AN INSTAGRAM model has revealed how she bought her first house at 23 with no mortgage, after saving up to $10,000 (£7,000) a month.
Vanessa Christine, from Miami, Florida, saved for a year and a half to buy the two-bed, two-bath pad in Kansas City, Missouri, which she now rents out.
After making the purchase on December 28, her thoughts immediately turned to her second property – which she reckons she’ll be able to save for in less than a year.
And while some influencers splash out $10,000 on designer bags, Vanessa says it’s silly to “struggle” to keep up with that lifestyle when you could be banking your cash.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Vanessa, who has 570,000 followers, says: “I started saving when I was 21.
“I gave my dad about 60% of each payment I received so I couldn’t dip into those savings, as it’s always tempting when you have that money there.
“I’d wire transfer it to my dad and I could see how much I was saving, but I couldn’t take any money out.
“I think I’m very dedicated and I have a good head on my shoulders to save. I don’t buy designer bags or other stuff I don’t need.
“I was saving $5,000-$10,000 a month, sometimes it was a little less, sometimes a little more.
“Obviously Covid set things back but all my contracts are coming back now. I think I’ll be able to save for the second house in less than a year, my work’s going great at the moment.”
Vanessa, who is single and lives alone in a rented flat, adds: “In the influencer world, it’s easy to slip into thinking ‘I need the next designer bag, I need red bottomed Louboutin shoes, I need this jewellery’.
“But actually we get everything we need for free because we’re promoting clothes and beauty brands.
“A lot of my friends have designer bags and I’ve always thought ‘yeah I want one’ but you can pay $10,000 on one bag, that’s a down payment for a car or a house.
A lot of my friends have designer bags and I’ve always thought ‘yeah I want one’ but you can pay $10k on one bag, that’s a down payment for a car or a house and they get outdated after a month
“I try to look at the bigger picture, bags and jewellery get outdated after a month.
“Are you going to struggle to keep up with the next new hype, or do you want to set up your financials to be amazing? That’s what I did.
“I like to have fun but I don’t need first class flights or penthouse suites.
“I have no idea how girls are buying clothes when we get so much sent to us for free, you have no idea.
“There’s no way I could even buy stuff because I don’t have space 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 gymwear and essentials like pyjamas and comfy clothes which I don’t get sent.
“But otherwise, I’d always wear something which had been sent to me for free instead of splashing out.”
I have no idea how girls are buying clothes when we get so much sent to us for free. There’s no way I could even buy stuff because I don’t have space for it
Vanessa joined Instagram three years ago, when she was working in retail, and quit her job after a year to become a full-time influencer.
She’s gone onto work for big name fashion brands and now hires an assistant, an agent and a full-time photographer.
She says: “I couldn’t believe it when I actually became a homeowner.
“I’d put in a couple of offers for other houses but another buyer had beaten me to it.
“So I thought ‘OK I’m not going to get my hopes up’ because I’d done that twice before.
“It seemed too good to be true, as we bought the house and found a tenant straight away.
“Once the deed on the house changed to my name, I was like ‘OK this is it, house number one’. I was just really happy and proud, it was a moment I’d worked so hard for.
“Buying that house makes me want to save and get even more properties – I’m already saving for the next place.”
Although she admits her job “isn’t so hard”, Vanessa is keen to grow a property empire so she can pack in work and travel the world.
She says: “I save as much as I can, just to set myself up for the future and my future family.
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“I don’t want to be doing this forever, I want to retire and be doing more of the things I love and less of the things I don’t love.
“I want to travel the world, I know my job isn’t so hard but it is a little bit of pressure.
“I just want to be able to travel freely, take pics freely. It’s about saving now so I can really enjoy my life in the future.”