Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Keeping Up With My Joneses Part 2 – The Investors

The investors are both very smart with their money. He lived at home until he got married (she moved back home after they got engaged), she is still driving her first car, a 1992 Ford Laser! He swapped his beloved ute for his brothers 4WD when their baby came along.

They were one of the first people in my circle of friends to buy a house. I remember thinking when they bought it that $250,000 was an unbelievably high number, especially when I saw the house! It’s was awful, but they saw the potential and the ‘bones’ of the place.

He’s a mechanic by trade and has lots of other tradie mates, so getting their kitchen, deck, garage and bathroom sorted at cost saved them a lot of money. He did most of the renovations work himself and their place is just lovely now, and worth more than 3 times what they paid for it!

They’re also very good savers/investors. I don’t know the finer details of their investments, but I know that when he got laid off over a year ago, they have been living off their investments ever since. She’d on extended maternity leave, so there’s been no wage related income coming in for over a year and they’re doing fine. They also don’t carry any credit card debt.

They love to travel. They recently got back from an extended trip to Europe (we’re talking months not weeks) with their baby, who started walking in Italy! They rented out their house to friends while they were away to keep funds coming in.

They also have a share in a large boat that he and his partners built themselves, so they spend a lot of time out on that in warmer months. Yay for the invites to join them!

How have I incorporated their way of life into my own?

  • Appreciating my car for the reliable mode of transport that it is, and delaying upgrading any time soon.
  • Really thinking about long term investing and wanting to get into a position to do so as soon as possible.
  • Spending money on something that increases in value is OK.
  • Travel more, but never use credit to do so. (I now have a goal to go to more countries than their 18mth old has been to!)
  • Having friends who have known you forever and want only the best for you is an asset I already have in my portfolio.

This is part 2 of my series Is Keeping Up With ‘The Joneses’ A Bad Thing? In order to protect the privacy of my ‘Joneses’ I've tried to be as generic as possible about their particulars.

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  1. Good post, very informative

    It just goes to show that when you avoid debt, you have money to do other things

  2. Thanks moneymonk and welcome!

    I completely agree, it's really inspiring to me to see what I could be doing with my money once I've got my own debt situation sorted out once and for all.

  3. I like these posts, they sound like very smart 'Jones' to me, and good ones to learn from. It is interesting to see what others are doing financially.
    I have a friend who sold her home and went back to renting to build some units so it will be interesting to see what happens in the long run for her.

  4. thanks louise, I wanted to capture what my friends have done to get to be in such envious positions, there may have been some luck or circumstances along the way, but for all of them there have been key choices and actions they have taken to make the most of what they have.