Some of the best advice I ever received...

  1. " You’ve got a job, it pays your bills, that’s good, keep it. Now go find something (real estate) that you can do on the side and just build that."

  2. Learn something about the 2nd biggest investment people ever make, CARS.
    You need one, (well, most do.) So learn how to buy a good 2 year old used car. This advice alone has saved me literally over $100,000.
    Cars aren’t rocket science. Did you know that it takes longer to jack up the car and take the wheel off than it does to replace the brake pads? A buddy of mine just paid $1000 for front and rear brakes on a GMC ENVOY. The parts for that job would cost ANYONE $100!!!

  3. " While you’re going to college spend the summers doing construction." This was THE BEST thing I ever did. First summer= framing, Second summer= finish carpentry. Third= plumbers helper.
    I never HAVE to pay for a repairs at my properties. I have CHOSEN to pay when my time is better spent elsewhere, but it is amazing the price difference when you TELL the plumber “the circulator valve is no good, there’s a new one in the basement” compared to “the heat isn’t working, what do you think it will cost to fix it???”

  4. Fill in your favorites here…

If nothing else learn the basics of things like car repair and construction so you don’t get hosed even if you never do the work yourself. I do my own brakepads and they cost me about $25 for the front and about $30 for the back. Just knowing that plus how long it takes ensures me that I will pay the approriate price if someone else does it.

Something as simple as an oil change can save you $20-$30 (not to mention TIME). By the time I drive to the oil change station, tell them what I need, give them my keys, they do the work, I pay the bill, and get back home I could have done 2-4 oil changes myself.

For me its better to not bother. By the time I buy oil and the filter I’ve spent almost $10, the oil change locally will cost me about $15. Few bucks for tax and disposal and I’m out the door. The hassle of disposing of the old oil, etc is just not worth it. Sometimes (especially in REI) there are jobs that should be jobbed out to others to save money and time in the long term.

Some people’s attempts at saving money actually costs them MORE if (big IF) they figure their time is worth something.

Oil change (example given): NoMoney could have done 2-4 oil changes in the time it takes for him to get it changed. But, as Rich said, he’s not including the cost of the oil/filter, disposal fee, gas/time to go get oil/filter and dispose of oil, or the time it takes to actually do it. For $30, I get oil/filter changed, tires rotated, all fluids checked and filled, and a complete visual check of engine, tires, pads, etc. I go in drop off my car, walk next door, have breakfast, go back, pay and leave. I “wasted” no time (I eat breakfast anyway) and had some else do the work cheaper, and faster (because they do it all the time), than I could have.

Same goes with most rehabs/repairs in REI. Knowing how to do something is important. It does prevent you from getting ripped off. Doing it yourself isn’t as much so. In fact, if you can’t do it better, faster and/or significantly cheaper than a professional, I’d suggest that you give it to the professional.

Just so I don’t get hammered, again, I said MOST repairs. For example, I’m fixing a broken window in one of my rentals. It’s much cheaper to go get the frame (tilt-out), take it to the glass place to have them order a thermal replacement, and put it back in than it is to replace the whole window.


Roger brings up a great point.

I never understood people who try to sheetrock an entire house when they’ve only done a small room. There ARE times when it is infinitely cheaper to pay a pro. Using another car example. I picked up up a really cheap 2002 Ford F-150 that needed a transmission. It would have taken me 4-5 days to pull the old one and replace it. Instead I payed to have it done. Picked it up 2 days later, best $1000 I ever spent. Knowing how is just as important as doing. Like Roger said it can definitely keep you from getting ripped off.

Especially with sheetrocking its always better to get pros, sheetrockers are much cheaper than most other pros so paying to have it done really shouldn’t hurt too bad on the old wallet.

i’m going to disagree on cars being an investment. they are a luxory and/or a money pit.

I thought the same when I read that. I think he meant the biggest purchase they will make.

I would never call a car an INVESTMENT. But that’s what it is sold to Americans as. “Your second biggest investment”

While we’re on the subject of “investing in cars” you can definitely save yourself an astronomical amount of money following a couple of simple rules.

  1. Never buy a NEW car. I buy Toyota’s for the most part. I have a Ford F-150 which I got from a sub because it needed a transmission. $1000 for the truck $1000 for the tranny = 2002 F 150 ready to go. Now THAT"S an investment. It’s worth 3 to 4 times what I paid for it.

  2. Buy your used cars from Private owners. I can’t tell you how many Camrys I’ve purchased from people who thought 90,000 miles was all you could get out of these cars. They’ve told me straight out “well it’s almost got 100,000 miles on it, It’s not going to last forever.” Grabbed one and kept it for 2 years, sold it to a sub who needed a car for his wife. It now has 200,000 miles and still runs great.

Here’s my theory… Keep your overhead LOW and it’s hard to mess up.
Most of my friends have absolutley no idea what I own. I drive used cars, and fix them myself sometimes.

Oh and by the way… Cars can be incredible investments. Who the hell ever thought a gas guzzling Hemi Cuda would be worth $2,000,000.
You could have bought everyone available 8 years ago for $20,000 each.
I don’t own a single piece of real estate that has appreciated at the rate my '65 Shelby Mustang has.


Ah yes, but like RE, they can be an investment if bought right. :smiley: (read… used, undervalued)

Don’t forget about selling your services too. If you know how to do these things, and others know you have these skills, you should feel bad about spending a couple weekends making $2000 + (fill in your skills here) for someone else. I’ve done alot of work in my own house with money I earned from others. A couple evenings and weekends that bring in a surprising amount of money…

Who the hell ever thought a gas guzzling Hemi Cuda would be worth $2,000,000.

Le’ts remember that THAT particular 'cuda is in original mint condition with less than 100 miles on the odometer! I don’t think that you’ve gotten that one for $20K.


of course cars CAN be an investment. so can baseball cards, paintings, coins, stamps etc.

i’ll agree with some of the strategies you mentioned on purchasing cars so that you can save some money.

that aside, i’m going to stand by what RK says. if it puts money in your pocket it’s an investment. if it takes money out of your pocket it’s a liability.

having that said, your purchase of the truck might have been a smart move, but unless you sell it to make profit…i wouldn’t call it an investment.

to each their own. my two cents…over and out :smile

All right forget the Cuda. Let’s use my Shelby as an example.

Purchased in 1997, Mint condition, concourse winning 65 Shelby Mustang Fastback bought for $40,000

Same year, built myself a 2500 sq. ft. colonial, cost $170,000,
price included land. I did a lot of the work myself and used my subs for the rest, 5 months start to finish.


Mustang is worth $250,000

House is worth $450,000

Which was the better investment??

Also, I paid market price for the Shelby at the time while the house was built way under the average Joe’s cost.

As far as the F 150 goes, I sold a 1997 F 150 for $6000 and replaced it with a truck 5 years newer and put $4000 in the bank. I don’t know about you but in my book that’s a pretty good investment.

I bet you drive by these things EVERYDAY. Here’s some advice, next time you go by a car or truck parked next to someones house that looks like it hasn’t moved in a while, leave a note on it. I have MADE money on the last 6 vehicles I’ve owned by just keeping my EYES open. Yea, lots of people will say they don’t have the time to do it. But let me tell you this THERE IS NO BETTER VEHICLE IN THE WORLD than one you can use, sell , and make money on.

It can be done.