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I’m a 30-something Structural Engineer by day, a real estate investor, cat mom, and a writer by night. I write mostly about what I have learned in the world of personal finance and real estate investing, and I hope that sharing my lessons learned will help others avoid mistakes and have better financial futures.

My most popular articles are:

It’s under $500 and why that’s okay

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Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

There are a lot of anecdotal stories on Medium about Real Estate. As we go into 2021, I thought I would share real numbers on how much I made (and lost) on my rental property last year.

Let’s start with a little background. This house was never supposed to be a rental property, it’s just something I fell into after buying, living there myself, and ultimately deciding it was not for me. Thus I became a landlord and found all of the stress and benefits that go with that title.

Let’s get into a full income assessment for the property…

Set up your financial future for success by doing these 5 things

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Photo: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

If you had asked me what my best financial decisions were as a 20-something recent graduate, my answer would probably be pretty lowkey. Something like “I google an item and shop around for the retailer with the best price before I buy it” or “I’m only allowed to buy coffee from the coffee shop on Wednesdays.”

Sure, decisions like this make an impact, but I made other financial decisions as a recent grad that had a much larger positive impact on my financial future.

Opening a credit card

As soon as I graduated college and started my first job, I opened one credit card…

What I spent in a pandemic year

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Have you seen the “What I spend in a week” trend? Whether it’s here on Medium, YouTube, or another platform, the audience gets a little glimpse into the everyday spending habits of different people.

I know from my own spending habits that weeks vary. Some weeks I eat groceries from my pantry and never leave my house (a lot of those weeks in 2020), whereas other weeks, I have large, one-time purchases.

So I decided to summarize and come clean about exactly how much I spent in 2020—every single cent.

I’m not sharing this to say that I do anything…

That cost nothing and can be done from the comfort of your home

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Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Many are considering 2020 to be a completely lost year — a year where we did not (and in a lot of cases, could not) accomplish our goals. While in 2021 we still may not be able to travel, visit family and loved ones, or make that big career change, there are many things we can still accomplish this year from the comfort and safety of home.

Get Your Finances in Order

Whether you were able to keep your job through this downturn, or are facing more difficult financial times, now is a great time to set higher financial goals for yourself. If you are…

But your home is not a retirement investment

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Photo by Sam Beasley on Unsplash

I read a lot of articles on Medium claiming “Homeownership is a Trap.” Every time I read one of these articles, I cringe a bit. The arguments in these articles are always well laid out but missing a fundamental principle:

Correlation does not imply Causation.

I will use Ben’s article on the Death of the Pensions as an example. Yes, few people now retire with pensions. Yes, there are some people who are underwater or have lost a huge portion of their net worth due to their house losing value. That does not mean there is a cause-effect relationship.


Avoid these mistakes to set up your financial future for success

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Photo: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

If you had asked me in my early 20s if I was good with money, my answer would be “Yes, of course!” While I generally spent within my means, mostly cooked at home, brought lunch to work, and researched where to get the best deal before making a purchase, I made a few big mistakes that I am working to correct in my 30s.

Not opening a Roth IRA

If you do not have a Roth IRA and earn under the income contribution limit ($125K for those filing with single status and $198K for married filing jointly), stop what you are doing and go open…

You may not be able to time a real estate purchase, but you can time when you sell

Aerial view of suburban neighborhood.
Aerial view of suburban neighborhood.
Photo by Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash

“It’s not always cheaper to buy a house than rent.”

While this is true, I find that people who proclaim this statement have suffered unfortunate, and sometimes unnecessary losses from buying and selling real estate.

Take one of my family members. He bought a house in 2007 before the Great Recession and lived there until selling at a loss in 2015, and is always quick to use it as an example of why real estate is not always a great investment.

But in my opinion, these losses could have been avoided with a little patience, work, and yes — timing…

Lessons for getting started in real estate

I just closed on my first true investment property with almost no money out of my own pocket. In fact, I will be collecting a check at closing. Normally, we think of real estate as a form of investing where a large sum of money is needed for an initial down payment. How did I get started with so little?

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Photo by Josh Woodhead on Unsplash

First, let’s go back to 2012. Yes, I bought my first property in 2012. Why do I still call myself a newbie real estate investor? Well, because I had no clue what I was doing in 2012.

I was a…

It may be more exciting to read about stock picks or investing in crypto currency, but the real opportunity to build wealth remains saving and investing early and consistently.

I am in my early 30s and have never made above 5 figures, yet by consistently savings and investing I have paid off my student debt and built up a sizable net worth. This year alone, I will save more than half of my income — without counting the growth of my investments.

How am I able to save so much?

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Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

401k contribution

I started investing in a 401k my very first year…

Katherine Quigg

Real Estate Investor sharing my journey

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