16 January 2024

In this week’s episode, Patrick Donley (@JPatrickDonley) sits down with Lauren Keen Aumond to talk about her journey to financial independence. They also touch on how she learned how to ignore the Joneses, what her real estate portfolio looks like, how she found the right strategy that works for her, how she educated herself in both real estate and personal finance, and so much more.

Lauren Keen Aumond is a real estate investor and content creator based in Tampa Bay. She and her husband reached financial independence with 12 rentals, allowing Lauren to leave her 9-5 at age 33. Lauren started the AdultingIsEasy podcast to teach her baby sister and others about personal finance in 2019. In 2023, she founded House Money Media with Alan Corey, and together they’re launching first generation real estate investors through their podcast, newsletter, courses, and community. In her spare time, Lauren loves playing and watching sports, boating, and savoring a glass of red wine.



  • How Lauren first got turned on to the principles of financial independence.
  • Who her biggest influences were growing up.
  • What the financial blueprints were that she picked up from her parents.
  • How she learned not to keep up with the Joneses.
  • What her early career aspirations were.
  • How she laid the groundwork for financial independence.
  • What her early real estate portfolio looked like.
  • How she used 1031 exchanges to trade up in her portfolio.
  • How she got lured away from FI and pursued the trappings of society.
  • How Lauren found the right real estate strategy that worked for her.
  • The benefits of short-term vs. long-term rentals.
  • How she educated herself about real estate.
  • What her favorite personal finance books are.
  • What she would have done differently to accelerate financial independence.
  • Why she’s a big proponent of house hacking.
  • What it’s like building wealth once you are married.
  • What her main goals are for 2024.
  • What the economics of Airbnb rentals are.
  • What she’s learned from some of her favorite podcast guests.
  • How the idea for House Money Media came about.
  • What it was like for Lauren to have Elon Musk respond to her tweet about 401k’s.
  • What are some of the biggest financial mistakes she sees younger people making.
  •  And much, much more!


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:02] Lauren Keen Aumond: If I set my life up in such a way that I have to make this much money to live, then I have to do that. And that was really terrifying to me. And so I started laying that foundation long before I wanted to leave.

[00:00:16] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. In this week’s episode, I got to sit down with Lauren Keen Aumond to talk about her journey to financial independence. We also touch on how she learned to ignore the Joneses, what her real estate portfolio looks like, how she found the right strategy that works for her, and how she educated herself in both real estate and personal finance.

[00:00:35] Patrick Donley: Lauren is a real estate investor and content creator based in Tampa Bay, and she and her husband reached financial independence with 12 rentals, allowing Lauren to leave her 9 to 5 job at age 33. Lauren started the Adulting is Easy podcast to teach her baby sister and others personal finance in 2019.

[00:00:54] Patrick Donley: And in 2023, she founded House Money Media with Alan Corey, and together they’re launching first generation real estate investors through her podcast, newsletter, courses, and community. I love having fellow podcasters on Millennial Investing, and Lauren was an incredible guest. And so without further delay, let’s dive into today’s episode with Lauren Keen Aumond.

[00:01:20] Intro: You are listening to Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Since 2014, we interviewed successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to help educate and inspire the millennial generation. Now, for your host, Patrick Donley.

[00:01:36] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody, welcome to the Millennial Investing Podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley. And joining me on today’s show is Lauren Keen Aumond from Adulting is Easy. Lauren, welcome to the show. 

[00:01:57] Lauren Keen Aumond: Hey Patrick, thanks for having me. 

[00:01:59] Patrick Donley: I am happy to have you here. I wanted to just jump right in and hear a little bit about how you got turned on to personal finance, financial independence, all those kind of topics.

[00:02:10] Patrick Donley: Like when did that first come online for you? How’d you get interested in it? Who are some of your influences? 

[00:02:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’ve always been pretty good with money, even as a child. Like I would get a gift card or something or cash and I’d like put it away or save it. My brother would always like immediately want to go to the store and find something to buy with it just as like an example.

[00:02:31] Lauren Keen Aumond: So generally, personal finances come somewhat naturally to me. I also got a finance degree, so that tells you where I’m naturally kind of headed in life. But when I was younger, when I was 22, I graduated from college. I was working as a front end department supervisor at Toys R Us. That was, hey, great financial crisis times, right?

[00:02:51] Lauren Keen Aumond: And one thing I did do was buy a home in 2012. So I went under contract when I was 22 and closed when I was 23. And that wasn’t some grand scheme to like build equity and invest in real estate, et cetera. It was sort of like, my payment was 7. 25 and I think splitting an apartment with my friend was 800, it was like, I know the apartment was much nicer than the house, it was really a kind of a cashflow decision at the time.

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[00:03:19] Lauren Keen Aumond: And two years after that, I got into sales and I started making much better money. I got into sales to make more money. I went from Toys R Us to accounting to sales. And I was making, six figures, like 25 years old. And the equity on the house was building quite a bit. And I realized I had a net worth of, I think, like 100, 000 or something.

[00:03:39] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I remember thinking, okay, if I could do this by accident, I wonder what I could do if I did it on purpose. And then naturally being in sales, there was a pretty good Delta between income, my income and my expenses. And so over time you get to the point where I was maxing my 401k, maxing my Roth, and there was still some money.

[00:04:00] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so naturally, I invested it, really tried it. No, I didn’t. I bought a house in a BMW. I bought a house in a golf course community in a BMW instead, but, cause I thought I had made it and what have you, but for a while there, it was going really good in the, in the mid 

[00:04:15] Patrick Donley: twenties. I know that your father had a big influence on you on kind of like your mental models and blue, your financial blueprints.

[00:04:24] Patrick Donley: I know you’re a fan of the psychology of money, Morgan Housel. And I wanted to hear a little bit about some of the lessons that your father taught you, like just in terms of how your mental models and your financial blueprints, how they developed. 

[00:04:37] Lauren Keen Aumond: My dad is definitely a huge influence on my life. I’m also just very similar to him naturally, whether that’s nature or nurture.

[00:04:45] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’m not exactly sure. My husband and I have debates on whether why I’m so much like my father, but both of my parents were very open about money with me. I guess I’d have to ask my brother who’s two years younger than me if he felt the same way or if maybe me being already predisposed to, money, personal finance, perhaps I was asking questions and being curious and they just didn’t know what to do other than answer me.

[00:05:08] Lauren Keen Aumond: I don’t, I’m not exactly sure. But so for example, they bought a brand new truck in 1999 and I was nine years old. I remember having this conversation about why are you getting a brand new truck? Why wouldn’t you get a used truck? They, you’re supposed to get a good deal on a used truck because they depreciate so much right away.

[00:05:23] Lauren Keen Aumond: And we had this whole conversation and I knew how much the truck was. And I remember when they were doing the negotiating and, and all of that. And then a few years later, 2004, they bought a Yukon and they financed it 0%. instead of paying cash. And I was like, well, you paid cash for the truck. Why didn’t you pay cash for the Yukon?

[00:05:39] Lauren Keen Aumond: And and they were always just answering these types of questions for me. And so just that being open with it really just allowed me to learn a lot from them. My dad specifically really He grew up one of five. My grandfather was in sales. My grandmother was the homemaker for the five kids, five kids in seven years.

