When you’re a working Millennial, your weekends are extra valuable: Everybody’s working for the weekend. When I was the age of today’s Millennial I worked at Fidelity Investments and lived in Watertown, MA. Rent was a big chunk of my paycheck but that’s what it cost to be so close to Boston. I wasn’t saving much money.

Then there was a change. My department was moved out to Marlborough, MA—40 minutes west of Boston.

For a while I did the reverse commute from Boston to Marlborough.

But that got old fast.

I wanted to live where I worked and I was also tired of paying someone else rent.

I started looking into multi-families in the area and found one where the numbers worked. But I didn’t have enough for the down payment. I explained to my dad what I wanted to do and that I needed some help with the down payment. I bought the three-family in Marlborough, paid back my dad within six months, and lived rent free and then some for the next few years.

I sold the house before Becky and I got married and used the profit for a down payment on our first home in Newport, RI.

If you’re a Millennial this doesn’t have to be how you do it.

But if you want to start living for a future where you pay yourself—start thinking creatively. I don’t want you buying some spec house you hope to sell at a profit. That’s a suckers game. It’s not investing.

You may not have to come up with all of the cash at closing. I borrowed from my dad. But you might be able to borrow from a motivated seller. It’s just a matter of getting the dialogue going.

Do what you have to do here. I’m not fooling around. I want you to figure out a way to pay yourself, not a landlord. It is the key to your eventual success that I’m almost positive will be yours. Pay yourself. You have time on your side. And time is a most valuable asset—something  many others wish they had, but don’t.