Saturday, January 6, 2018

I'm Debt Free - It Feels Weird - But It's Great

The only remaining pic I have of the motorcycles
 
Don't just want more, and damn sure don't just want what the neighbors have.  YOU HAVE TO WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  Don't be normal.  Like Dave Ramsey says ad nauseam, "Normal Is Broke".  You gotta change your mind about what's important in your life.  Most people live above their means through consumer credit, retirement account loans, and even lines of credit on the equity in their homes, but you don't have to be like most people all your life.  If you want to be different and you don't want to follow the normal crowd, go ahead and make a plan to get yourself away from all the things you can't afford - all the things that keep you broke.  It's not easy and it takes time, energy, focus, and most important, change.

This is how I did it and when I really changed my mind about what was really important to me.  I had most of what the normal folks had.  I had a new truck (I was broke though).  I had two new motorcycles (I was broke though).  I had tons of new shit purchased with my credit card (I was broke though).  Now my debt was not really that much, but on a single income and raising kids, it was more than I needed and my monthly payments were kicking my ass.  With this past round of debt, I didn't have any student loans or a mortgage, but I've had plenty of both in the past.

In March of 2016, I "only" had $43,500 in debt.  I had things, BUT, I had absolutely nothing to my name, except about $3k in a 401k, and a couple bucks in my checking account.  I made decent money, but had nothing to feel good about.  Sure, I could buy groceries and we had heat and A/C in a nice comfortable house, and our lifestyle was full of activities, but I've always had a not so good feeling about my money/savings situation.  I no longer felt the need to have things, and quite frankly I've always been pretty minimalistic, but I did have those things and they were keeping me down, in a place I chose not to remain.

The proverbial straw was that second motorcycle.  I can't really explain that feeling I had at the dealership with the ease of the transaction.  The ease with which they gave me more just because I had this great income and great credit score.  I felt gross, like I was bragging about my income and my credit worthiness.  I was like "sure, run my credit and see how the numbers look".  And the salesman was like "dang dude, you're shit came back clean and you could have this new bike for these low payments, and we'll throw in a new helmet and some free service for a couple hundred mile", and I was like "shit yeah, let's do this".  UNTIL THAT NIGHT, when I got home and had time for the excitement and adrenaline to wear off and I was like "Brian, you're a fucking idiot" and "Brian, that salesman totally amped you up and sold you".  That's the gross feeling I had.  Being SOLD.  That was his job and he was pretty good at it since I now had TWO fucking motorcycles.  I felt weak like I couldn't say no.  I felt like I needed adult supervision.  And, what happened from that experience combined with the overwhelming payments I was already making, is I changed my mind.  I needed that experience to change my mind.  I needed that overabundance of things to change my mind.  So that's what I did.  I changed my mind.  I came up with a plan to get rid of all the things I didn't need.  I sold the first motorcycle.  I sold the truck.  I paid off the credit card.  I paid down on the second motorcycle until I had it low enough and had a little cash to make up the difference in its' value and finally sold it.

There's been a few bumps in the road, and it took longer than I thought it would, but I kept with it.  I followed my plan.  And with the mindset change, I made new plans.  I budget differently.  I allocate money for savings and investing.  I have savings!!!  I have an investment account!!!  I put money into a retirement account!!!  I HAVE A POSITIVE NET WORTH!!!  It's crazy.  I feel great.  I love it.

Friday, January 5, 2018

December Dividend Income - $6.09

Ah, December.  It's cold.  It snowed.  I live at the beach - we (as a city) don't like snow.  We don't do snow. We're not prepared.  We don't have the equipment to handle snow.  Pretty much EVERYTHING is closed.  I've been on forced "Liberal" Leave yesterday and today since nobody wants to drive in to unlock the building.  I can put in a few hours from home over VPN, but I cannot put in a full days work over VPN because the majority of my work is 3D CAD, and doing anything in 3D over a VPN is downright frustrating.  So, I keep up on email and other project related housekeeping for a few hours and use my leave for the remainder of the day.  This leaves me time to finally catch up on some posts and enjoy the heat from my woodstove.

December Dividend Income

December was a pretty good month for dividend income, but only because I'm "heavily" (compared to the quantity of my other positions) invested in Ford.  Ford (F) brought in $5.45 and Realty Income Corp (O) brought in another $0.64 for a total of %6.09 for the month.  Ford Dividend Income almost bought a half share through DRIP - Dividend Re-Investment Program, and it came in on a payday where I normally transfer money to my TD Ameritrade account for my next purchase.  With that timing, I let it sway my purchase decision and purchased more (F)!!!  It'll be cool when I have enough shares that each drip purchases a whole share.

