CNBC make it 2024-02-27 02:50:47


31-year-old earns $220,000 a year and saves 75% of his salary by living with his parents

This story is part of CNBC Make It’s Millennial Money series, which details how people around the world earn, spend and save their money.

By the numbers, Sal Khan does really well for himself. The 31-year-old earns around $212,000 from his day job in tech sales. He started buying real estate in 2022 and now has four investment properties, which net him $8,000 a year with room to grow. He splurges on nice dinners out and makes time for vacations.

He also lives at home with his parents in Houston rent-free.

It’s a financially savvy move, of course, but also means more.

Khan was born and raised in Pakistan as the youngest of five kids. His older siblings started moving to the U.S. when he was 9 years old, starting with his oldest brother, who came to the States for college.

Soon after, his oldest sister moved to Houston to work as a physician, and by the time Khan was 17, his parents moved to be close to her and help raise their grandchildren. They also started the process of gaining a green card. Khan stayed behind under the care of his grandfather as his other two siblings moved for work and school.

Khan was the last to move to the U.S. in 2013 at 20 years old when his parents sponsored his visa. He earned a finance and economics degree from Ohio State University and worked in the Bay Area for a few years until the pandemic prompted him to move in with his parents in Houston.

What started as a temporary solution became a long-term arrangement that’s strengthened their bond in meaningful ways.

“I do think my relationship now has been the best with my parents than it has been before,” Khan tells CNBC Make It.

Here’s how the arrangement impacts his personal life, his financial goals and his future plans.

Moving in with his parents

Khan was living in the Bay in 2020 when the pandemic hit. His lease ended in August, and while he could work remotely, he figured he’d move in with his parents in Houston to save money and wait out the pandemic. He planned to find his own apartment in the Houston area after a few months, but his parents proposed another idea.

Khan recalls his mother saying, “You can stay as long as you want.”

As the youngest child in the family, and after spending roughly 10 years away from his parents, he saw it as a way to make up for lost time, or “an opportunity that we could use as a family and really improve our relationship.” His oldest sister and her family also lived in the area, and his second sister and her family have since moved from Chicago to the Houston area.

Plus, Khan adds, “there is a cultural aspect to it where, as a son, it’s required that you take care of your parents.”

It was an adjustment living with his parents as his roommates and reasserting his independence as a single man in his 20s. But Khan says he and his parents have gotten better at communicating boundaries and expectations.

Khan doesn’t pay any specific bills for the household, but covers other miscellaneous expenses, like the family’s Costco membership, gas, some medical bills and, in one instance, his father’s property taxes. Khan also gives his mom $200 a month as a gift to put toward whatever she chooses.

Khan’s parents are retired and live off savings from selling their house in Pakistan, which also covered their house in Texas.

Khan’s mother doesn’t drive, so he’ll make sure she gets around for her “great social life.” He also accompanies his father on doctor’s appointments.

He misses some parts of living in California, like his friends and being able to hit the beach. But those are easy “sacrifices,” he says, to improve his financial future and spend more time with his family in Texas.

Dating while living at home

Moving home had a big impact on Khan’s dating life. He had his fair share of dates who weren’t on the same page about why he chooses to live with his parents.

“It’s just one of those things where you just have to find people that understand your situation,” Khan says.

As it turns out, Khan’s girlfriend, Nina Nguyen, 29, also lives with her parents for both family and financial reasons.

“She understands it’s a cultural thing and we can still be together with someone without actually needing to [share] an apartment or home,” Khan says. That does mean, however, a lot of their shared time happens outside of their respective homes on dates, out at restaurants or on trips together.

“It’s not easy to find someone who’s comfortable with me living with my parents,” he adds. “There is a social stigma to it. So the fact that she has never even once even asked me to move out, I think that’s just being empathetic on her part.”

Khan plans to move out of his current home when he has $2 million in assets, which he hopes will happen within the next five years. But that won’t be the end of his living arrangement with this parents: Khan hopes to move his parents to his new home, too.

