.  The one I have been avoiding.  The about me one.  I did a little trailer intro to kick off my podcast.  However, I have been LARGELY avoiding covering my own journey because I find my personal life has been a serious dumpster fire.  This is my year of rebuilding and realigning.  Refocusing on building the life I have always wanted. Every system.  Every autopay.  Every bank account.  Every process.  NEW. THIS is my honest, REAL path from Dave Ramsey to Real Estate: moving shamelessly into big mortgage debt life while still biting my tongue each time I want to say "good debt" While this has been the most painful, hardest year of my life, I am so grateful.  Grateful to have my daughter, who is a 13-month-old little ray of sunshine.  Grateful for my job and the minimum impact COVID has had on it.  Grateful COVID has taken my 40% travel job and made it a 0% travel job while I cope with my life, changing in every way possible.  And grateful for my people.  My parents. Family. Friends. All the amazing folks of the REI or real estate investing community, and of the debt-free community I have come to know via Instagram.  I have learned I have the BEST support system. I am strong, with the ability to rebuild, refocus on my dreams, and keep on going.  I have a whole new appreciation for happiness, stability, and making the very best of any situation.  This past year will forever shape and change me, but in the best ways, even though it has had some of the most heartwrenching, crushing parts. I survived.  I got out.  And now, I get to rebuild it, for ME.  To find me again.  And make the best future -- and mama-- possible for the cutest toddler ever.  Today, I will cover the start of my journey to today..... plus the top questions I get from you all.  What is going on with our business? Why did you decide on this type of house hack? How do you manage rentals and a day job?  Why do real estate?  What does your emergency fund look like now? And, where do I see life and business when the dust settles? Thanks for sharing in my journey. Cheers to the back half of 2020, let’s make it something amazing. Rachael Cruze budget video Rich Dad, Poor Dad Set for Life Paula Pant Retire Early with Real Estate Coach Chad Carson Rachel Hollis: Keep. Going. The Stealthy Rich
September 19, 2020
10. When you stop, you lose: No-nonsense approach to private money, scoring deals in SOCAL, and why you are better off starting broke | with Mark McMahon
If you are a newer investor starting out, or in a high cost of living market, THIS episode is for you.  Mark shares it all, and isn't afraid to dive through several losses over his career.  Despite million-dollar losses, losing it all in 2008, investing in a high cost of living markets -- Mark and his wife have over a 3 million dollar net worth, and much more is to come.  I LOVE Mark's advice on using private money as an alternative to the BRRRR strategy, aka a leverage strategy.  Mark and his wife, who also is a successful real estate investor in her own right, have navigated the changing markets to grow their empire all while raising 3 boys.  He shares how his deal-finding career evolved from buying mobile homes to finding all their early deals on the MSL to driving for dollars, cold calls, and automated texting.  We talk about how, finding "non-typical" multiunits also works in his market-- as he walks me through how accessory dwelling units, or ACUs, can make some properties in high cost of living markets cashflow.   Mark really epitomizes the idea of work ON your business, not IN your business.  He shares how he has built up a team to run all parts of their real estate empire.  He has some great philosophies on getting started, as well as on never giving up.  He thinks the best kind of real estate investor starts out broke, or at 0.  And that, this position in life may just be the best place to be-- even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.   I also thoroughly enjoy the care he takes to manage his properties, and help his tenants.  He reviews steps he, and Rick Jarmin from Real Estate Old School, took to be proactive with their tenants as COVID-19 developed.  They even offered to assist tenants with obtaining unemployment benefits.  You will also hear Mark's predictions as to what the fallout from COVID will look like, when it comes to the "frothy" real estate market today.  By the end of this episode, I felt like old friends with Mark, and I hope you will too.  For sure a guy I would love to share a beer with, as he drops one inspiring story after another.  
