Money Makes the World Go Around

Remember being a kid and getting paid in cash for doing an odd job?

Maybe you babysat for the neighbor’s hell spawn twins in a house with nothing but healthy snacks. (Carob will never be chocolate.) Possibly you sweated in the sweltering Savannah sun mowing a lawn or you froze your bits off shoveling an icy sidewalk in Syracuse.

The whens-and-wheres of earning that fistful of dollars didn’t matter. What mattered was how those bills felt in your hand. Oh, my stars and stripes, holding those few crumpled bills were more powerful than any drug, because money meant freedom. Cash meant choices.

The most industrious kids used that money to make more money. They bought more shovels or a riding lawn mower so they could expand their business. Let’s be honest, we laughed at them, loading up on boring old tools when they could have been buying guitars or sneakers or candy.

Of course, they went on to become millionaire entrepreneurs and then it became less funny to call them nerds at our class reunion.

Because y’all should all be millionaires, today’s topic is what to do when you earn yourself a grown-up fistful of cash. (Spoiler alert: look to the nerds.)


Bringing Home the Bacon

Y’all, every time I get my commission, it feels like a blessing. People with 9 to 5 jobs and direct deposit every two weeks don’t understand the feast or famine that can come from selling real estate, the euphoria of when those funds hit your account after a financial drought.

Trust me, I know there is no broke like three-months-without-a-closing broke. That’s why it’s crucial to plan for the lean times when that cash is flowing freely.

Here’s what to do:

First, set aside money to pay your taxes. It’s not fun, it’s not sexy, but it’s important if you want to stay out of jail. Uncle Sam ain’t playin’.

Reinvest in your business. Be like one of those shovel-buying nerds I talked about earlier. You know how goldfish will only grow as large as their tank? Make sure your tank accommodates your growth. Experts advise you put away between 10% to 15% of your check to cover expenses like marketing, lead generation, and continuing ed. This is also where you need to be honest with yourself and assess how you’re living. If you’re losing valuable selling time every month, say, cleaning your house, why not pay someone else to do what anyone can do so you can concentrate on what only you can do?

Pay down your debt. Do the math—if the average return for an S&P fund is 7% to 10%, but you’re parking your cash here instead of paying down your 26% interest credit card, you are losing money! Stop it right now! You’re going to satisfy your financial goals way faster if you’re not saddled with a ton of debt.

Invest, invest, invest. The best place for your money is not under your bed. Make it work for you! I can’t say it enough, and I’ll get more into this in a minute, but buy real estate! Of course, make sure you have some liquidity to cover your expenses if you hit a lean cycle. (No one’s mad at a high-interest savings account in case of emergency.) What’s equally important is to invest in yourself. Continue your education, make the leap from agent to broker, do what you need to do to give yourself the edge in a competitive, ever-changing marketplace.

Will you have some money leftover after all of the above? That’s our hope. Is it okay to buy yourself something pretty with it? Absolutely. No one’s telling you not to enjoy your money—just enjoy responsibly.

I learned this the hard way.

BTW, if you’re not an agent and you’re just real estate-curious, here’s my very best financial advice for parents.


How buying your kid a house will pay for their college! #GlenndaBaker #RealEstate #AtlantaRealEstate #CollegeEducation #RealEstateInvestin… See more


Spend Wisely

As important as it is to reinvest your commission in your business and yourself, some investments aren’t financial, but they are invaluable.


Is where you’re spending your effort and energy an investment or an expense? #GlenndaBaker #RealEstate #AtlantaRealEstate #Time #RealEstateTiktok


My Name is Glennda Baker… and I Am Your Cautionary Tale

The hope is that y’all are making great money selling real estate. Any good real estate agent is making a lot of money. However, as a real estate agent, you know damn well that your income stops when you stop working.

That is a scary place to be.

You’re thinking to yourself, “If I don't sell another house, how much longer am I going to be able to survive?” Because we only get paid when we sell houses! That’s why I would encourage everyone in real estate to look for some other avenues to make money.

Let’s be real, not everybody’s gonna explode on TikTok and create a whole new revenue stream there, so my favorite thing is to buy real estate. When you buy real estate, you will have it for the rest of your life, whether it’s a rental property, investment property, short term rental, vacation rental, etc. and that will literally give you an income for the rest of your life.

Now, the safest, most conservative way to build wealth by investing in real estate is for you to buy and fix up over time. Live two years with this investment as your primary residence and it will likely have appreciated in value. Hopefully, you did some improvements while you were there and you sold it and you cashed out the equity and you got the maximum amount of profit that you didn't have to pay capital gains on.

The best part is, you can do that every two years if you're single. You can have a gain of up to $250,000 without tax implications (and if you're married you can have a gain up to $500,000). Now that is a nice nontaxable gain on a secured investment that you lived in and if you repeat this every two years… cha-ching!

How do I know how to do it right? Because I did it all wrong at first and I want you to learn from my advice!

Once upon a time, I sold a big-ass house. It was my first big-ass house sale, back in 1995 and I did not know what to do with that $137,000 windfall. If you don’t have someone who knows what they’re doing standing over your shoulder, it’s awfully easy to make the wrong choice.

In 1995, I was a single mother, and I had been living hand-to-mouth for what felt like an eternity. I had the beater car and the boring mom wardrobe and when I got that cash in my hot little hand, I could not spend it fast enough. When you don’t have money for so long, there’s an inclination to spend it up as quick as possible, because you feel like you’ll never get the chance again.

I did not have that Glennda Baker good angel over my shoulder, telling me to invest in real estate instead of splurging on something shiny. No, ma’am.

Did I invest in real estate?

I did not.

I went and bought a brand-new Mercedes. Full disclosure: I loved it and I looked damn good in it. While a new car would have been a decent investment because I spent so much time in it, I went way overboard, purchasing instead of leasing. I was a real estate agent with the skill to earn a big-ass commission check, so you’d have thought I’d know to put that money into buying a townhouse on Lennox Road. (It was right in the middle of foreclosure season.) Instead of getting that townhouse, I went shopping.

A whole lot.

I could have bought that townhouse for $100,000 back then. In 1995, that townhouse was $100,000. Today, the same townhouse is going for $1,000,000, and that Mercedes is worth zero and those clothes don't fit.

Learn from my cautionary tale.

GLENNDAISM (see above) Praise the lord and pass the money.


It is so much more difficult to be fake than to be real.”

Glennda Baker