How was your December Dividend Income?

Net Worth Update - DEC 2017 - $15,757

Below is my December Net Worth Update.  December was a simple month and not much changed, except paying for the medical debt I added to my credit card in November.  I've been following my spending plan and looking for ways to spend wiser.  I hoped to pay off all my debt by the end of December, but Christmas purchases had other thoughts. 

Month:
Nov
Dec
ASSETS


Checking Account
$500
$500
Savings Account 1
$1,000
$1,000
Savings Account 2
$400
$600
TD Ameritrade Account
$1,164
$1,434
Simple IRA
$4,682
$5,116
Land Cruiser
$3,000
$3,000
BMW
$3,000
$3,000
GMC Pickup
$1,500
$1,500
Total Assets
$14,161
$16,150
LIABILITIES


Bank Visa
$1,287
$393
Total Liabilities
$1.287
$393
Net Worth
$13,959
$15,757
Change

$1,798

Checking Account:  This account, for the most part will remain around $500, after everything hits.

Savings Account 1:  This account will remain at $1000

Savings Account 2:  +$200 – Same as November

TD Ameritrade Account:  +$270 – I added to it and realized some growth

Simple IRA:  +$434 – Payroll additions plus Company Match plus growth

Cars:  These values pretty much remain the same (KBB and Craigslist).  They have all but stopped depreciating.  These suckas be old.

Bank Visa:  -$894 – I've been paying this as quick as I can in hopes of having it gone by the close of 2017, but I didn't make it.
 
Overall – I reduced my debt by roughly $894 and added $904 to my assets for a positive change of $1798.  I'm happy with this, and excited for the upcoming changes this month when I bump my savings rate significantly.

How was you December?  How do you think I'm doing?  Do you see, or can you recommend some areas I should concentrate on to see better growth?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

STOOPID, WEAK ASS GOALS - 2017 Goals review




LOL – I set some weak-ass goals when I set them up in October of 2017.  Granted, these were the first goals I have ever posted publicly, and likely the first goals I have ever set for myself.  But, what I did was set some of them so they were easy to hit.  What I have since learned about goal setting is that you should set them to a target that is right at the edge of hard to hit.  You shouldn’t set them so you’ll never hit them, and you shouldn’t set them so you always hit them or they’re easy to hit.  You want them right at the point where they exceed easy, but not so far away that you never even get close.  If they’re too easy, you don’t strive for better.  If they’re too hard, you  lose the motivation to attempt them or stick to them.

These were my end of year goals (starting mid-October):
  1. Increase my Savings Rate by a minimum of .1% per month.
  2. Increase my Emergency Fund by $1125
  3. Increase my TD Ameritrade contributions by $1125
  4. Pay off my personal loan ($1186 remaining)
  5. Finish at least 1 book per month
  6. Write at least 3 blog posts per month
  7. Add these goals to my Goals tab
#1:  WEAK AF – come on now, surely someone read that and laughed there asses off.  Next time, chime in – tell me that’s some weak-ass shit.  Of course I hit it without even trying.

#2 and #3:  These were actually lofty, but not too lofty.  I had 6 paychecks left for 2017 and I have a budget line for each of these at $100 per paycheck, so $600 towards each goal.  I came up with the goal of $1125 per by having an extra paycheck in December.  I only budget on 24 paychecks of my 26 paycheck cycle, so there’s an extra paycheck around summer vacation time, and an extra paycheck at Christmas.  Originally, I planned to use my Christmas paycheck to go to #2 and #3, but I am using it instead to pay off my Visa balance to be debt-free at the start of 2018.

#4 – Great goal and I achieved it mid-November.

#5 – Another great goal, but I FAILED miserably on this.  I am a reader, but when I got on the Verizon site to upgrade my internet speed, I was mesmerized that I could not only increase my speed, but I could add cable TV, something I hadn’t used in about 20 years, for less than what I was already paying for my slow internet.  It was the beginning of Hockey season, and I figured why not?  Well,  I haven’t watched much Hockey, but I sure am caught up on Velocity and HGTV.

#6 – Kinda Weak – I like to write, so this one was easy.

#7 – WEAK AF – I did it right after writing the goals out!!!

Conclusion:


Though my goals for (the end of) 2017 were pretty weak, I am still happy to have them, happy to achieve some, and happy to learn more about the types of goals I can set for myself and do my best to make them happen.  I plan on making some great 2018 Goals!!!

Thoughts:


How did you do on your 2017 goals and are you planning on some drastic changes in 2018???