August 21, 2020
9. FIRE at 31 in THE highest cost of living city, bravely sharing her IVF journey, loving expense ratios, while always negotiating (AND interviewing!) for jobs | Shang from Save My Cents
Shang (pronounced "shUng") is a badass stock investor who hit FI at age 31 in NYC.  Shang bravely shares their IVF journey to have their beautiful baby boy. Shang has taught me so much, from how to negotiate to ways to keep the #igetto attitude despite all the changes life WILL throw your way. We open by talking life in COVID. She makes me greatly appreciate NOT having to deal with the rules and regulations of real estate in NYC. We deep dive into how to always negotiate when considering a new job. Shang shares that you should always negotiate (especially the ladies), always be interviewing and that negotiating a better bonus may be the way to go. We both strongly agree that choosing a career field based on passion is simply a bad idea, even thought permeates our culture today. Shang dives into who should and should not use a financial advisor. She gives us some amazing books to read -- my personal favorite, The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, The Broke Millenial’s Take on Investing and Boggleheads Guide to Investing. And how, for the average investor, getting an average rate of return is WAY more simple than you think.  While financial advisors get all the hype, we think the real MVPs are good CPAs, aka tax people. My FAVORITE part is our deep dive into expense ratios. I pick Shang’s brain on using traditional vs. Roth retirement accounts  Shang gives us her take on paying off the mortgage vs. investing in real estate (hitting on the classic 5% rule of personal finance … and we agree that, in America, your primary residence tends to be a terrible investment (and may not even be a true asset!)  Here is my all-time favorite explanation of why the home you live in may not be AS great as an investment as it seems) We wrap up talking about FIRE as a lifestyle, not just a buzz word.  Plus how to choose gurus who truly have your best interests in mind.  I hope you all enjoy Shang as much as I always do, and I bet she will have you googling something after this podcast. LEARN: Investopedia  Morning Star Save My Cents: Backdoor Roth IRA Mega backdoor Roth IRA with The Mad Fientist Rich Dad Poor Dad Suzie Orman Dave Ramsey
August 13, 2020
8. REI to FI making 54K with 4 littles, serious long distance landlording, plenty of taco bell, and developing a strong network | David from @DIY_Landlord
I am coining a new term with this one -- REFI! Financial Independence by Real Estate! This podcast set the record for my longest EVER.  Carve out sometime ( or get your steps in) because listening to David crush it on a 54K salery will amaze you.  He talks through his early days of finding deals all the way from Africa. with the help of his father and business partner.  David and I also share a love for Facebook marketplace deals, live-in flips, and using smart-key locks.  Despite carrying the most business debt of any person I have interviewed to date, David is very debt aware on the personal side.  He was always raised to be wary of debt, and if you must use debt like student loans, you best pay it off fast. He even worked 30 hours a week through college. We cover the importance of living on less than you make and learning to be personally financially disciplined, and that you do not need a ton of properties to be financially independent.  A portfolio will look different if you want financial independence vs. want to build a business.  And David was here to build a business.   We review two ways David protected himself during COVID.  The first, and everyone's favorite: stacking cash.  The second is access to cash.  You will also hear how David celebrates every deal, and our favorite things on the taco bell menu.  Listen to David scare me strongly away from investing in commercial real estate during COVID.  Also, I have a new life goal of owning an entire street of duplexes now (to avoid “apartment complex” mentality).   And I am hype to learn how he got not one but TWO whole streets of duplexes.  Perhaps you too will learn a new term: elevator (or escalation) clauses.   I love our talk on tenant screening methods, section 8, and all of the benefits of networking local.  David dishes on how he bought his newest primary residence/house hack/live in flip (with FOUR kids, mind you!).  David continues buying but cautiously with COVID.  Finally, hear what David is OUTSOURCING (hint: it is the same sucky task I recently hired out!) to someone else, to buy back his own time. Learn: BRRRR.  Or a whole book on BRRR. Buildium. Why David should stock up on 7 layer taco bell burritos while they last. (RIP also loaded grillers) Classes of property: my fav article on the topic.   Elevator clause, or Escalation clause My Automated Tenant Screening System The book that saved him $120,000: Never split the difference. 
July 22, 2020
7. Avoiding common mantras of the broke by tracking your net worth, investing in index funds, and keeping your financial plan simple | Jeremy from Personal Finance Club.