[00:05:59] Lauren Keen Aumond: Good Catholics. And they went to a Catholic school. And so there just wasn’t, when you’re paying for all that, there just wasn’t a ton of money. But in, private schools, you can be around a lot of wealth. And so that could have easily made my dad be the type to kind of like resent wealth. But I think it actually made him look at it kind of critically.

[00:06:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I think he knew I’m at this school. Yeah. These people are at the school. We’re at the same place, but we have very different financial backgrounds. And he always made sure that we understood that just because, you can all kind of be in the same positions, but not everybody has the same financial background when you really look under the hood.

[00:06:33] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I can think of two examples. There was a family that we knew growing up that had like multiple homes and boats and all these vacation homes and all of these toys. And it wasn’t too long after that, that we found out that they were really bankrupt, and that was a big eye opening thing.

[00:06:50] Lauren Keen Aumond: And my dad took that as the moment to be like, you see, it looked like they were much wealthier than us, but it did not take much for them to not have anything. And that happened to someone else. So we knew these people. I mean, God, these kids had all the cool stuff that I wanted so bad. And it turns out like the dad was doing something illegal in their company.

[00:07:09] Lauren Keen Aumond: I don’t know if he was like embezzling. I think it, I think it was like a, some kind of service business. So it was taking money and then not fulfilling. And so all of a sudden they had nothing and they didn’t have the business and they didn’t have the nice house. And so my dad kind of really explained to us that just because you have stuff doesn’t mean that you have wealth.

[00:07:26] Lauren Keen Aumond: And that was a big thing that I took away. They were also, both of my parents were very clear about the fact that we could have more than we had. My mom was a stay at home mom, and we knew that she had been making more money when I was born, and that that was a hard decision for her to leave versus my dad, but my dad’s career had more upside, and we knew.

[00:07:47] Lauren Keen Aumond: Like they’re, they’re right. There is a, is a decision to not make as much money as you possibly can to not make money. The number one thing. And then beyond that, as my dad started to do better in his career, we knew that they could afford more than they were doing. And they were making a very conscious decision not to.

[00:08:01] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I don’t know that we really talked too much about why that was, but we, I certainly knew it is good to spend less than you make. I don’t know that I knew like. Oh, because you need to save this much. And the more you save, the earlier you can retire in 4 percent rule. And I didn’t know any of that. I just knew that you should spend less than you make.

[00:08:19] Lauren Keen Aumond: And there are people around you that you’ll never know how much they really are making or how much they really have. 

[00:08:25] Patrick Donley: One of my favorite chapters in the Morgan Housel book, the psychology of money is the last one called confessions, where he talks about just how he manages his own money. And one of the things he talks about is like, Forget about the Joneses.

[00:08:36] Patrick Donley: Like they are, it’s like kind of a real trap to look at the Joneses. Don’t keep up with them. You never know the real story. And to your point, like things can be really bad actually when things look good on the outside. 

[00:08:48] Lauren Keen Aumond: That was a huge takeaway of my childhood. Not don’t drive the nice car.

[00:08:53] Lauren Keen Aumond: Don’t have the nicest house that you possibly can. 

[00:08:56] Patrick Donley: Did you have any side hustles as a, as a kid growing up? Or were you, I know you were involved in sports and things like that, but. Did you, were you entrepreneurial as a kid? 

[00:09:05] Lauren Keen Aumond: I wasn’t. I don’t know if I suppose I’m an entrepreneur now. I don’t know if I majored in it or I think more I minored in it later in life. I wasn’t the kid out there. Is it Warren Buffett? That was like, I don’t know, selling pine cones or selling dirt or something, something, he had the paper route, whatever. There’s all these entrepreneurs. I don’t have a great story like that. All I really did was.

[00:09:26] Lauren Keen Aumond: I would save allowances. We had a 3 a week allowance. Sometimes my brother would be a bad influence on me and make me buy Pokemon cards and then take them from me probably. But like I would save allowances and I would save birthday money. And as my sister was born, she was born when I was 13. So I started babysitting for her and her friends.

[00:09:42] Lauren Keen Aumond: I would save all of the babysitting money, but I wasn’t. So it was like any money that came my way, I tried to keep, but I wasn’t really the type to go out and try to make it specifically. 

[00:09:51] Patrick Donley: It sounds like, the marshmallow test, the Stanford marshmallow test. It sounds like, where you give kids like a choice to have like a marshmallow now, or if you wait 15 minutes, you get two.

[00:10:00] Patrick Donley: It seems like you were a kid that would have passed the marshmallow test and delayed gratification and probably, waited for your second marshmallow. 

[00:10:08] Lauren Keen Aumond: I for sure would have. I think generally very connected with my future self all through my life and a good predictor of how my future self is going to feel, or at least understanding that my future self is probably not going to feel exactly like my present self does and that I need to leave some leeway for.

[00:10:28] Patrick Donley: I know you had an English teacher when you were, I think, in high school that said that you should be an English teacher, right? So I wanted to hear about that a little bit and like what you’re like at a young age, what your career aspirations were. 

[00:10:41] Lauren Keen Aumond: That was surprising. I grew up. I was like the math science kid.

[00:10:45] Lauren Keen Aumond: I was told I’m left brained. Getting into high school and writing and having this English teacher just really praise me to myself and other students. That was so strange to realize that I, it made me, I was a little more level in the left and right brain. But to get to your actual question, I didn’t know what I wanted to be.

[00:11:04] Lauren Keen Aumond: I actually, my first I felt like my first semester of college, I took a class at one credit class. I’m like, what do you want to be when you grow up? Like, that’s how long I didn’t know. And I ended up majoring in finance. Cause I like money maybe, but also there were only like a list of acceptable majors that my parents would support.

[00:11:22] Lauren Keen Aumond: And business was one of them. And it wasn’t allowed to be general business. It wasn’t allowed to be marketing. It wasn’t allowed to be management. So I basically had to pick. between like accounting and finance. And so I chose finance. I just, I just figured business will open the most doors if you ask me now.

[00:11:34] Lauren Keen Aumond: And if you ask me as a kid and my grandma would tell you this, that I used to say this, that I wanted to be a news anchor, which is interesting now being a podcaster, because it’s maybe like a little bit related. I really, really didn’t know deep down. I don’t think I wanted to be a news anchor in the sense that I wanted to wake up at 3 AM and be on the morning news.

[00:11:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: I don’t know that I’m, I’m not a morning person. I don’t know that I ever would have sacrificed enough to get there, but. When I was a kid, I know I used to say that. 

[00:12:00] Patrick Donley: Yeah, we’ll get into the podcasting later because I definitely want to hear about some of that stuff. But I wanted to hear about, you said you started off at Toys R Us, then sounds like you did accounting for a little while, and then sales.

[00:12:12] Patrick Donley: At what stage of the game did you realize, like, I want out of this altogether. I want to, like, create a plan to, like, get rid of my W2 and have enough. I don’t really believe in passive income, cash flow to cover my living expenses. So I can basically have freedom and optionality. Talk to me a little bit about that progression.

[00:12:31] Lauren Keen Aumond: I did accounting and sales for the same company. So I did accounting for a year and then they opened up an inside sales team. And I was like, can I do that? And they were like, sure. I mean, I guess we’ll let spreadsheet Lauren do sales and then they, promoted me a couple times over the next few years.

