What's Your Next Move?

Thursday, September 14, 2023

What's Your Next Move?

My wife and I are planning to buy a house in the future. We have about $27,000 in savings and our goal is to get to $45,000 by the end of this year. We want to keep our current  apartment as an investment and save up enough to buy a single family home in a few years.

Now, for anyone who thinks this was easy for me to do, it wasn’t.

At one point I was under massive, and I do mean massive debt. It all began around the time I graduated from college. I was at a Mets game and I saw a sign for a “Free Mets T-Shirt.” So of course I had to have it! All I had to do was apply for a credit card. That “Free” T-Shirt put me into a ton of credit card debt, or maybe I should say I put myself into a ton of credit card debt. One card became four or five and by my mid 20’s I must have been under $25,000-$30,000 in credit card and personal loan debt.

Along my journey I was fired from Geico and began selling life insurance and mutual funds. I worked at that investment company for three years, and my “best” year I made $11,000.

Then something happened, I broke my glasses.

I remember my mother telling me that she would help me pay for a new pair of glasses if I could come up with half of the money.

I was a college graduate, in my mid 20’s, living in my parent’s basement, in massive debt, living off of credit cards. I was barely making enough money to fill up my gas tank. I had had enough, I knew I had to quit that job and find another way of making money.

So I began driving a taxi. My parents taught me to never be afraid to work hard, and driving a taxi was hard work. My first year as a taxi driver was the first time I could ever afford Christmas gifts for my family.

I drove a taxi for a few years before a friend of mine said I should try selling real estate. But I was worried, selling real estate sounded just like selling life insurance. My friend Justin kept reaching out to me every few months, to just give real estate a try.

So I agreed, I was going to sell real estate for 30 days and if I didn’t make any money I would quit and go back to driving a taxi.

So that’s what I did, I tried renting out apartments and after 30 days, I made no sales. So I quit.

I went back to driving a taxi. After a while I came to my senses and decided to try one more time. This time on my 5th day back, I rented out my first apartment. I made $600 on my first rental! Getting paid in $20 bills meant I had a huge stack of bills in my pocket, my wallet was so fat! (For the first time I could ever remember). I’ll never forget that feeling!

It was a slow and painful crawl out of debt. I owed a lot of people a lot of money but I managed to pay everyone back. I was able to fix my credit and eventually bought my first apartment a few years ago.

I always believed that I would be successful, I never stopped trying. No matter how deep the hole got, I knew that as long as I kept trying I would get out.

Now, by no means is my story done. I still have a lot of years, and a lot of goals left to achieve.

Now I want to ask you. What are your goals for this year? If you could achieve something over the next 12 months what would it be?

Please share with me, I would love to hear more of your story.

Here is a photo of what I looked like in my mid 20's with my brother and sister. I'm not wearing glasses so this must be take after I broke them!

The Sarmiento Sales Team

Andy, Damaris & Walter Sarmiento

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