This episode kicks off another one of my podcast dreams, interviewing INVESTORS.  Specifically talking about how it is NOT scary or hard to save and learn to invest your own money.  Jeremy and I have very similar brains, so this one was super fun for us.  He talks about his early days, how he learned to invest via reading, and how he has developed a passion for helping people better understand investing though his Instagram and Blog, the Personal Finance Club.  He dishes on how he too thinks the idea of “FIRE” makes the movement sound lazy which is untrue (so we both prefer the idea of “work optional” life), how he loves a 50% savings rate and how one of his claims to fame is dressing up as a giant, scannable CVS receipt.  Jeremy has been “work optional” since age 34.  He talks about how to avoid the world of monthly payments, how the obsession with credit scores in our country is crazy, and how everyone should know and track their net worth instead.  We even dive into Dave Ramsey’s investing advice, and how we choose a slightly different path. I enjoyed Jeremy’s take on financial advisors, mutual vs index funds, the market today, and the beauty of a SIMPLE financial plan. You will also hear how I am the LEAST fun person to invite to your child’s birthday party, because I can’t even with bad investment advice, and why I have decided to stock some additional canned goods in my pantry.  OH -- and don't forget to see that CVS receipt costume (there is a VIDEO!) Learn more: Why your net worth is WAY more important than your credit score.  The ONE book to read: The beginner’s guide to investing (100 pages WITH charts).  The millionaire next door.  Why Michael Burry’s Index Fund bubble prediction does not matter.  What is a stock How do I buy stock FZROX vs. VTSAX: The hidden cost of Fidelity’s zero-fee index funds.  My top 3 quotes from this episode:  I really feel like, with 30 minutes of my time, I could make someone a millionaire 30 years from now.  I could change someone’s financial future, and that really pumps me up. The mantra of the broke, the rat race people get caught up in, is the world of monthly payments. People are then super concerned about their credit score, which is crazy to me.  The credit score is just this metric of how banks make money off of you.
June 20, 2020
6. Minimum wage laborer to builder to a multimillionaire, 5 recessions and 47 years of marriage later | Rick Jarman, Real Estate Old School
If you are in need of some REAL real estate wisdom, the best stories, and a fantastic southern accent, this episode if for you.  Learn what generation is REALLY responsible for putting carpet over those beautiful hardwood floors.  I love to hear Rick tell it like it is.  He shares so many practical tips like how to see if there is hardwood under the carpet.  He talks through all the benefits of section 8, how he loves late fees but always focuses on helping people get back on track, while still maintaining a successful business.  He stresses the importance of keeping turnovers to a minimum, and has only evicted 2 (now 3) people in all of his years as a landlord.  Rick has been doing the BRRRR method since before it was cool, and he has some great suggestions on how he maximizes the amount of money he keeps after the refinance portion of the process.  I think you will love his unique advice on how to start as a newbie, as it was quite different from the "househack" advice that is prevalent everywhere today.  I love his stance on cars and avoiding personal debt.  I also learned that Rick has some hidden musical talents, which even snagged him his wife of 47 years.  She must have been a keeper too, as they have moved 31 times all while raising their son and daughter.  I could have talked to Rick all day (but instead we chatted for an hour and 40 minutes before edits), and you all MUST let me know which of his great stories are your favorite.  Oh AND you should follow him on YouTube, Instagram, his PODCAST AND TicTok.  (I am pretty sure he is a better millennial than I am...)  Learn more:   The podcast that first led me to find Rick: House hacking success podcast, SURVIVING THE 2008 RECESSION AND GROWING TO OVER 100 PROPERTIES WITH RICK JARMAN | PODCAST 34 Section 8 Owner financing  Live in flip True costs of tenant turnover Multifamily vs. Single-family homes (and why we BOTH love single-family homes!)
June 06, 2020
5. Understanding seller financing, the awesome benefits of house hacking, and how Dave Ramsey principles can be applied in real estate | Coach Chad Carson
I am so excited to bring you this interview with Coach Chad Carson.  I LOVE the stories Chad shares in the episode.  He talks about creative financing, seller financing, and how he even bartered his motorcycle to serve as a downpayment on a home.  We cover a TON of information, from the ideal loan term, to how to learn your neighborhood grades to aid in your investing strategy, to the types of investments Chad has beyond real estate. My favorite parts are learning about how we creates his selling financing deals, and generates leads with letter campaigns.  We take a deep dive into debt, risk, and how the Dave Ramsey debt snowball can be applied to the world of real estate as well.  Hear how Chad preps to ride out the impact of Corona Virus by being proactive with tenants.  We share a love of diversification, and how single-family homes can provide this.  We dive into what is “enough” when it comes to your portfolio, non-traditional house hacks, and the importance of savings rate. More Learning:  Chad’s guide to seller financing  Chad’s house hacking guide. Books to read: Your money or your life.
