My name is Caleb.
I live in Salem, Oregon with my beautiful wife Keely and my wonderful daughter Kyah.
We’ve been married for almost seven years now. Marriage is a wonderful thing and I am so glad to be able to enjoy life with this woman. And I am so blessed to be able to now enjoy the privilege and honor of being a Dad. There is a lot of love and laughter in our house these days.
My wife is a photographer, you can visit her website and blog here. She works from home (except when she’s out on photoshoot of course). Keely is great at what she does. A lot of people don’t like having their picture taken but almost everyone, after having a shoot with Keely, says something like, “That wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was kind of fun!”
Keely is definitely the extrovert and I am definitely the introvert.
Now a little about me…
When people ask me what I do, I always have a hard time answering the question. So, I have started to call myself a “manager” or “steward”. I do my best to manage well all that God has entrusted to my care. At this point in time, that means that I am a husband, a father, an investor, a property manager, a landlord, a real estate agent, a writer, a business owner, a personal finance advisor, and more.
I am a licensed real estate agent. I got my license after having bought a couple rental properties. I figured that if I was going to keep buying a property every year I might as well become licensed. After getting licensed I moved my focus from my current job in construction into being a real estate agent full time. This was an interesting experience for me because it let me connect with more people in their search for a new home or when they were ready to sell their current one.
This personal interaction provided me with quite a bit of insight into how most people view real estate. And it is part of the reason that I have started this blog. One of my purposes in writing articles on this blog is to help people have a different perspective on life as it relates to their finances and real estate. I hope to eventually somehow offer free consultation services to people needing help getting on track with their budgets and get them set up for buying a house or investment property.
I enjoy the area of personal finance and personal investment. I’ve been interested in it for over a decade now. I’ve read many, many books. I’ve attended and led Dave Ramsey classes. I’ve offered my advice and counsel to those who are wanting to change their financial habits.
And I LOVE it.
But I’ve come to realize that what seems obvious to me, isn’t really that obvious when it comes to personal finance and investing.
And I’ve also come to learn that people don’t really want to spend much time thinking long term. It is difficult to make wise financial decisions when you aren’t willing to think long term. So, my desire is to help motivate people to think a different way. Big picture thinking would lead me to say that I believe the state of our country, financially speaking, lies in the hands of its everyday citizens like you and me. If we are all in debt personally, it makes total sense that we would be deeply in debt as a nation. We don’t think long-term, we think about instant gratification.
Ok, that’s enough preaching on that subject. As you can see, it is easy for me to get off track when it comes to personal finance and personal responsibility.
Why should you listen to what I have to say? Well, because I believe that I have something valuable to share. And I think that I can point to my life and my finances as proof of that.
Without going into a lot of detail I’ll try to quickly lay out my qualifications.
- I am 29 years old.
- Our household income has averaged about $45,000 over the last seven years.
- We own 5 properties.
- Those 5 properties have about $350,000 in equity.
- Between the 5 properties, we have a total of 7 rental units.
- We have no consumer debt (consumer debt would be anything except investment debt. So, no car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.)
- I have operated our monthly budget every month for seven years.
- We have an emergency fund and savings beyond that.
- I have no college degree
What I hope to reveal by making that list is that I am nothing special. I’m just an ordinary guy, making an ordinary income. But I am living a fairly unordinary life.
When our daughter was born, I was able to practically be a stay at home Dad for the first three months of her life. Keely was in her busy photography season so I got the wonderful opportunity to connect with my daughter on a level that I’m guessing most Dads don’t get to do.
I know spend most of my time at home. I work outside the home as opportunities present themselves but I have no desire to work a regular, full-time job outside the home. My role as a father is more important to me. And you know what? Right now, we are just living. We aren’t worrying about saving for the future. All we care about right now is paying our bills.
And you know why I can be ok with that? Because we’ve already laid the foundation for our financial future. If we never saved another dime, I’m pretty sure we could retire with dignity. By the time Kyah reaches college age in 18 years, we will have 5 paid for properties. Those properties will be worth somewhere around $1.5 million and will be generating somewhere around $6,000 per month in cash flow (income). We will be able to pay for her college by the rent our investments put off. And if we have another kid or two, the rentals should cover their college too.
When the kids are done with college and out of the house, we’ll be in our late 40’s or early 50’s and we won’t have to work if we don’t want to.
And that is if we never save another dime. Which I suppose is possible but highly unlikely.
Why do I spend the time to write all this? Why do I choose to get so personal? Because I want to connect with you. I want you to see that I am a real person, that we are a real family, and that this is really doable.
Many people are too busy to stop and contemplate the things that are going on around them. And many people are too entrenched in their current lives to try new things. I enjoy trying new things and learning how and why things work.
My goal is that this blog would be seen as a place to learn. That I can teach and instruct and advise and counsel. That the knowledge learned after years of thinking and reading and living can be passed on to you.
Please feel free to contact me with your questions and thoughts. It’s one of the reasons I am here doing this.
One last piece of housework. I am an Amazon affiliate so you may seem some links here and there showcasing certain products or books. All being an affiliate means is that I make a small commission on any purchase that is made on Amazon within 24 hours of the linked being clicked. The cool thing about the affiliate program is that it doesn’t affect you as the buyer at all, but you can help support me and the work I do on this blog with your shopping 🙂