Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Fun Fact: I've never saved up for anything. Ever.

That's right! In my 46 years, I have NEVER saved up for anything, ever. I admire people who do, but I never had the patience to do it. 

I've just found creative ways to get stuff, because when I (really) want to do something, I just absolutely fixate on it. 

Simple example: I wanted an expensive Olympus SLR camera when I was a kid; I bought and sold stuff from Pawnbrokers Unredeemed Pledge auctions I would attend with my Dad (wagging school in the process). I had an advertisement from a camera magazine that I used to look at every night before I went to bed, with that particular camera as the object of my attention. The end result was that I was a 16 year old kid with a camera that most adults couldn't afford. 

As a newlywed "kid", with the expenses that go with a family, housing, baby, etc, I wanted one of those big screen stereo TVs that cost a fortune at the time. I purchased some peanuts and confectionery in bulk, some plastic bags, and screen printed some labels with my wife's Print Gocco. Cost a couple hundred bucks all up, and I made thousands by re-packaging them. I bought the desired TV a few weeks later. 

As an adult, I was self-employed as a contractor for a while and had a house (that I didn't save up for) but wanted to buy one in another area. I didn't qualify for any traditional loan because I didn't have a long enough financial history. I submitted my financials to a Mortgage Broker and he said "How many houses do you want to buy?" and I bought three more houses in the following two years. (Don't ever let the Bank tell you that you cant do it). 

In 2004, never having had a car that cost more than $7500, I wanted a fancy car that cost $51,000, so I read a $12 book by Dolf de Roos about making your real estate portfolio worth more. I had recently bought another old house, so I cut the bushes back, washed the house with a power washer, built a really nice period-style fence myself for a thousand bucks, giving the place instant street appeal; got the house revalued that week and it went up by $70,000. Knowing I would only have the house for a short period, I had the car added to the house loan a week later, so it cost me about 40 dollars extra a week for a nice new car. I sold the house 18 months later and made a huge profit on it. This meant that I owned the car outright with no real outlay. 

I never made a habit of regular study while at school or university. At high school, I never did homework. I was busy riding my motorbike, abseiling off cliffs and out of tall trees, or drawing Nike shoes. I just wrote every lesson out the night before and remembered it. 

Life Hint: Break the "Rules". Don't conform to the norm. Have a bit of fun with life. 

Learn to say "no" every now and again. And... timing is everything.