[00:12:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: But I started laying the foundation for financial dependence before I wanted to leave at all. Again, it’s this idea of current self purchase versus future self. I knew that my current self. liked the company I worked for. I sold business finance training. Like, I was able to go to the office two days and stay home a couple days.

[00:13:07] Lauren Keen Aumond: I made good money. I liked the people I worked with, but I did recognize that it might not always be like that. Those external factors might change or the internal factors, how I felt might change. And so I knew that I liked my job, but the idea that, Oh my God, I can’t stop doing this. I’m worth the most.

[00:13:25] Lauren Keen Aumond: To this society in terms of wages as someone who sells training. And so if I set my life up in such a way that I have to make this much money. to live, then I have to do that. And that was really terrifying to me, even in, mid to late twenties. And so I started laying that foundation long before I wanted to leave that company that I worked for sold in person training.

[00:13:48] Lauren Keen Aumond: I was smart enough to know that that wasn’t the future. People didn’t have time to sit in full day in person training classes. I made the decision to actually leave that job to sell custom training, which could be virtual in February, 2020, which was really smart. Because nobody could do in person training from March 2020 on for quite a while.

[00:14:06] Lauren Keen Aumond: So I had laid that foundation. I did try, I tried working for that company. That company then wasn’t doing well because of COVID. I went to another company where I sold training and they, they were just bigger. They’re restructuring left and right, giving me a new role than I thought I would have.

[00:14:19] Lauren Keen Aumond: And then I, by then we were financially independent, the real estate was paying our bills. And then I was able to just. Take this deep breath and leave. But it was because I set, started setting that foundation way before I ever wanted to leave. And some of it was, I knew that I basically my skills, my six figure skills, and I, my W2 peaked at 200, 000 28.

[00:14:40] Lauren Keen Aumond: That was related to my skills selling in person training. And I knew that wouldn’t be around forever. And so I sort of was anticipating some of that, but also like maybe someday I’m just not going to want to deal with corporate life anymore. 

[00:14:54] Patrick Donley: So let’s get into the foundation that you built that allowed you to leave.

[00:14:59] Patrick Donley: I know real estate was a huge part of it. You had mentioned you bought a house in 2012, but Talk to us about your first steps in real estate investing, what you did, and then a little bit about like what your current portfolio looks like. 

[00:15:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: I do consider my first primary home to be my first foray into real estate.

[00:15:17] Lauren Keen Aumond: I know some people say primary homes, not an asset, what have you. I did have a roommate. My payment was 7. 25, he was paying me like 5. 50 a month that’s really an investment. And then, of course, I made improvements to the home, so I forced some equity in the home, it appreciated naturally because the economy was turning around, and things like that.

[00:15:34] Lauren Keen Aumond: When I was 27, I veered off path in the sense that I was like, alright, I got some extra money. I know what that means. Nicer house, nicer car, right? So I bought, when I was 27, I bought this nice house, golf course community, BMW. And I was like, I am living the dream, baby. Moved my boyfriend in and all that, who’s now my husband.

[00:15:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: And the one thing I did that was good was I kept that first house. And so it really, truly then became an investment at that point. And that’s really in 2017, when I was 27, that’s really when I sort of truly became a landlord. and became what I would say everybody would agree on your real estate investor.

[00:16:08] Lauren Keen Aumond: You have a rental property. Later on, I traded that into, because I had lived there two or five years, there were no capital gains taxes. So I traded that into a duplex. It was like two units better than one unit. And over time have scaled up like that. So for example, that equity now from that duplex was 1031 exchanged into a six unit apartment building.

[00:16:28] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so it’s been a lot of sort of trading up over time. letting the equity build, but also injecting my own money. And later a little bit of my husband’s money into the portfolio here and there for investments as well. Now we are primarily focused on short term rentals and we’re all in the West coast of Florida.

[00:16:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: So we have 12 units right now. It’s eight short term rentals and four long term rentals on the West coast of Florida. And it is that 12 is really where we felt like we had hit financial independence and I was allowed to leave my job kind of. whenever I wanted, I did work for probably one more year just to be sure when made sure that the real estate, nor my husband and our personal finances needed any money for my job.

[00:17:11] Patrick Donley: So it sounded like at 27 you kind of got lured away, like the siren song of, like, chasing society’s dream, you got the BMW, you got, a place on a golf course community, kind of fell into some of the traps, I guess could be potential traps that our society teaches us and really pushes and in many ways, like.

[00:17:31] Patrick Donley: values, I would say. So talk to us about, it sounded like you went through a bit of a rough patch. Like, I don’t know if you had like an awakening of some sort, but you got back on track to financial independence after kind of maybe veering off track a little bit. Talk to us about that stage. 

[00:17:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: Yeah. I mean, between TV shows and, family conversations at holidays and what your friends are talking about, it’s easy to craft in your mind what your life should look like.

[00:17:56] Lauren Keen Aumond: go to college, get a good job, get married, have kids, drive a nice car, go on nice vacations, et cetera. And so consciously or subconsciously, you’re making that your goal. And so I had hit it. Not all of it, obviously I wasn’t married, but my husband did live with me, didn’t have kids, but I had hit it pretty well.

[00:18:15] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, six figures, BMW, nice house. And there was no feeling of relief. There was no feeling of accomplishment. And that’s when I really ran the numbers and realized. If this is my life, I have to do this for like ever. And that was, that’s the opposite of freedom. That’s like the opposite of accomplishment.

[00:18:35] Lauren Keen Aumond: It was like, it was almost like life had accomplished something to me. I didn’t accomplish anything in life. Like life had trapped me in this, in this way of doing things. About that same time, the reason I bought the BMW, the reason I needed a car at the time I bought the BMW, I should say. is I was in a car accident.

[00:18:49] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so I was sandwiched. There’s a bridge here in the Tampa Bay area called the Howard Franklin, and I was sandwiched on it. Not my fault. Person behind me stepped on the gas instead of the brake and ran me into the car in front of me. And that totaled my Acura. First car I’d ever bought myself.

[00:19:01] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’d had it two years. I love that car. I still miss it. I still see it on the road and I’m like, oh, what my life would be like, right? But I was 26 years old. I had been dieting, working out, was on my way to see a comedy show with some friends and have a nice cheat meal at Red Lobster. It was going to be awesome.

[00:19:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: Didn’t make it, obviously. So my car’s totaled. I’ve got back pain and neck pain. I really thought like whiplash and all that was a bunch of BS and like a money grab until that point. It is absolutely not. It was terrible. And I couldn’t lift weights the way I had before. I definitely couldn’t run.

[00:19:32] Lauren Keen Aumond: I couldn’t like carry anything heavy. I was worried about my ability to travel for work because I sold in person trains for a lot of, a lot of materials that I had to take with me. I did kind of start shipping those ahead of time after that, it was a really hard time. I drank a lot.

[00:19:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: of red wine. I still drink a lot of red wine, but I was drinking like a lot, a lot then, and not working out because I know how I didn’t know how to move and use my body in that state. And so I gained weight. And so I think there was this combination of this car accident, this chronic pain, this uncertainty about the future, mourning the life that I had had on top of Feeling like I should be happy because if you objectively looked at my life, it was exactly what, what I would have told you I wanted to what society would have told you any 27 year old should want.

