195: 3 Degrees, Debt Free, and “Coasting” to Financial Independence


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Student loans can often drag people into debt, especially when chasing more than one degree. But here’s an unusual story: Brenda Olmost, PhD student, nurse practitioner, and member of the FIRE community is graduating with NO debt. Amazing right? Brenda has worked her tail off over the past decade getting scholarships, living below her means, and working whenever she can so she graduates her program with no debt.

Not only has Brenda done a fantastic job making extra income, she’s been investing on the side! She has a growing 401(k), a maxed out Roth IRA, and 2 rental properties. At 31, she’s in a phenomenal position to reach financial independence. Lucky for her, she loves her career, so even if she does hit her FI number, she’ll still be bringing in the dough to pursue more and more investment opportunities.

If you want to hear more from Brenda, you can check out her podcast, Minority Millennial Money where she talks about budgeting, investing, saving, career, and relationships!

In This Episode We Cover

  • Staying off the hedonic treadmill and living below your means
  • Pursuing high demand, high-income careers
  • Getting scholarships and working on the side to pay for school
  • Why you SHOULDN’T buy that new car you want
  • Hitting “Coast FI” in your early 30s
  • Using your extra income to invest, buy rental properties, and save
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/moneyshow195

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