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. 


Checking Account
Savings Account 1
Savings Account 2
TD Ameritrade Account
Simple IRA
Land Cruiser
GMC Pickup
Total Assets

Bank Visa
Total Liabilities
Net Worth


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?

Net Worth Update – APRIL 2019 - $40,623 (+$2,234)

Net Worth Update – APRIL 2019 - $40,623 (+$2,234) Here are my April numbers. Month: March April ...