“They have explicitly mentioned that, wherever I go, they want to go with me,” Khan says. He considers it the “biggest honor” to spend time with them and care for them as they get older.

Khan says it’s also possible his girlfriend will want to continue living with her parents, so he’s considering saving up for a house big enough for the couple and both sets of parents to live together.

How he spends his money

Here’s how Khan spent his money in December 2023.

  • Housing: $2,116 to cover the mortgage on one of his properties
  • Food: $1,638 on groceries and meals out
  • Discretionary: $1,414 on travel, gifts and entertainment
  • Gas and parking: $301
  • Insurance: $250, which includes $191 for car insurance and $59 for employer-provided health, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Student loans: $234
  • Gym membership: $11

Khan’s only housing expense each month is to cover the mortgage on one of his properties in the Houston area, which he rents out to his older sister’s family for $2,700 a month. It’s his most lucrative investment property, netting him $584 each month.

Like a lot of people, Khan’s December spending was higher than usual because of the holidays. He treated his family and girlfriend to a few nice dinners out and splurged on other entertainment, including a theater performance and cooking classes. He also took a trip to Arizona, which included a flight, car rental and trip to the Grand Canyon.

Khan graduated from college in 2016 with over $22,000 in student loans. He took advantage of the federal student loan payment pause during the pandemic and now has roughly $19,000 left. He makes the minimum payments of $234 each month.

For now, Khan says he’d rather focus on beefing up his investments rather than pay off his student debt, which has a low 4% interest rate.

Khan didn’t make any savings or investments in the month of December. But in 2023, he stashed roughly 75% of his pay. He currently has around $212,000 in a Robinhood portfolio, $46,000 invested with Wealthfront and $37,000 in retirement savings.

Getting into real estate

Once Khan moved home and began saving the majority of his earnings, his older brother and brother-in-law encouraged him to consider investing in real estate.

He bought his first property, a single-family home in a nearby Texas town, in April 2022. Khan paid 20%, or roughly $95,000, for the down payment.

He couldn’t find a good tenant to rent out the the 5-bedroom, 4-bedroom house. Thankfully, around the same time, one of his sisters was moving with her family from Chicago to the Houston area, and she ended up renting the home.

Since then, Khan has picked up three more properties: a multi-family parking garage and storage facility in Florida, a vacation rental in Arizona and another single-family home in California, where his brother currently lives.

Khan nets around $600 a month from all his properties, or nearly $8,000 a year, though he says it will be higher once he finds a new tenant for his California property after his brother moves out. By then, he expects to bring in up to $1,100 a month from his real estate portfolio.

The bulk of his savings are earmarked for more down payments on properties, Khan says. However, he wants to keep his portfolio manageable and will likely stick to 10 or fewer properties overall.

Looking ahead

Khan is laser focused on continuing to minimize his living expenses to pour his paychecks into real estate.

He hopes that, by sharing his story, he’ll dispel the stigma of adults who live in the same household as their parents. For him, the arrangement has strengthened their relationship. Plus, the financial gains propelled him on the path to real estate investing and a more solid monetary future.

There’s nothing to be ashamed about the decision, he says: “It’s a choice that I made to be with my parents, and I’m grateful for this choice.”

What’s your budget breakdown? Share your story with us for a chance to be featured in a future installment.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

7 in-demand side hustles you can do from home—some can pay as much as $100 an hour

You don’t need a background in tech to start a lucrative side hustle from home.

There are dozens of in-demand, non-tech side hustles you can do remotely to earn extra cash — some of which can pay as much as $100 an hour.

FlexJobs, one of the most popular platforms for finding remote and hybrid work opportunities, has seen a steady increase in the number of remote, part-time listings for non-tech roles including virtual assistants, accountants and customer service representatives in recent months, FlexJobs lead career expert Toni Frana tells CNBC Make It.