[00:20:17] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, I remember one time I was going to therapy and I was going to therapy. I was talking to my dad on the phone and he’s like, You have like two houses. Like, why are you depressed? I was like, good question. Like, I was diagnosed with depression around then and, really had to do a lot of work on myself and, dug myself out of that.

[00:20:33] Lauren Keen Aumond: It took probably a year or so and huge kudos for my then boyfriend, now husband and my work and everything for bearing with me during those times. But I wasn’t living my purpose, my, what my values are, how I was living wasn’t aligned with who I truly am. as a person. That’s a hard pill to swallow because you’ve got to unwind some things.

[00:20:55] Lauren Keen Aumond: in that world. I mean, you’ve got to sell the BMW, buy a Honda Accord, sell the golf course house. It’s kind of a triplex bought a house so that it’s two rentals on it, and, and some of those things. And, from the outside, I’m certain people thought we were wealthier than, than we are now.

[00:21:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: But at the time I was worth 300 grand maybe, and that’s six years ago. And now we’re with, two and a half million, we’re doing much better now, but from the outside, we’re not looking as good. I like getting up in the morning a lot more now than I did back then. 

[00:21:25] Patrick Donley: Yeah, that’s a tough spot to be in, to have all the things that think are going to make you happy and they don’t.

[00:21:32] Patrick Donley: And then it’s just like, well, what do I do now? You feel like it’s a bit of a rug pull. And I remember I went through the same kind of thing and I just felt like I’d been hornswoggled. Like I’d been tricked. Like I followed the script. 

[00:21:43] Lauren Keen Aumond: And then you’re like mad at yourself. Like, dang, I let them get me.

[00:21:47] Patrick Donley: But yeah, unpacking it all. And then actually, it’s kind of, I kind of like, it’s like the hero’s journey or heroine’s journey. It’s like you figure out a life that’s true and authentic for you. And, to find that you go through a lot of rough patches. It’s not, I’m sure you’ve seen that chart of like, what success looks like.

[00:22:02] Patrick Donley: It’s not like this upward trajectory. 

[00:22:04] Lauren Keen Aumond: No, no, no. And I don’t want. anybody think I’ve got it like 100 percent figured out. We hit financial independence, our real estate’s paying our bills, but then you have this question of, is this the lifestyle that I want forever? And okay, now I do not ever have to work again, but do I want to tweak my lifestyle in such a way that I may be, my husband, not probably not me, my husband needs to work maybe a little longer to up our lifestyle or something like that.

[00:22:28] Lauren Keen Aumond: So that’s, that’s kind of where we’re at now. So I don’t want people to think like I’ve I figured out the secret of life, but at these periodic check ins with yourself and your values and your spouse are huge. 

[00:22:39] Patrick Donley: I wanted to get into a little bit about the importance of finding and picking the right strategy in terms of real estate.

[00:22:44] Patrick Donley: Like it sounded like you did a couple of different, different investments. How did you go about picking the right strategy that worked for you? 

[00:22:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: I think there’s a natural journey that real estate investors go on. A lot of us start like I did with a single family home. That’s what we know. I mean, if we didn’t grow up in a single family home, we probably know people that did.

[00:23:01] Lauren Keen Aumond: right? And so we sort of start there. It doesn’t take too long where if you take that kind of seriously, you start realizing, man, duplexes, triplexes, quads here in the United States, they have great financing options for those. Maybe I should trade up into those. And then a lot of people move on from there to larger commercial properties, big, big apartment buildings, or, true commercial with, developing or office buildings or something like that.

[00:23:24] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I’ve sort of stopped along the way there at a small multifamily. I’ve got four small multifamily properties right now. So I like this level that I’m at. I think it’s, I’m kind of at what I think is the highest level that a quote unquote mom and pop investor can be with the four properties, the 12 units, eight short term, four long term rentals, managing yourself.

[00:23:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, this is really about the most I think one person or one couple can do, especially with all the other stuff that we have going on. So I like the small multifamilies. There’s a lot of efficiencies there and things like that. And I don’t feel like I’m quite ready to buy, syndicate or just buy a large, large building for myself.

[00:24:03] Lauren Keen Aumond: But then the question other, other than like, what kind of property are you going to buy once you even settle on what your strategy there is going to be like a small multi, you’ve got to decide for me, it was long term or short term. There’s also midterm rentals and student rentals, and there’s all these different kinds of strategies within the actual type of property that you’re buying.

[00:24:22] Lauren Keen Aumond: And there’s no really way to know. I don’t think what’s right for you unless you do them, unless you try these different things. And I knew single family homes weren’t for me. I know long term rentals really aren’t for me, short term rentals, especially, I’m in Florida. So I have a natural, I think, leg up from a lot of people because a lot of people want to come here.

[00:24:39] Lauren Keen Aumond: So it’s easier to have them and profit from them. But people are happy for the most part. I mean, the amount of people I see from Montana that walk out and I’ll be like, Oh, it’s a little cold today. It’s like 50. They’re like, it’s four at my house. Oh, okay. Well, you know what I mean? Like they’re happy and they’re grateful.

[00:24:53] Lauren Keen Aumond: They’re like, wow, thank you. You did a really good job in this place. Thank you for what you do. And You get so rewarded for keeping the properties up, making them beautiful. You get to use them sometimes, a lot of good stuff about short term rentals versus long term rentals. And I don’t like having tenants that much.

[00:25:12] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, they really have a lot of power over you. They have, I mean, they can really do a ton of financial damage to you. And if you’re talking to a tenant, it’s not usually cause they’re happy, and so I just knew that my personality in my location. suited short term rentals, but I don’t think you can know that about yourself unless maybe you just really know yourself really well, but I think probably you kind of have to get started and just know that it’s okay to, to change once you’re in.

[00:25:40] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, nobody’s going to be like, wow, Lauren said, Lauren, when she introduced herself, said she has a single family home. investor. Now she’s got multis. I don’t like her anymore. It’s just not going to happen. 

[00:25:51] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear about your real estate educational journey. Like how did you go about learning?

[00:25:55] Patrick Donley: What were some of the, books, podcasts, things that made a big impact on you along the way? 

[00:26:01] Lauren Keen Aumond: Yeah. So when I bought that golf course community house, the one good thing I did was I kept my first house as a rental. And really the reason I think I did that, my parents had one rental property in my whole life.

[00:26:10] Lauren Keen Aumond: So in my brain, I’m like, one rental property, good, living the dream. And so I did keep that one. And that is when I, really got into BiggerPockets, the BiggerPockets podcast, and read a bunch of those, a bunch of different books, a bunch of BiggerPockets books, but other books as well, learning about real estate.

[00:26:23] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’m like, okay, now I don’t just have a roommate that pays me anymore. Now I’m a landlord there. I have to think about leases, landlord tenant law, and systematizing, and. how to vet tenants and give what’s the rules for giving notice and what do I want the rent to be and all of these things. And so that’s when I really started reading all of those books.

[00:26:42] Lauren Keen Aumond: And it doesn’t take too long before you’re also getting into the personal finance space. I mean, there’s so many connections there between personal finance and real estate that I then really got into, reading the personal finance books and getting more into personal finance at that point as well.

[00:26:58] Patrick Donley: You had mentioned maybe on Twitter that Your Money or Your Life was a book that you would recommend. Are there, that made a big impact on me too in my financial journey, a huge impact actually. Were there any other books like in the personal finance space that also like you’d say like anybody needs to check out, read and learn from?

