The moment we discover there are income streams to be had outside of our full-time employment, that's when we truly can skyrocket our net worth. That is the exact time when Justin Weinger from So Over This started to grow his family's wealth.
At 38 years old, Justin has amassed a net worth of around $2 million.
Let's find out how his side hustles and small business development helped him to get there!
How old are you? If you have a family, tell us about them and their ages.
I just turned 38 in October. I have a wife who is 33, and two daughters, a 1.5 year old and a 4 month old.
What part of the country do you live in? Do you own your home or rent?
I live in metro Detroit area, and I own my home.
When did you start tracking your net worth?
Sometime during 2015.
What is your current net worth? What are your assets and what are your liabilities?
This is a loaded question. In reality, my assets are probably right around $2.3m if I include some realistic real estate appreciation in there. My primary home, and a rental condo are still assumed to be the same value as they were last appraised at, which was a few years ago.
My debt is roughly $300k which is the amount I still owe on the mortgage on my primary residence. So my net worth is right around $2m now.
Generally, I am debt adverse, but with a 3% interest rate on my mortgage and the tax benefit, I didn't see a huge reason to pay this down at a faster rate than I invest in the market and other alternative investments.
What are your current sources of income?
I have a day job with a great automotive supplier, and then I have a myriad of other sources:
- I own a few dozen websites that I place advertising on
- I own an SEO / Content Creation agency as well
- The rest are passive income streams, like two rental condos (one in a vacation hotspot)
- Dividend stocks
- Equity investments in commercial real estate that pays a quarterly yiel
What has been the single best thing you’ve done to increase your income up until this point?
Starting my own side business, which began with 1 website and grew into several dozen as well as an SEO and Content business.
What ways do you invest your money?
Stock market, brick and mortar real estate, I also utilize sites like Fundrise, EquityZen, and Crowdstreet for various other investments.
Did you receive an inheritance or windfall of some kind during your life so far?
Not at all.
You mentioned your mortgage as a debt earlier. Do you have any other debts?
Only a mortgage on my primary residence, and revolving credit card debt that is paid in full each month. I love credit cards and play the rewards points game for free travel each year.
I do have two cars, one for me, one for my wife. I’m not into car maintenance and repairs, so driving new cars is one of my guilty pleasures.
How do you track your net worth?
For the most part, within Personal Capital. It's a great account aggregator and it's free. But it still doesn't have connectors to accounts at some sites like CrowdStreet and EquityZen, and doesn't do well with partnerships and intangible investments like websites…so there is a manual aspect to the tracking as well.
Related Podcast: Track Your Net Worth and Become a Young Millionaire – with J. Money
Do you live on a budget?
I find my time is better spent making money than tracking every penny. I'm not a crazy spender, but I also don't suffer any hardships on cutting back. As long as I am able to meet my bills and savings/investment contribution goals each month, the rest just plays out naturally for me.
What are your annual expenses?
This is difficult for me to say actually. There are costs to running my businesses which fluctuates quite a bit.
It's also not so easy on the personal side either. I recently had two little girls, and I am still learning what that costs as well. Likewise, how much is discretionary versus necessary spending.
I would say $75,000 a year is a good rough amount. Most of my costs come from a 15 yr mortgage that rolls in taxes and homeowners insurance, this is easily $40,000 of it. Then $10,000 are my leased vehicles. The rest is utility, phone, cable, gas, and food bills.
What is your favorite fintech tool that helps you grow your wealth?
Why is it important for you to build up your wealth?
I have a family to take care of, and that I want to be secure financially if anything ever happens to me. My family didn't have a lot of money growing up and it's usually the number one concern for all households…I figure one less thing to worry about, hopefully.
Additionally, I'd like to retire early as well.
What is one financial mistake you’ve made during your young millionaire journey?
Most of my mistakes came before I got serious about money, like carrying oodles of credit card and student loan debt. However, the one regret I have is selling my first home when I purchased my current house. The value of it has continued to skyrocket and it would be worth $100k more than I sold it for, and a great passive rental income I could be enjoying now. Not to mention it's only a couple miles from my current home, so easy to watch over and maintain.
Check out the Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast today!
What book has been most influential to you?
I don't really read books. Free time is spent with family and friends, watching football, reading financial news sites and blogs, and listening to true crime podcasts.
What is one financial hack that has helped you that you think most people don’t know about?
The single biggest impact in my life is finding alternative income streams outside of a traditional day job. I know it's easier said than done, but it took me getting laid off of a job 1 month after buying my first home and having $70,000 of combined student loan and credit card debt to finally get real about making more money and figuring out how to accomplish that.
Where do you find the most joy in your life?
Family, friends, netflix, podcasts, and football!
For the 20-something with a $0 net worth, what advice would you give them to become a millionaire in their 30's?
Well a zero net worth is thousands of dollars better than I was in my 20's, since mine was nearly 6-figures in the negative.
Make as much money as you can, and pay as little in taxes on it as possible (legally of course). That's a good way to summarize having multiple income streams, and making the right tax deferred investments with it, like a 401k, IRA, etc.
Where are you on your net worth journey?
Please let us know in the comments below!
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