To help people interested in pursuing a side hustle find the best remote opportunities, FlexJobs has identified seven in-demand side hustles that can be done from home, based on listings from more than 58,000 companies on its platform posted between July and December 2023. These jobs have dozens of active listings and offer remote, part-time opportunities. 

Here are seven in-demand side hustles that can be done from home, and how much they pay, according to FlexJobs, with salary estimates from Payscale:

  1. Virtual assistant ($18 per hour)
  2. Bookkeeper ($20 per hour)
  3. Customer service representative ($16 per hour)
  4. Accountant ($23 per hour)
  5. Technical writer ($26 per hour)
  6. Social media specialist ($19 per hour)
  7. Video editor ($22 per hour)

While the total number of hours varies from role to role, most of the jobs on FlexJobs’ list ask for a commitment of 10-25 hours per week.

Some of these side hustles, including video editing, bookkeeping and customer service, don’t require a bachelor’s degree, says Frana. Instead, she adds, hiring managers will often evaluate candidates based on their previous work experience and soft skills. 

“There are core soft skills people look for across all of these roles: an ability to meet deadlines, strong communication skills both in writing and on the phone, being a self-starter, problem-solving and, of course, foundational technology skills,” Frana explains.

Some of these remote side hustles can pay upwards of $100 per hour, depending on your level of skill and the project. Bookkeepers on Upwork, for example, can charge as much as $175 an hour or, for some projects, $300 an hour. 

For virtual assisting roles that require more specialized skills — whether it’s building email campaigns or creating WordPress sites — “you’re often talking at least $100 [per hour] and up,” Angelique Rewers, founder of the consulting firm BoldHaus, previously told CNBC Make It.

The most salient benefit of pursuing one of these remote side hustles, says Frana, is the flexibility. You can choose to go freelance and set your own hours, or, if you apply to a part-time listing, Frana says many employers will let you adjust your schedule as needed.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

How a 23-year-old started a side hustle that brings in $10,300/mo: ‘It doesn’t feel like work to me’

Sophie Riegel turned her boredom into a six-figure side hustle.

Riegel was a Duke University freshman in 2020, when Covid-19 turned her first year of college into a remote experience. She was “so bored” at home, and began searching her childhood bedroom for unused clothing and other items she might sell online to “make some extra money,” she says.

She found a few items, and netted roughly $200 selling them. “I probably sold, like, an item a week for the first couple months of me selling my own stuff,” says Riegel, 23.

Hooked, she combed through thrift stores around Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Within weeks, she was selling roughly $50 per day of thrifted clothing, mostly buying T-shirts for $1 apiece and selling them for up to $10.

Last year, Riegel graduated from Duke with a degree in psychology, and her side hustle brought in nearly $123,800 in sales — more than $10,300 per month — on online marketplaces like eBay, Mercari and Poshmark, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

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Riegel has pocketed more than $192,000 in total net profit since starting her venture, after accounting for platform fees and the cost of goods. The total figure is slightly higher, she says, due to in-person sales and other revenue for which she doesn’t have documentation.

Now, Riegel sells around 10 items per day, averaging between $400 and $500 in revenue daily. She spends up to 25 hours per week working on her side hustle, she says — in addition to her day job as a professional writer, speaker and mental health coach.

“I’ve been doing [my side hustle] for about three and a half years now, and I wouldn’t do anything else,” says Riegel. “I love it so much. It makes me so happy.”

‘It gives me so much freedom’

Riegel’s full-time career is the kind of job that can require time to develop and build a steady stream of clients. That makes her side hustle money particularly valuable.

’It just gives me so much freedom to do what I really want to do,” she says. “Not only financial freedom … I can have coaching calls at any time, do speaking gigs anytime, because I’m not bound by a 9-to-5 job.”

The payoff isn’t accidental: In her side hustle’s early days, Riegel conducted a lot of research. “I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers [on YouTube],” she says. “I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms. And in my first year, I had $70,000 or so in sales.”