[00:27:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: I love Your Money or Your Life. I love Set For Life, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, The Simple Path To Wealth, Psychology Of Money. I like all of those books. Most of those I read to see if I can recommend them for people even back then. Like Your Money Or Life, the big thing with Your Money Or Life that they’re trying, they’re teaching you there is there’s more to your job than money, for example.

[00:27:39] Patrick Donley: If you spend an hour commuting and an hour, an hour each way commuting and you spend an hour complaining about your job when you get home and you’re not cooking because of your job because you spend so much time there, so you have to go out all the time. There’s all these other costs with their job.

[00:27:52] Patrick Donley: And there’s also this idea of like, what is my net worth? How much money have I made in my life versus How much have I kept? And all of those things, I had sort of accidentally done those exercises in my mid twenties, but if you haven’t done those types of exercises and really just taken a high level overview, a high level look at your life, then your money or your life is greater or any of those other ones.

[00:28:13] Patrick Donley: that I recommended. 

[00:28:15] Patrick Donley: Yeah, those are all good ones that you mentioned and I’ll put those in the show notes. I want to know like looking back on things like in terms of your, if you were to start your investing journey over, was there anything that you would change like that you wish you had known at the start of things that you would have done differently that would have maybe accelerated how quickly you could have left your W2?

[00:28:35] Lauren Keen Aumond: So a house hacking is when we’ve talked about it, but we haven’t defined it yet. That’s when you buy a property, live in part of it and rent other parts of it out. That’s what I was dealing. I didn’t know. I don’t even know. Maybe, maybe that term was around then, but I didn’t know what it was when I had a roommate.

[00:28:49] Lauren Keen Aumond: You can have a roommate or you can buy a duplex, live in one part of it, rent the other out or a quad. There’s other things you could do to like rent out parking spaces, rent out your pool, rent out your yard, things like that. I wish I’m doing that now. I’ve done that four times, but I took that big detour in the middle.

[00:29:05] Lauren Keen Aumond: where I bought the house in the golf course community in the BMW. And I, if I could go back, I would just house hack. I would just keep house hacking and keep the one, right? Buy a duplex, live on one side, rent the other side out, buy another duplex, move out of that one, keep it, live on one side, rent the other side out and keep repeating over and over.

[00:29:20] Lauren Keen Aumond: I would, I’m still doing that now, but I would probably go back and not take. That detour. 

[00:29:26] Patrick Donley: So you are still house hacking now, you said? Yeah. So tell me about that. How does that work? How do you like it? Do you think you’ll reach a stage where you’re like, I’m done house hacking? 

[00:29:35] Lauren Keen Aumond: Well, that’s part of the question that I was talking about with lifestyle.

[00:29:38] Lauren Keen Aumond: We’re house hacking. We’re financially independent. Our real estate pays our bills. If we buy for us, 1. 5 million house in the water. That changes that calculus, but your lifestyle is really good, right? So here we bought a bed and breakfast. This is a single family home, three bedroom, two and a half baths, 1600 square feet with two ADUs in the back that are on Airbnb that we rent out.

[00:29:59] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so it’s house hacking, they are. separate from our home and they’re on the other side of the backyard. So we see them, but we can go out the front door and not see them. This is, we’ve done it four times, I guess. Like, so I had the roommates, then we bought this and then we’ve also bought two other duplexes and we moved into each of those duplexes and then eventually circled around and moved back into here.

[00:30:18] Lauren Keen Aumond: So I’ve house hacked a total of four times. It’s just a, it’s just a question, how much longer does my husband want to work? Now I’m three years older, so he’s 31 right now. He owns his engineering firm. So there’s just this question of how long is he going to work? And if he’s not going to sell the firm for five or 10 more years, he’s really got to work there till that.

[00:30:35] Lauren Keen Aumond: We might as well go get a house on the water because there’s enough cashflow coming in every month that, I mean, how much do you need is the question, right? So yeah, I think someday we’re leaning towards a lifestyle upgrade. But some of that depends on what he decides to do with the engineering firm. 

[00:30:55] Patrick Donley: I wanted to get into a little bit about that marriage and relationships and building wealth.

[00:31:00] Patrick Donley: Talk to me about how being married has helped or hindered or some of the challenges. Like, how do you guys make decisions? Just, I wanted to hear a little bit about your experience. I just got married a year ago, so I’m experiencing. It’s, I’m used to making my own decisions and now I don’t. 

[00:31:15] Lauren Keen Aumond: Being older, being three years older than my husband and we met when, I mean, he was 22 living with his dad still.

[00:31:21] Lauren Keen Aumond: I was 25. I was in that sales career. I had my house. It was a very, we met at a, even though we’re only three years apart, it was a pretty big gap at the time. And we’ve been together eight years. For the first four years before we got married, I kind of called the shots because it was kind of up to me, like I bought the first house.

[00:31:36] Lauren Keen Aumond: I bought the second house. I bought the first duplex. I was sort of making these decisions. And then even when we got married and we bought this house, it was, I mean, we used equity from my other projects, some of them right here or my job. And so I sort of made a lot of the calls. when it came to this property, even though we were married by that point.

[00:31:55] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so it was, for us, it was not some, we’re not married now we’re married. We make no joint decisions that we make all joint decisions. Even the four years that we’ve been married, it’s been like, we’ve been slowly becoming more and more integrated, but definitely like, it’s way better to be able to have somebody to bounce ideas off of to financially help in some situations.

[00:32:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: Like the last place we bought. He did half the down payment and I did half the down payment. Like, that was awesome. I didn’t have to do that all by myself. Like, that was so cool, and then I was able to leave my job and he’s there, like, our bills are paid by the real estate, but he’s like, well, I’ll take it from here kind of a thing.

[00:32:32] Lauren Keen Aumond: You focus on managing the properties, house money, media, Adulting is Easy. Like you do all that and I can do this. Like, that is so cool. A lot of people are not able to do that. That’s why I have health insurance, right? And so like, there’s just a lot of really good things. And the sum is, is greater than its parts.

[00:32:48] Lauren Keen Aumond: Absolutely. I mean, the biggest challenge is, so he has the engineering firm and I have a, my background is in sales. And when you become a business owner, versus just being an engineer, there’s more sales and kind of businessy thinking involved. So we talk about the firm a lot. We talk about our future a lot.

[00:33:04] Lauren Keen Aumond: We talk about our investments a lot. We talk about the rentals a lot. And so it gets to be complicated being romantic partners and business partners at the same time. And we have, we have not dialed that particularly in. And I think if anybody was a fly on the wall, they’d be like, wow, these people. Talk about money and business a lot.

[00:33:25] Lauren Keen Aumond: But it also just really interests both of us, but we try to set aside time. We’re like, we’re not doing that. Like, let’s just watch this sporting event, let’s just go on this trip. Let’s take a break. 

[00:33:35] Patrick Donley: Well, you’ve got so much going on too, that it’s just like, that’s what you talk about. My wife and I are the same thing.

[00:33:40] Patrick Donley: We’ve got a lot of different projects and a lot of different things we’ve got going on. And so money is discussed a lot. It’s by necessity. 

[00:33:48] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’m sure, I think about this sometimes where you see couples that were together a really long time get divorced, especially like maybe they have kids and stuff.

