AN INSTAGRAM model has revealed how she bought her first home aged 23 without a mortgage, having saved up to $10,000 (£7,000) a month.
Vanessa Christine, of Miami, Florida, saved up for a year and a half to buy the two-bed, two-bath cushion in Kansas City, Missouri, which she now rents.
After making the purchase on December 28, her thoughts immediately turned to her second property – which she thinks she can save up for in less than a year.
And while some influencers splash $10,000 on designer bags, Vanessa says it’s silly to “fight” to follow that lifestyle when you could cash in on your money.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Vanessa, who has 634,000 followers, says, “I started saving when I was 21.
“I gave my dad about 60% of every payout I got, so I couldn’t dip into those savings because it’s always tempting to have that money there.
“I would transfer it to my dad and I could see how much I was saving, but I couldn’t withdraw any money.
“I think I’m very dedicated and have my head on my shoulders to save. I don’t buy designer bags or other things I don’t need.
“I was saving between $5,000 and $10,000 a month, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more.
“Obviously Covid has set things back but all my contracts are coming back now. I think I will be able to save for the second house in less than a year, my work is going well at the moment.”
Vanessa, who is single and lives alone in a rented apartment, adds: “In the world of influencers, it’s easy to slip into the thought ‘I need the next designer bag, I need Louboutin shoes with a red background, I need these jewels’.
“But we actually get everything we need for free because we promote clothing brands and beauty products.
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“I try to see the big picture, the bags and jewelry become obsolete after a month.
“A lot of my friends have designer bags and I always thought ‘yes, I want one’, but you can pay $10,000 on a bag, that’s a down payment for a car or a house.
“Are you going to struggle to keep up with the next new hype, or do you want your finances to be amazing? I did.
“I like to have fun but I don’t need first class flights or penthouse suites.
“I have no idea how girls buy clothes when we get so many things sent to us for free, you have no idea.
“There’s no way I can even buy stuff because I don’t have room for it. I have two closets in my apartment and it’s full, I donate a lot of clothes too.
“I buy little things here and there, stuff like sportswear and essentials like pajamas and comfy clothes that don’t get sent to me.
“But otherwise, I would always wear something that was sent to me for free instead of splashing.”
Vanessa joined Instagram three years ago while working in retail and quit her job after a year to become a full-time influencer.
She started working for major fashion brands and now hires a full-time assistant, agent and photographer.
I have no idea how girls buy clothes when we get so many sent to us for free. There’s no way I can even buy stuff ’cause I don’t have space for it
She says, “I couldn’t believe it when I became a landlord.
“I had made a few offers for other houses, but another buyer had beaten me to it.
“So I thought ‘OK, I’m not going to hope’ because I’ve done it twice before.
“It sounded too good to be true as we bought the house and immediately found a tenant.
“Once the deed changed to my name, I was like, ‘OK, this is house number one.’ had worked so hard.
“Buying this house makes me want to save up and have even more properties – I’m already saving for the next place.”
Although she admits that her job “isn’t that hard”, Vanessa is keen to grow a real estate empire so she can pack some work and travel the world.
She says, “I save as much as I can, just to prepare for the future and my future family.
“I don’t want to do this forever, I want to retire and do more things I like and less things I don’t like.
“I want to travel the world, I know my job is not that difficult but it’s a bit of a pressure.
“I just want to be able to travel freely, take pictures freely. It’s about saving now so I can really enjoy my life in the future.”