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

SHIIT(ake mushrooms) - My Savings Rate Increased and I Didn’t Know





My daughter, who is away at college in Pennsylvania, FaceTime’s me just about every day when she’s either driving to or from school, or to or from work.  She’s not holding the phone, nor driving distracted.  She lays the phone over the tachometer area on her dash so I can see her and essentially uses FaceTimes as a speakerphone, only looking at the phone occasionally at stoplights.  Being 2 states away, seeing her makes my day.  She drives like her daddy and often expresses herself to other drivers, but lately she’s been saying shiitake mushrooms instead of some other expletive and it is pleasantly surprising.

Looking at my savings rate, that I haven’t updated since October, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I inadvertently bumped it from 12.6% to 15.6% at the end of October.  You would think maybe there’s a pay raise to report, but actually, there was a pay cut.  Prior to October, I was paying for (WICKED HIGH PREMIUMS, but cheaper than my plan at work) Health Insurance through the marketplace for my boys (my daughter was supposed to get health insurance with her employer - she ended up going a couple months without it) at $150 each per month.  My company went with a new provider at the end of October, and they were able to get new plans that had an employer plus children option where before the plan was per person.  So instead of paying $300 per month for my boys, and about $42 per month for me, I now pay roughly $350 per month for health insurance for me and all the children.  This $350 reduced my overall take home pay.  Since my savings rate is calculated on my take home pay, and I didn’t adjust my savings line or my TD Ameritrade line in my budget, I gave myself a bump in savings rate.

I like it.

I have some lofty goals for January to bump my savings rate significantly, so stay tuned and watch for my 2018 goals.

Friday, December 8, 2017

November Dividend Income - $0.64

Income - HAHA - November was Tiny



I don't feel like I even made enough dividend income in November to warrant a post, but I'mma write this shit out anyway so I have something to compare it to next November.  The only position I have right now that paid in November is (O) - Realty Income Corp.  I bought 3 shares back in the beginning of October.  Since this was my first purchase of (O), this is my first monthly dividend from them.  Their current dividend payout is $0.212 per share, so with my 3 shares, I received $0.64 from them that was immediately re-invested into (O), buying me a fraction of a share (.011) when the price was $56.7045 per share.

It's not much of a dividend because I only have 3 shares, but it's still more than zero AND, it'll keep happening every month now as long as I keep the position.  I haven't yet decided if I want to buy more yet.  I reckon I will, eventually, but I'm teeing up either more (T), (F), or (XOM) right now.

I hope y'all did way better than I did in November.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Net Worth Update – Nov 2017 – $13,959

Below is my November Net Worth Update.  November was a simple month and not much changed, except adding the medical debt on my credit card.  I've been following my spending plan and looking for ways to spend wiser.

Month:
Oct
Nov
ASSETS


Checking Account
$500
$500
Savings Account 1
$1,000
$1,000
Savings Account 2
$200
$400
TD Ameritrade Account
$1,030
$1,164
Simple IRA
$3,931
$4,682
Land Cruiser
$3,000
$3,000
BMW
$3,000
$3,000
GMC Pickup
$1,500
$1,500
Total Assets
$14,161
$15,246
LIABILITIES


Bank Visa
$775
$1,287
Total Liabilities
$775
$1,287
Net Worth
$13,386
$13,959
Change

$573

Checking Account:  This account, for the most part will remain around $500, after everything hits.

Savings Account 1:  This account will remain at $1000

Savings Account 2:  +$200 – Same as October

TD Ameritrade Account:  +$134 – I added to it and realized some growth

Simple IRA:  +$751 – Payroll additions plus Company Match plus growth

Cars:  These values pretty much remain the same (KBB and Craigslist).  They have all but stopped depreciating.  These suckas be old.

Bank Visa:  +$512 – In November, I officially recognized my medical debt and paid them with my Visa to more easily control them.  I actually paid off the $775 from October, but then added about $1700 and then paid some of it to now reflect a balance of $1287.  This is my last debt and I'm hoping to pay it off by the end of the year.
Overall – I reduced my debt by roughly $1188 and added $1085 to my assets.  Though I added some debt, I still had a little growth in November.  I'm looking forward to the numbers December will bring and hopefully my debt will be gone and I get to start out fresh in 2018.  I reckon it's time to put some goals together.

How was you November?  How do you think I'm doing?  Do you see, or can you recommend some areas I should concentrate on to see better growth?

I'm Debt Free - It Feels Weird - But It's Great

The only remaining pic I have of the motorcycles   Don't just want more, and damn sure don't just want what the neighbors have...