[00:33:55] Lauren Keen Aumond: It’s like, I think they, I assume, I don’t know, but I think they just spend so much time raising the kids and thinking about the kids and talking about the kids and not connecting as human beings and as romantic partners anymore. And then the kids leave and they’re looking at each other like, Oh, crap. I don’t know you, actually.

[00:34:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: Now that that’s not happening, I don’t even know what we talk about. And so my husband and I often say that, our real estate is our kids. We talk, we’re, we’re talking about them, but we can’t look up in 10 years and be like, dang, we have not connected romantically in a long time. 

[00:34:25] Patrick Donley: So When this comes out, it’ll probably be 2024.

[00:34:29] Patrick Donley: Do you guys do like a year in review and like, kind of like sit down and say, what do we want to accomplish this year? Are you, are you those kinds of people? Or are you more like, let’s just see what happens? 

[00:34:40] Lauren Keen Aumond: In between. I mean, we’re not, we’re not going to sit down. We don’t have to sit down and talk. Like we don’t have to like set aside time and write stuff down.

[00:34:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: We pretty much got it. I mean, our big things for next year are to stabilize the portfolio. We didn’t need my money. We didn’t have any issues with the real estate portfolio for years. Of course I leave and everything hits the fan at the same time. And so we had enough emergency fund, but we’re, we’re getting to the bottom of it.

[00:35:02] Lauren Keen Aumond: On the bright side, this peak season in Florida for the Airbnbs is like January to May. And so that emergency fund is going to be, stocked back up. But basically our main goal for the next year is to stabilize the portfolio and probably sell one of our properties. that we just have a lot of equity sitting there at this point.

[00:35:23] Lauren Keen Aumond: The return on equity looked really good when we had a hundred thousand dollars sitting there in over the last two years, that’s gone from a hundred thousand dollars of equity to 300. And all of a sudden your return on equity is not as good. And we may want, may want to make some changes, diversify out of Florida.

[00:35:36] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’m not sure, but so the main things are, get our emergency fund back up, re stabilize the portfolio, and then maybe reallocate a little bit. from that one property. And there’s a chance with the one property that we sell it and maybe we’ll put it in the stock market. We sort of used to have a goal back before the engineering firm, because that’s part of our net worth.

[00:35:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: But our goal, we used to want it to be like 50 percent stocks and 50 percent real estate. And we are way heavy on the real estate side. So there’s a chance we rebalance that in there. I know it’s not really a sexy answer. It’s not, it’s not like, we’re going to take over the world next year, man. These are my sparkles.

[00:36:06] Patrick Donley: No, this is good. This is really good. You mentioned the engineering firm. Do you get involved in, because you have a sales background, do you get pretty involved in his company or is it kind of you’ve got your thing and he’s got his thing and you’re separate in that, that regard? 

[00:36:24] Lauren Keen Aumond: I don’t think it’s business partners.

[00:36:26] Lauren Keen Aumond: No, I’m involved. But like, we talk about stuff all the time, help him talk through ideas and help him bring ideas to the business. I doubt when he brings those ideas that he said, Hey, Lauren thought we should do this. I don’t think that’s what’s happening. Yeah, I mean, certainly. And being the wife of someone who owns a business has been interesting.

[00:36:45] Lauren Keen Aumond: And it makes you realize what Bill Gates or Bezos, what their spouses were doing and how involved they really are, for those, those divorces and stuff, people are like, why does she get anything? And I’m like, man, she was doing a lot. I mean, she was holding it down. The whole reason he could start the business and take this risk is because I was making the kind of money I was making.

[00:37:06] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I like, Could totally hold it down without him completely. There’s some of that too, where Yeah, but I mean, basically yes. I, I am involved. I’m, I, like I tell him I’m, I’m like, kind of like a sales coach, kind of like his business consultant. Yeah. A sounding board, right? A little bit, I mean.

[00:37:21] Lauren Keen Aumond: But I, I doubt the business partners would say, yeah, Lauren’s part of this thing. 

[00:37:26] Patrick Donley: So you’ve settled on Airbnbs as a strategy. Talk to us a little bit more about the economics of Airbnbs, why you like Airbnbs versus, a longer term rental. Talk to me a little bit about that and what it’s been like for you.

[00:37:40] Lauren Keen Aumond: It depends from unit to unit, what those numbers are. But I have a 16 apartment building. Four of those are short term rentals. Two are long term rentals. The long term rentals are rented at nine hundred and ten fifty. Whereas the short term rentals bring in over 3, 000 each top line. There’s more expenses there, but you’re getting a lot, really, the bottom line is a lot more for Airbnbs.

[00:38:03] Lauren Keen Aumond: It’s a lot more work. So for my long term rentals, it’s like if they, let’s say maybe once a month, I got some old ACs in that building, maybe once a month I hear from them about something, maybe, maybe once a quarter, let’s say once a quarter, but like, And then if they don’t pay rent, I have to call. That’s it.

[00:38:18] Lauren Keen Aumond: And they would never not pay. Like, they would not pay rent by accident. They’re a little bit older, but like, that’s it for the short term rentals. Like, yes. Am I making two or three times as much? Yes. I’m working more than two or three times more. It’s probably like 15, 20 minutes a day. versus 15, 20 minutes a week or a month. 

[00:38:37] Patrick Donley: So would you qualify or classify yourself as a real estate professional? Are you familiar with that term and designation? 

[00:38:44] Lauren Keen Aumond: I had a job till June. And so the answer for 2023 is no. 

[00:38:50] Patrick Donley: Any plans to change the existing long term rentals? One hundred percent Airbnb? 

[00:38:57] Lauren Keen Aumond: No, we’re not going to do that. I’m not an Airbnb person obviously but I do believe in some level of diversification and not going all eggs in one basket.

[00:39:07] Lauren Keen Aumond: The last duplex that we bought is both long term rentals. As we’ve switched, we had a duplex that was one short term, one long term. Both of those are short term. The six unit was three and three, now it’s four and two, as we’ve gone away from long-term rentals in those properties, we wanted to backfill it with a couple more long-term rentals.

[00:39:25] Lauren Keen Aumond: So I think the, let’s see, eight to four. So I mean two thirds of the portfolio being short-term rentals. I think that works for us. That allows for enough diversification and. Kind of level cashflow. 

[00:39:37] Patrick Donley: Yeah, that makes sense. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk podcasting. You’ve been podcasting for over four years.

[00:39:44] Patrick Donley: I think you’ve done over 150 episodes at this point. Wanted to hear a little bit about some of your biggest lessons from your favorite guests, just in terms of like financial independence, people that have made a big impact on you. There’s always like a handful of guests that are like, wow, that blew my socks off.

[00:39:59] Patrick Donley: Talk to me a little bit about that. 

[00:40:02] Lauren Keen Aumond: What I love about podcasting is meeting all of these different people. And a lot of my guests are from Twitter because that’s where. That’s my largest platform. What I love when I talk to them, you can have, my, my friend, Andy is the crypto guy. My friend David knows like a lot about the financial markets and came on and talk about bonds.

[00:40:21] Lauren Keen Aumond: My friend Brad came on and talked about stocks and it’s so cool to learn these different things from these different people. But also there’s always something that I learn about them that is surprising, because social media, the way the algorithms work, You are rewarded for kind of pounding like the same kind of thought, you become kind of not, not like a three or four dimensional human being.

