These financial decisions enabled me to build a Net Worth of $500,000 before turning 30 (including driving a 15-year-old car that squeaks)!

Photo Credit: Myself & My Car!

1. I Didn’t Upgrade My Car

It’s very easy to be sucked into the idea that you need to upgrade your car once you start making a little cash at your first full-fledged adult job out of college. After graduating, when I moved to Silicon Valley, it felt like all of my peers were buying their first entry-level Mercedes, Audi, etc. When you see your colleagues cruising in a brand new luxury vehicle that can self-drive while giving a back massage at the same time, it can be tempting to head down to the nearest car dealership; but I didn’t. I kept my car (that I…

No, I did not start a dropshipping store, join a network marketing company, or receive an inheritance or other financial assistance. I did this on my own, and so can you!

Photo Credit: Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Saving is Imperative and Very Easy with the Right Mindset

I can’t stress this enough! We all logically know that if we make $60,000 a year and spend $65,000, we will be in trouble-yet, so many Americans do this. So much of this (in my humble opinion) has to do with mindset.

We save and invest very little because we are afraid of missing out. We worry about how others perceive us. We feel that personal finance is a foreign language, and developing a financial plan is too complex. …

Taking risks and leaving behind what no longer serves you is the greatest factor in becoming motivated, productive, and increasing your wealth.

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexel

For much of my career, I was a total procrastinator.

I’d have a work deadline creeping up on me, and I’d approach it like a college kid during final’s week; I’d wait until the days before complete all of the tasks that were expected of me.

Now, to be clear, I did complete my tasks and performed as per my manager’s expectations. I was always considered a high performer, but I knew I wasn’t giving my best, and I always felt like I had a lot more to give.

During the workday, I’d constantly catch my mind drifting off and…

Most Americans limit their ability to build wealth as they pursue expensive degrees, “respectable” careers, and spend like they’re in Congress to impress people that they don’t even like.

Photo Credit: Jazz MHD, Pexels

It was 2016, and I was sitting at my desk at my corporate job in Silicon Valley when a news notification popped up on my MacBook that I couldn’t resist opening; it was about Liang Zhao Zhang, a janitor for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), who made over $270,000 the previous year. That wasn’t a typo, and you read that correctly; a janitor in San Francisco makes over $270,000 a year.

Liang sometimes works 17 hour days and takes almost every single overtime slot available at his job; in fact, over $162,000 comes from working overtime.

If you haven’t been…

Our parents mean well, but their financial advice is sometimes…a little outdated.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels

I think most of us can agree that it’s a blessing to have family members that love and care for you. Even though I don’t have my biological parents, I’m incredibly lucky to have other family members that support me. They give great advice (both solicited and unsolicited) and often provide an ear to listen when I need to vent.

Whether I have a question about a car problem or have a question about a family recipe, there’s always someone in my family that I can go to.

However, when it comes to finance…things get a bit “iffy.”

Now that…

Important takeaways from my first business failure

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

It was 2018 and I was living in Silicon Valley and working in high-tech, trying to figure out how I was going to escape both the Bay Area and my corporate job that I didn’t love asap.

There’s nothing wrong with San Jose or high-tech, but it’s crazy expensive to live in Silicon Valley.

Sure, salaries are typically higher, but $120,000 per year with an average rent payment of $2,485 for an 886 sq foot apartment is not only illogical but insane.

I decided I was going to do the very “2018 thing” and start an online business. …

Let’s change our mindset and cancel the narrative that “wealth is bad” so we can achieve financial freedom

Photo Credit: BrazenBettyCo, Etsy

Five stars and 57 reviews; that’s how the shirt in the photo above ranks on Etsy. Some of the tags used to advertise the listing are phrases like “Anti-Capitalism”, which by textbook definition, capitalism is:

An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Thanks to capitalism, the Etsy shop owner (a private owner) can purchase t-shirts in bulk from China for a few bucks, add a margin to them, and sell them for $24.98 on the internet. …

Common ways we overspend and tips I’ve adopted to stop wasting so much money

Photo Credit: mentatdgt, Pexels

1. We Have a Fast-Fashion Obsession

America’s addiction to fast-fashion is a more recent development over the past decade, which I’d argue is driven by a combination of the desire to constantly add new items to our wardrobe and the non-stop marketing from the Instagram Influencer community.

In 1930, well before social media, the average American woman owned 9 outfits. Today, the average American woman owns 30 outfits, which is almost triple the amount of clothing (according to Forbes). Fast-forward to the 1950s, if a woman wanted to purchase a ready-made dress, she could spend about $9 (or $72 in today’s dollars) to order an item…

My favorite investments that I’m doubling down on in 2021

Photo Credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich, Pexels

1. Investing Time to Make More Money

This is my first investment pick given the potential for the huge ROI. I say this in almost every post single post because it’s true; if we all learned one thing from the pandemic, it should be the importance of generating additional income streams outside of our day job and becoming self-reliant.

You don’t need to build a giant YouTube following or film yourself dancing on TikTok to make extra cash outside of work. …

I increased my income by more than 50% by working for free

Photo Credit: Pexels, Sora Shimazaki

The latest viral post on LinkedIn this past Friday was “Unpaid Internships Are Up For Debate”, where hundreds of thousands of LinkedIn members weighed in on whether or not unpaid internships are ethical. I saw a woman re-post the article equating unpaid internships to slave labor, which I thought was a huge stretch, but most people seemed to agree with her.

I’m a huge fan of unpaid internships/stretch assignments, and they’ve helped me build my career (both during and after college). I’m always amazed at the people that balk at unpaid work but have no issue with going into debt…

Lauren Como

Self-taught investor currently employed in the technology sector in Austin, Texas.

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