May 30, 2020
4. Enjoying the process, not letting one bad buy discourage you, and determining YOUR amount for cash reserves | Jay from Being Determined
I could listen to Jay's amazing perspective on life, and his nuggets of wisdom for DAYS.  I love how he shares his journey from being young and knowing it all, to experiencing BIG losses on a property, to learning to love the journey (and all those tax advantages!).  Getting your ego in check, and instead focusing on the kind of lifestyle you want to build most.  He shares his thought process behind how much debt to keep, how much cash reserves to keep on hand, and the best time a person should buy investments,  or even a primary residence.   We talk both real estate and equities/stocks (hint: he also is a big index fund fan).  I love Jay's thought process behind why he does not have any bonds in his current portfolio.  He shares about the first property he ever bought, and how he thinks House Hacking is the way to go for newbies (but perhaps not for the nearly married).  I think you will love the wisdom, AND the cute story on how he first met his wife! Learn more: Coach Carson and seller financing  Rules that Warren Buffet lives by Rules on how long to live in your home before selling for a profit, so you can keep the money tax free (it is 2 years!) Rich Dad Poor Dad: a MUST read
May 22, 2020
3. Finding just the right amount of debt, the impact of COVID-19, and the power of BRRRR | Chris, half of The Stealth Rich
Grab your pen and paper, because I talk for over an hour to Chris, one of the two awesome guys behind The Stealthy Rich.  They have changed how I run my numbers (price to rent ratio as my 1% rule number) and the type of loans we use, which enabled us to buy house #4 (portfolio loans!).  They both have full-time jobs with a heard of kids ( 7 combined).  Besides keeping no personal debt, we all agree that the second most important ingredient to our success "secret sauce" is a work from home job.  These two have been making working from home, no-contact showings, and mailing handwritten letters like your grandma cool since before COVID. My FAV highlights:  Even the seasoned wrestle with how much debt and the ideal mortgage length To make money in real estate, you have to break free of that boat anchor called personal debt. The favorite way Chris & Dave find houses to buy with crazy Yellow Letter campaigns  Their boring (I say brilliant) “rinse and repeat” method of remodeling. The benefits of keeping cash on hand, because VTSAX & Chill is GREAT, but you need to be ready for emergencies. The best wear layers when buying LVP floors. (In case you are wondering, since this interview, I HAVE learned that you can, in fact, find LVP with a 20 mil wear layer or more, for under $2/sq foot). "Refi till you die” is overrated. LEARN MORE:  But Dave Ramsey says debt is dumb even in real estate BURRR method Cash on Cash Returns Portfolio Loans Jerry Puckett & their exact yellow letters The Mad Fientist & the 4% rule MMM on emergency funds here & here (and why I hate it here) My take on mortgage forbearance programs  Property managers  1% rule & why it matters Rent to Price Ratio with The Stealth Rich Rent analysis with Rentometer
May 12, 2020
2. Debt free real estate investors, helping tenants find affordable housing, 3 kids and 5 recessions later | Dan & Liz from Mindful Money Coaches
YAS.  The first real episode. I was beyond excited to bring you guys some expert knowledge from the power couple behind @mindfulmoneycoaches, Dan & Liz!  I had to have these two amazing individuals on, as they were the best mentors I could have asked for as we walked through our first few deals.  We talk about risk, the first steps they took when Corona Virus hit, how to protect yourself in a downturn, and how their relationship with debt has evolved over their investing career.  They have been through 5 market downturns, and their use of debt evolved through this time (all while having 3 babies!).  They currently own 17 SFHs, and have reached FI.   MY FAVORITE part of this whole interview is the part where Dan & Liz dish about a big secret they are glad they did not have to share with Dave Ramsey.  These two are so real, and I love it.  Okay, I have two favorite parts.  They also take us on a deep dive into seller financing.  And somehow make it all seem so less complicated.  They talk through their first two seller financing deals, and the specific types of sellers you want to find, who may WANT seller financing.  Hint: They may be at your local bingo halls. We talk about how to treat your tenants right, and how proactive landlording approaches can really pay off down the road.  You will hear them talk about the impact of Corona Virus today, which is the topic at the forefront of most people's minds in 2020.  If you want to learn ever more about Dan & Liz, check them out on Instagram or their website.  Enjoy! LEARN MORE: Life Coach School Podcast (Liz is a trained life coach!)  House Hacking Airbnb Arbitrage  Seller Financing 
May 08, 2020
1. The WHY behind the NGFI Podcast | The Trailer
I’m Sarah and welcome to the Nerds Guide to Financial Independence Podcast! I’m here to show you that financial independence can be for anyone who wants it badly enough and that investing in real estate doesn’t have to be scary, take vast DIY knowledge, or involve heaps of debt. When I am not sharing my own progress to FI, I’ll be picking the brains of like-minded debt contentious investors. I am so glad you are here, my fellow aspiring retirees.
April 17, 2020