I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers [on YouTube]. I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms.
Sophie Riegel

Riegel studied bestsellers across multiple marketplaces to learn which specific items and brands would likely sell quickly or fetch a high price — like Lululemon leggings or Hoka sneakers. Once-expensive items tend to have good resale value, no matter how cheap they are to thrift, she says: A jacket from J. Crew or Carhartt might cost her $10 to $20 in person, but fetch $50 to $150 online.

She learned her local thrift stores’ restocking schedules, too — so she could avoid repeatedly wading through the same items, and get early dibs on new ones. Once, she bought a vintage Chanel purse for $2 and sold it on eBay a few months later for for $1,000: “That was incredible,” she says.

‘I’m going to do it for as long as I can’

Riegel’s side hustle comprised roughly 70% of her income in 2023, she says. This year, she expects a more even 50-50 split as she adds more coaching clients and speaking opportunities.

The side hustle comes with challenges — like keeping track of the roughly 1,300 pieces of inventory she usually has in stock. Riegel spends much of her time researching clothing, photographing items, editing the photos, listing the items online and cataloging them so she can find them quickly in storage once they sell.

Eventually, she might hire employees to help with the aspects of reselling that can feel like a slog, she says — just not the actual shopping.

“Technically, the thrifting takes the most time,” Riegel says. “But it doesn’t feel like work to me.”

As her two careers tracks evolve, Riegel sees no reason to slow down or stop her side hustle. Thrifting makes her happy, and “you can’t put a price” on that, she says. She’s even growing that part of the business by posting her own instructional videos on YouTube and selling her services as a reselling coach.

“I’m going to do it for as long as I can. Both of these [careers] make me happy,” says Riegel. “They both allow me to be independent, and I don’t have to choose between one thing or another.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

23-year-old’s dorm room side hustle brings in $124,000 a year: ‘You can start with as little as $5’

This story is part of CNBC Make It’s Six-Figure Side Hustle series, where people with lucrative side hustles break down the routines and habits they’ve used to make money on top of their full-time jobs. Got a story to tell? Let us know! Email us at AskMakeIt@cnbc.com.

Technically, Sophie Riegel didn’t spend a penny starting her side hustle.

She began with items she already had, searching through her closet for old clothing to sell online. After making $200 off her own used clothes, she turned to some of her favorite places to shop: thrift stores.

“I’ve been a thrifter my entire life, because I don’t like spending money,” says Riegel, 23. “I’d much rather spend $5 than $100 on a pair of pants.”

Since April 2020, she’s turned that habit into a lucrative side hustle. Riegel brought in nearly $123,800 in revenue last year reselling items she bought from thrift stores on online marketplaces like eBay, Mercari and Poshmark, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

She’s made more than $192,000 in net profit over the past four years, because her costs are minimal: Riegel estimates she’s spent just over $50,000 on the thrifted clothing she’s sold. Other expenses include shipping costs and gas money for driving from thrift store to thrift store. Online marketplaces keep between 10% and 20% of her sales.

Much of her business’ growth came from her dorm room at Duke University, where she graduated last year with a degree in psychology. She’s pursuing a full-time career as a professional writer, speaker and life coach —  and expects her side hustle to comprise roughly 50% of her income this year, she says.

“I started buying things for $5 to $10, flipping them for $50 to $100,” says Riegel. “That seemed to work really well. I had maybe 200 or so items in my dorm room my sophomore year, and now I have 1,300 items [in a storage unit].”

Here, Riegel discusses the work she put in to turn her love of thrifting into a six-figure annual business, along with tips for anyone else to follow in her footsteps.

CNBC Make It: You’re already coaching clients to start their own thrifting side hustles. What are some of your best tips for people who want to replicate your success?

Riegel: The biggest thing is you’ve got to have fun with it. If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it.

Start with what you know the most about. If you know a lot about clothing, start with that. It can be really easy to just buy a lot — that’s the fun part — but it doesn’t sell if you don’t list it. So even if your listing is imperfect, get it up, get it out there, because there’s a market for everything.