[00:40:41] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so that’s really some of my favorite part about it. In terms of like big overarching, like personal finance themes, I can’t think of any because Adulting is Easy is so broad. I mean, it’s so broad that the only thing that you are getting reinforced every single week is that personal finance is personal.

[00:40:58] Lauren Keen Aumond: There’s no one approach that works for everybody. I can’t tell you Patrick that you should invest in bonds. I can’t tell you to invest in stocks. I can’t tell if you should invest in real estate. And maybe at the beginning of Adulting is Easy. Maybe I thought that’s what everybody was going to get out of it.

[00:41:10] Lauren Keen Aumond: I’m not sure like what they should exactly do, but they are at least getting more information so that they can make their own decisions. The other side of it too, is these people are mostly a lot. There’s a lot of content creators. That’s how I know these people. And they always wow me with their discipline.

[00:41:25] Lauren Keen Aumond: their consistency and their goal setting and their growth. I mean, that’s been a really cool part of this too, is like personal finance aside, just learning from these people how to be a, kind of a consistent disciplined person. 

[00:41:39] Patrick Donley: How did the name Adulting is Easy come about? How did you choose that name?

[00:41:45] Lauren Keen Aumond: Adulting is Easy is about we make adulting easier if we make money easier. If you’re not worried about where your next meal is going to come from, your life becomes quite a bit easier. Like you get a flat tire, it’s a bigger deal if you have zero dollars than if you have a couple thousand, and it just makes your life easier.

[00:41:59] Lauren Keen Aumond: You’re, maybe you don’t have these big medical emergencies because you have health insurance and you have preventive care and you have preventive medicine. And so that’s the idea of Adulting is Easy. I hated the word adulting at first, like when I, I’m like, ah, adulting is so stupid, but I started thinking about it as it relates to personal finance.

[00:42:18] Lauren Keen Aumond: And we talk about adulting. It’s like, do you know how to put, put a new button on your pants or hem your pants? And do you call and make your own doctor’s appointments? Like there’s that part of it too. But right around 2017, I just had this epiphany where it was like, money is a big part of adulting.

[00:42:32] Lauren Keen Aumond: And nobody’s talking, nobody’s connecting those two. things. And so Adulting is Easy was available on Twitter. I grabbed it in 2017 and then I didn’t do anything with it until 2019. 

[00:42:42] Patrick Donley: So now you’re involved with House Money Media. Tell us about House Money Media, how that came about what the impetus was and what you guys have been up to recently.

[00:42:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: House Money Media started as this idea that every content creator doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. So I knew I was going to be leaving my job in 2023. And I knew, okay, I need to redo my website. I need to collect more emails than I have. I need to get a newsletter going and all of that. I was prepared to do that.

[00:43:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: And then, my friend Alan was talking about like, Oh, I need to expand to Instagram and YouTube. And I have the podcast and I want to write a newsletter, but I don’t have the bandwidth. And we sort of started talking about what do we like to do? And what if we could make content creating more about doing what we like to do?

[00:43:27] Lauren Keen Aumond: And we believe again, then this is another like partnership, right? Like the sum is greater than us individually. The pie is greater. There’ll be more sponsorship opportunities, a bigger audience, more people to teach about real estate and reach. So that’s the idea. That’s why we came together. So I run the podcast.

[00:43:43] Lauren Keen Aumond: He runs the newsletter and the website. I manage our virtual assistant. And so we have the podcast, the newsletter, we have our website, and then we have paid courses and a paid discord with coaching as well. And so that’s really what, what House Money Media is just, we’re just getting going, just scratching the surface.

[00:43:59] Lauren Keen Aumond: And we just did, we’re coming out with episode, probably when this comes out, we’ll be around episode 30 of that new podcast. So it’s been really fun and it is really nice to have someone to bounce. ideas off of. Content creating can be such a solo, lonely thing sometimes. 

[00:44:16] Patrick Donley: A hundred percent agree with that.

[00:44:17] Patrick Donley: So do you have a nice kind of break down of job responsibilities? It sounds like he’s doing the newsletter, you’re doing the podcasting. Do you ever do a podcast together where you’re hopping on a call together and talking to a guest? 

[00:44:30] Lauren Keen Aumond: Yeah. Yeah. He’s always on the podcast with me. But in terms of like planning it.

[00:44:35] Lauren Keen Aumond: So there’s an interview portion and we have a guest host. And so I have to obviously record the interview before we record with the guest host, because part of what we do is react to the interview. And so I’m juggling those schedules. And then I also pick the titles, manage the editor. and things like that.

[00:44:52] Lauren Keen Aumond: So I’m in charge of that. Also, like we got on a call just before this, where he’s like, this is my idea for the next blog, which is part of the newsletter. And we’re talking through that. And then I’ve helped him a little bit with, I’ve given him some content to write blogs about short term rentals and things like that.

[00:45:08] Lauren Keen Aumond: So yeah, we spearhead certain things. Neither one of us, like there’s nobody that’s like super in charge of our sponsors. He has the sponsors that he’s kind of brought into the fold that he invoices and talks to. And I have the sponsors that I talk to and. As far as social media goes, it’s a little bit Divide and Conquer.

[00:45:22] Lauren Keen Aumond: He’s handling Twitter right now and then I’m handling all of the other ones through our VA. So yeah, we have a pretty good division of duties and if anything new comes up, we’re pretty good about figuring out. Who should do it? There’s really not a lot of strife. We, we really think alike and we’re very aligned on the vision for the business.

[00:45:39] Lauren Keen Aumond: And that just makes decision making really easy. 

[00:45:42] Patrick Donley: And the newsletter, what is it called and how often is it, does it come out? 

[00:45:46] Lauren Keen Aumond: It’s called the money drop comes out weekly. So that, that we have. All social media posts from one of us for the week. We have whatever the podcast was for the week, and whatever the blog was for the week in the newsletter.

[00:45:58] Patrick Donley: Got it. I wanted to touch on this Twitter post that you had that kind of piqued my interest. You, you had posted a question on whether 20 somethings should be maxing out their 401ks or not. And Elon Musk responded. Can you tell us about that? What his response was and how you, if you had any further interaction with them, or I wanted to hear about that, because that’s kind of cool to ask Elon’s response.

[00:46:21] Lauren Keen Aumond: It seems like a very basic question, but it’s actually a little bit nuanced, right? Because 401ks. You can max them, which is something around 20, 000, 22, 000, is the most that you could put in and get the tax benefits, is what the U. S. government says. And you could also max the match. The cool thing about 401ks is a lot of employers give you a match portion.

[00:46:43] Lauren Keen Aumond: For example, you put in 5%, they put in 5%. I believe that 20 somethings should not max their 401ks. I did. We’ve talked about that a lot. I wish I didn’t. If I could go back, I’d take that money back because I don’t need it. I’m not going to need it when I’m 59 and a half. I need it now. I believe in maxing your match though.

[00:46:58] Lauren Keen Aumond: If your company’s giving 5%, you better put 5 percent in there. But so the question says, should you max your 401k? I agree with Elon. I think the answer is no. I don’t think you should put the full 22, 000 unless your company’s matching that amount. And so no, he didn’t reiterate. I didn’t reply anymore. I sent that to my parents.

