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This is the first part of a series of interviews that will be conducted on Millionaire Mob. I love learning from others. If you are not spending 4 hours per week learning from others you are truly missing out. That is why I love consulting for passive income and also why I love running Millionaire Mob. I get to connect with individuals like Gwen of Fiery Milliennials and learn more about their goals, interest and more. I was happy to hear that I was able to do a personal finance guest interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials.
Personal Finance Guest Interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials
Personal finance is a subject that requires time to research and learn. You aren’t just born as an expert in personal finance. It must be learned through others. Think about your spending habits. Did they originate from your parents? Are their behavioral characteristics that influence your personal finance goals?
There is no better way to learn from others and hear their thoughts and opinions of select subject matters. I’d consider Gwen a subject matter expert on personal finance and financial independence. I was very excited to ask a few questions and learn more.
Here are our personal finance interview questions with Gwen of Fiery Millennials
Let’s get into our interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Gwen. I run the Fiery Millennials blog and am the co-host of Fire Drill Podcast. I am 27 and have a net worth over $200k from 4 years of diligent saving and investments. I live in the Midwest with my boyfriend and cat.
What is the one piece of advice that you’d give to millennials just realizing that they need to get their ‘financial fitness’ in order?
Just do something. It’s ok if your finances aren’t perfect. Having something started today is better than a perfect setup in 5 years. Everyone makes mistakes, but those who start earlier come out ahead.
Why Fiery Millennials? What do you hope to accomplish in the near-term and the long-term to gain financial independence?
I chose the name Fiery Millennials for a few reasons. At 27, I am a Millennial. I’m writing primarily to Millennials. The Fiery part is a play on words. The whole focus of my blog is Financial Independence and Retiring Early, so I wanted something that played off the FIRE acronym. The other part of Fiery comes from my personality. I am a very passionate person and I get even more fired up when I talk about finances!
What are your favorite forms of ‘side hustle’ income?
My favorite forms of side hustle income are ones that revolve around artsy things. My family is very artsy and craftsy. My dad was an artist and at one point had a screen printing business. My mom and her side of the family love to quilt, crochet, knit, and counter cross stitch.
I’ve taken my artistic family history and spun it into something that suits me.
I quilt, knit, do counter cross stitch, and make stained glass. Stained glass is definitely my favorite medium to work with right now. The supplies are relatively low cost so the margins are good if I keep my labor costs low.
It’s more of a hobby right now, but I’m looking forward to devoting more time to it when I quit my job in a few months!
What have you learned from creating side hustle income streams? Do you like to take your side income and recycle it into new opportunities?
I have learned the lower you keep your startup and overhead costs, the better. When I started my stained glass side hustle, I didn’t have any tools or glass. I had taken a class and knew I wanted to do it, so I started looking for ways to get into it cheap.
I set an alert on my local Craigslist for stained glass and was rewarded with two major windfalls. The first was a lady who had a growing family and didn’t have any time for it any longer, so she sold me all her supplies for a very good price.
The second was an older gentleman who could no longer work on stained glass and so was selling everything in his garage. I got everything I could possibly need and more for less than $100.
I wish I had been able to keep my overhead low. I lived in an apartment complex and as such had no room to actually work on the stained glass.
I have a super cute kitty cat who is incredibly curious and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep him away from my workspace and all the sharp bits of glass. So I rented a workspace from the apartment complex that cost me $150 a month.
I thought that was pretty reasonable until I’d been at it for a few months and only sold $30. The longer I stayed there, the bigger the hole I dug on myself. If I had been able to utilize existing space, my numbers would’ve been a lot better.
Do you have any mentors or people that you follow that have influenced you to be financially independent?
I have several people I look up to with regards to finances. My parents are my first inspiration. They were the first people to teach me how to manage my money and to set an example at what good money management looked like.
The second would be Mr. Money Mustache. I found his blog in college and was immediately hooked by his practical and sensible information. My parents laid the groundwork, but it was MMM who showed me where I could go with my finances.
What inspired you to create your blog? What’s one thing that you didn’t know that you know now?
I was inspired to create my blog after looking for people like me who had a blog and coming up empty. The main people in the FI blog world at that point were usually older than me with families. I had a hard time finding young single people (and especially women) at the beginning of their journey, so I decided to be the blog I wanted to read.
I did not know how starting that blog and becoming a member of the FI community would change my life so drastically.
This community welcomes people with open arms. Everyone took me in under their wing and helped me grow into the person I am today. Yes, this blog is a lot of time and effort, but it is so worth it!
Everyone wants to get into passive real estate, but no one understands the time-consuming nature of being a landlord. Have you hit any initial hurdles, disappointments in your real estate transition / investment? Do you agree that it is more time consuming than first imagined?
I would say there really isn’t such a thing as passive real estate. About the closest thing to passive real estate I can think of is putting up money for other people to invest in properties and pay you interest. Even then you need to do a ton of research and keep on eye on the person to make sure your investment will succeed.
I think the best phrase I’ve heard when it comes to real estate is this: If you want to be hands-on with your investments, get into real estate. Otherwise, plop your money into an account and let your low-cost index fees do the work.
I haven’t had the easiest time with my first real estate investment. I bought a triplex for $85,000 in March of 2017. It is a beautiful Neo-Georgian Revival style house built in 1910. Older houses come with lots of problems. The work on them is more expensive as things were built differently back then.
My mistake was buying a house I fell in love with. I was too emotionally wrapped up in the property and so I spent more than I should have on the property this first year. I also didn’t do the best job at hiring a contractor and wasted a lot of money. The good thing about this property is it was bought as an investment, so even with the mistakes I’ve made it’s still a solid investment.
Real estate can absolutely be more time consuming than you think. I found this to be especially true when I had to turn over a unit for a new tenant while working a full-time W2 job.
I spent pretty much every afternoon and night working to fix it up so I could fill the vacancy.
Combine that with other side hustles and I was pulling 18 hour days. That was probably the most time-consuming part thus far. Alternatively, you can opt for real estate crowdfunding that is completely passive.
Concluding Thoughts From Our Personal Finance Guest Interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials
Find your mentors early and follow along with the path. Your personal financial situation is a marathon, not a sprint. I hope you enjoyed our Guest Interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials and you learned something about a path to financial independence.
What did you think of our personal finance guest interview with Gwen of Fiery Millennials? Who would you like to see in our next personal finance guest interview series? What have you done to earn more money online and earn residual income? Leave your comments or questions below. We’d love to hear from you.
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