Keep learning. If you go in with a mindset of “I already know this stuff, I don’t need any resources,” it’s likely that you won’t do as well as if you went in with the mindset of “This is a great opportunity for me to learn more about myself, about brands, and all of that.”

I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers on YouTube. I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms. I’ve learned the strategies of each of the stores I go to, and figured out when they put out the new shoes when they do X, Y and Z.

The Goodwills in my area put a new color out every week. So, when I go to those stores, I only look for that color.

How much cash do you need to start a thrifting side hustle?

Factoring in shipping and all of that stuff — obviously, you need to pay for gas — $100 makes sense.

[In terms of the thrifting], you can start with as little as $5. You get one good thing for $5 and you’ve got more money already: $5 turns into $20, turns into $100.

If you start with your own stuff, you need $0.

What are the most important traits someone needs to succeed at this?

You’ve got to be consistent and persistent. Right now, I list 10 to 20 items a day. And because I list every day, things are selling constantly.

You’ve got to be organized. You have to be patient — I’m not very good at that, but I’m working on it.

The biggest thing is: You’ve got to be willing to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to do this all alone. When I first started, my dad helped me with all of my shipping. He helped me move everything from different storage units. I didn’t have to do it alone because I asked for help.

Do you see yourself expanding your side hustle in the future? What would that look like?

I’m pretty happy with where I am. I do see, in the future, potentially having employees do all of the stuff that I know I don’t want to do — like the shipping, listing and photographing. That would be great. It is a lot of work for one person.

But right now, I wouldn’t change it because I love what I do.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

28-year-old has lived in an old NYC laundromat for 5 years, pays $1,900 in rent—take a look inside

When Sampson Dahl, 28, found a former laundromat in Maspeth, Queens on an online forum back in 2019, he had no idea how much the space would become his life.

Early last year, CNBC Make It met Dahl after his former laundromat-turned-apartment went viral on TikTok. At the time, he was paying $1,850 a month — his rent has since increased to $1,900.

At the start of 2023, Dahl was working in TV and film set design — which allowed him access to a lot of the furniture and décor you see throughout his apartment — but the Writers Guild of America strike put a pause on any new work and forced Dahl to rethink the unlikely home he had created.

“I’ve gotten to focus on the space a lot, so I’ve been throwing shows, events, and intimate gatherings almost weekly at this point,” Dahl tells CNBC Make It. “It’s been a great opportunity to kind of dive into the space more.”

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Dahl doesn’t make a lot of money from the events, but he says what he earns from the door charge is enough to help make his monthly rent payments and continue living alone.

Last year, Dahl told CNBC Make It that he only lives in the former laundromat because it’s what he can afford. Now, Dahl says he is looking more seriously into moving. “I don’t want to be there forever. In my best case scenario, I leave, and I don’t think about it for a while, and then come to visit in 10 years, and it’s something surprising to me,” he says.

While he has enjoyed living in an alternative space, Dahl thinks he might be ready for a more traditional apartment.

But he doesn’t intend to leave the old laundromat behind completely.

In an ideal world, Dahl says he would renovate the laundromat and have a core group of people continuing to operate it as an event space.

“My goal with this space is just to keep it existing, and I think that my friends have no ulterior mission to make a functioning business out of it,” Dahl says. “I’m not against utilizing it as a storefront but I think the neighbors appreciate having a space that adds a different mood. The block I live on informs me and a certain pace of life. Most of my neighbors are retirees and the laundromat is the same.”

When Dahl does move, he says he’ll miss his neighbors and hosting old and new friends in his home at all hours of the day. “I love them so much,” he says.

“I’d love to live across the street. I’ve been looking for years and always keep my eye on the block.”

Living in such an unconventional space has helped Dahl learn to enjoy his home for what it is now instead of trying to turn it into something bigger. “In a place that values commercial success and economic growth, it’s rare to be able to enjoy stasis in a place like this,” Dahl says.

“I think the greatest thing I’ve found living in the laundromat is providing a room where someone can exist without direct purpose.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.