[00:47:14] Lauren Keen Aumond: Mom’s like, but why does he feel that way? He needs to say, I’m like, mom, he’s like literally one of the most important people in the whole entire world. Okay. So no, he didn’t say anymore, but no, Elon and I both agree. that you should not max your 401k if you’re in your 20s. I think you should max your match.

[00:47:30] Lauren Keen Aumond: I wonder if he would feel that way. The world may never know though. 

[00:47:34] Patrick Donley: But you didn’t respond to him? You didn’t say like anything back? 

[00:47:38] Lauren Keen Aumond: Okay, so he sent that like 4 30 a. m. and I didn’t see that he, it never popped up in my notification. So I didn’t even see that he replied for like ten hours. 

[00:47:46] Patrick Donley: Interesting, I wanted to hear about like a contrarian, personal, finance take that you have?

[00:47:51] Patrick Donley: Anything that comes to mind? 

[00:47:54] Lauren Keen Aumond: There s people on both sides of every argument, but I m like, pro mortgage. Like, some people are like, I, I, we should have no debt and I just wholeheartedly disagree personally in my life. My husband and I are worth 2. 5 million at 34 31 years old, we’d be worth maybe one if we didn’t use leverage.

[00:48:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I would still be working my job. I mean it’s. It’s that big of a deal. 

[00:48:17] Patrick Donley: Another one that just kind of comes to mind, like Robert Kiyosaki, the rich dad, poor dad guy says that your house is not an asset, but I agree with you. I, I mean, I’ve always made money and done well on my personal residences. I’ve kind of done live in flips with them.

[00:48:30] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, an asset. is something you own and you either own that outright, like with equity, or you also take a loan on it to own it with liability. I mean, there’s like, that’s the accounting formula. It’s not debatable. It’s an asset, like period. If you want to split hairs, if you’re talking about your statement of net worth, it’s a personal use asset, right?

[00:48:51] Lauren Keen Aumond: And I use this example, and someone’s like, I don’t count my car and my net worth. I’m like, well, like, do you own your car outright? Yeah, I own my car. How much is your car? Eh, 15, 000. Okay, if the crap hit the fan, could you sell that car for 15, 000 and then buy one maybe for 5, 000 and use the 10, 000 for something?

[00:49:07] Lauren Keen Aumond: Yeah, that’s also why it’s an asset. Same with your house. Now, I do think your house should go purely in your personal use assets category. If you’re planning on living there your whole life, paying it off, retiring there and dying there, you can’t use it. You can’t use it as an investment. It’s supposed to go in your investment assets.

[00:49:25] Lauren Keen Aumond: But I mean, even if you’re going to use half your equity, To downsize and retire off of, put half of it, half of it in your investment assets under a statement of net worth if you want. I’m cool with that. 

[00:49:35] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear a little bit about some of the biggest mistakes that you see 20 and 30 somethings making with their finances.

[00:49:41] Patrick Donley: Like what is it that makes you just hit your head and just be like, Oh gosh, like what, what are the biggest mistakes? 

[00:49:48] Lauren Keen Aumond: Well, I don’t know what every 20 year old’s financial life looks like, but I know a lot of them buy cars and get car payments, which I’m not necessarily against. I don’t think you need to buy.

[00:49:58] Lauren Keen Aumond: feeders. But if you are stretching at all, if you’re buying more car than you should buy, if your car payment is 700 a month as like the average on the new car, it’s crazy. I don’t care if you do that, but I want you to look me in the eyes and tell me that it’s more important to you than vacations. It’s more important to you than your 401k.

[00:50:16] Lauren Keen Aumond: It’s more important to you than your Roth. If you’re not doing any of those things, because it is implicitly holding you back from doing some of these things that you are probably telling your family and friends that you’re going to do that you wish you could do, but you can’t. So that the biggest thing is, it’s just, it’s the car.

[00:50:31] Lauren Keen Aumond: I mean, everybody, so many people graduate from college and they get that car payment right away. And I’m like, can you not like, do you need it? And, or do you just really, really want it? More than anything else. 

[00:50:43] Patrick Donley: One of my favorite guests that I had on, it’s been a while, he played football in the NFL, Devon Kennard.

[00:50:50] Patrick Donley: I don’t know if you’ve come across him. Oh yeah, I had him on. You had DK on. I love him. Yeah, yeah, he’s great. He drove, like, once he got drafted into the NFL, I forget what round he went in, maybe 5th or something like that. Doesn’t matter. He continued to drive his high school car that he drove like his first two seasons in the NFL.

[00:51:08] Patrick Donley: He was driving his high school car. Yeah, he told me, which I think is awesome. 

[00:51:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: Yeah. I mean, I drove my first car. I bought my first house before I bought my second car, and that was my Mustang money for the record. I was Mustang and bought a house and stuff. It was a good move. I still don’t have a Mustang.

[00:51:24] Lauren Keen Aumond: Got a bunch of houses, I guess, but you know,

[00:51:27] Patrick Donley: Lauren, this has been a lot of fun. I really want to, thank you for your time. Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you wanted to discuss? 

[00:51:34] Lauren Keen Aumond: I guess the one other thing I’ll say about the genesis of Adulting is Easy is that it started in 2019 as a podcast to teach my little sister about money.

[00:51:45] Lauren Keen Aumond: And so in 2019, I would have been 29. So she would have been 16. She was in high school then. And so that’s really how it started. And Some of that has to do with our brother was, and he was dealing with an addiction at the time. And so our parents really had a split focus. I mean, you’re already behind the eight ball.

[00:52:04] Lauren Keen Aumond: If there’s two of you and you have three kids, you can’t be all the places at the time. And then there were times where they were very focused on him. And so I, I had always taught her a bunch of things. I was like, you know what, I’m going to teach her personal finance. So that’s how it started. I just wanted to get that out there as well.

[00:52:18] Lauren Keen Aumond: It’s now morphed into teaching more than just her, but that is. That’s part of it. It’s like, I think of myself as a really big sister and I hope that some of my listeners get that vibe too when they’re listening to Adulting is Easy. 

[00:52:31] Patrick Donley: That’s really cool. That’s a great story. I think like having that ideal person that you’re, whether you’re podcasting or writing or tweeting about, like having that kind of ideal person is like super helpful.

[00:52:42] Patrick Donley: And particularly so if it’s a relative, it’s just like high motivation there. So really cool stuff. Lauren, this has been a lot of fun. Where can our audience go to learn more about you, learn more about what you’re up to, that kind of thing? 

[00:52:53] Lauren Keen Aumond: I am AdultingIsEasy on Twitter and YouTube I’m adultingiseasyreal on Instagram.

[00:52:59] Lauren Keen Aumond: If you’re interested in the House Money Media side of things, you can go to housemoneymedia.com, that podcast, blog, newsletter, courses, everything is there. 

[00:53:08] Patrick Donley: Cool. I’ll put all this in the show notes and thanks again for your time, Lauren. 

[00:53:11] Lauren Keen Aumond: Thanks, Patrick. Thanks for having me. 

[00:53:13] Patrick Donley: Okay, folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode.

[00:53:16] Patrick Donley: I hope you enjoyed the show and I’ll see you back here real soon. 

[00:53:19] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to subscribe to We Study Billionaires by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Every Wednesday, we teach you about Bitcoin, and every Saturday we study billionaires and the financial markets. To access our show notes, transcripts, or courses, go to theinvestorspodcast.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decision, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Written permission must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.


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