Brace yourself. I got a job.

With my 2nd rental property about to come online I’m pretty much financially independent. The problem is, while I will be able to cover my personal expenses as they are now, I don’t want to have to live how I live now for the rest of my life. While my life is pretty good as it is, I have a nice apartment, a reliable car, a little pocket money for entertainment, and I eat well, I’d still like a little bit more. – Particularly a house of my own to live in with some land to cultivate. – And maybe an extra $500/month or so to put towards hobby projects like setting up alternative energy rigs at the house, and building an electric car, and silly stuff like that.

I’ve decided I’m going to try to buy two more rental properties in the next 18 months or so, and then focus on getting myself a comfortable place to call home for the foreseeable future.

That would leave me with 4 rental properties bringing in around $3,500/month in gross rents, plus a mortgage-free house of my own to live in. With that kind of income I’d be happy to declare myself off the job-market forever.

I don’t plan on using any loans to accomplish this. I still have yet to take out a mortgage.

I was just going to sit around until graduation and focus on getting some kind of legal job. But that would delay things, even if I pass the bar on the first try I still won’t have my bar card until the end of 2012. Plus, I’d only end up working the legal job for 12-18 months anyway, until I had enough money to buy a couple more properties. I just don’t think that would be fair to an employer who would be spending the first six months or so just getting me up to speed. In addition, while I love the law, I’m not too fond of office jobs. The neckties, daily shaves, and alarm clocks just aren’t for me.

I had a few friends over the house about a month ago and we got to talking about money. I said to one girl, “I wish there was a job where someone would pay me to just sit there and study, read, or play video games for 8 hours.”

And she said, “Well guess what!”

It turns out the non-profit she works for had an opening where I could do just that. The catch? It’s 3rd shift, 11pm to 7am. But I’ve done that before and it actually works ok with my class schedule since all of my classes are between 4pm and 9pm. So I applied, and about 10 days later I suddenly found myself employed, after over 2 years without drawing a paycheck.

So I’m working for a small, local non-profit that helps people with mental health issues. I’m basically a baby-sitter, available in case any emergencies happen in the middle of the night. The people who live there are 95% self-sufficient, they just need caregivers to remind them to take their medicine and keep an eye on them to help keep their symptoms in check. When I arrive on shift everyone’s asleep. Usually I cook myself a dinner in the kitchen, catch some Letterman in the living room while I eat, and then afterwards setup my laptop in the office and get to studying the law, with occasional web-surfing and movie-watching breaks. One guy gets up and makes himself some coffee around 6am and watches tv, but most of the residents don’t wake up until after I leave at 7. Then I get home and sleep from 7:30 a.m. to around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. My body doesn’t seem to have any trouble adjusting.

I’m only putting in 32 hours/week (4 x 8) but the organization still considers me full-time, so I get all the full-time benefits. So I have health insurance again. And I get an unbelievable 5 weeks of vacation per year. The other employees I’ve met are all dedicated and warm. The organization has a very laid-back feel to it. Among the employees there’s lots of facial hair in various stages of growth and comfortable, casual clothes.

I figure I’ll have to be studying 20-30 hours a week anyway in preparation for taking the bar exam this summer, so I may as well be sitting somewhere and getting paid for it. The ample vacation time will make it easy to accommodate my exam schedule as well.

The job ends up adding about $1,500/month to my income. Between that and my rents I’ll be doing pretty well. But I’m also considering looking for some more part-time work in addition, using my freshly minted EMT license. Working maybe 2 or 3, 12 hour shifts per week on an ambulance could bump my total monthly income to somewhere around $5k/month. With my personal expenses hovering around $1k/month, that’s a pretty good savings rate and puts me on the path to reaching my goal of buying a couple more properties in cash in the coming year.

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  1. MrsKensington
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Good for you. I’ve recently discovered your blog (via ERE, also a new read) and you are a wonder. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s truly inspirational.
    Keep up the blog posting – it’s a treasure for those of us who are still floundering.

  2. Posted December 23, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Such kind words! I like your username, it adds a refreshing flair of formality to the day, Mrs. Kensington.

  3. Tera
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    This is incredible! I am so impressed with how you found just what you needed and it’s a win win…thanks for sharing this post. I defintely feel like what I’m searching for is possible when I read others who are making things work for them! Thank you again & Happy New Year!

  4. Posted January 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    What with rehabbing all these houses and now taking a job, yer gonna have to rethink your blog title! :)

    last spring I ‘retired’ for, ah let’s see, the 4th time since ’89. already am getting a bit restless.

    If I had your skills I might even rehab a house. LOL

  5. Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    @jlcollinsnh Don’t forget the full-time law school too.

  6. Posted January 9, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Didn’t forget it. That’s your hobby, right? :)

    I love your blog and your journey. wish I’d been as astute as early.

  7. Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    so, how’s the job working out?

  8. Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Going well enough j. It really is 8 hours of quiet time. I try to spend at least 4 of it studying and the other 4 web-surfing/watching tv. I’ll do a post on it in a bit.