I have a series of frustrations, the big one being personal finance. You see, I’m the extreme case of keeping up with the Jones’ except in my part it was a role that I had to play from the moment I moved to the US and vice versa.
I came from a developing country where my family is comfortable. My father is an immigrant to the US and I didn’t have a relationship with him growing up. He sends money to my mother and as a dollar-earner it has afforded my brothers and I, private education in the best schools in my country along with a housemaid. But we lived in a neighborhood that is just a slight improvement to favelas. My friends in grade school never came over, and we didn’t really hang out, outside of school.
When I moved to the US, those two facts – a housemaid and private schools – left an impression to my middle school friends here that I came from money. 13 year old me who didn’t have any friends here to begin with, thought I’d play along with this narrative in order to get friends. This lie kept going partly to the fact that my father also did not know how to manage money well. He gave my brothers and I an allowance of $50 every 2 weeks. I felt rich with cash in comparison to my cousins and friends back in my native land, and to my middle-school friends. This narrative kept on going for the next 17 years. If you meet me now, you wouldn’t think I was ever poor.
But the truth is, I’ve got over $128,000 in student loans and no savings. I’ve had stock investments before, but I had to use them because I moved out of my father’s house for what I claim was a “mental health reason” but now that I think about it, it was an emotional decision. I talk big in making high-risk high-reward business ideas, but I haven’t had the money to implement any of them. And recently, I lost my job because my place of employment is struggling.
It’s taken me awhile to come to terms to this but I’m ready to attack this debt and financial issue head-on. I know it will take perseverance and a lot of discipline. I’m hoping having a personal blog to keep me accountable and transparent can steer me towards that goal during times when I’m feeling less determined.
Since I’m new to this, I’d love to hear stories and meet people that are also struggling.
I got a boost of happiness lately, I’m not sure what the source is. I think it’s doing what I love and being my own boss. I participated in a flea market sort of thing in my city this weekend, and I sold some of my crafts! The road getting there is a bit hard and difficult and I learned so much about how to work with people, but overall it was a great experience. I actually ended up almost wanting to stay in my city because of it. But I know not to be distracted by small victories as if they’re the source of my true happiness. In fact, I didn’t profit. But, what is important is that it gave me energy to keep pushing on working for myself. I want to make it so that I can have my own workshop/ studio but I probably need at least $10,000 to make that happen. I’ll need that soon too, since I’m about to give up my apartment. I’m questioning whether or not it’s the right decision but I kind of want to just decide and commit to it, so I can’t look back. I need to not have other options, so that failure can’t be one of them. I have to make it work. Fortunately, my new boost of energy has kept me so productive lately.
Here’s to hoping I can keep selling my crafts and keep finishing passion projects that will eventually lead to me actually getting paid by working for myself!
I just updated my list of things to pay-off/ do and unfortunately, I haven’t accomplished as much as I want to by now. I’m about 10 weeks away from leaving my apartment and there are still big decisions to be done before that could happen successfully. Like, where am I going? What am I doing with my life? The next month will be very unpredictable. I have a few projects that are coming to fruition, and I am hoping some of them will yield me some form of income.
I can feel getting close to failure, which in a way is good. Because, I really don’t/ cant have a back-up plan. So failure is NOT an option. One thing I know is that consistently talking about things do help. As long as I keep being active with blogging maybe I’ll be more productive.
Wish me luck! and I will try my best and give it my all.
My $500 – Budget
Pay CC1 – $200
– use this money to pay for phone bill.
Withdraw $100 in cash – live off this money.
Keep $200 in bank account.
I think I would be more effective if instead of writing on my journal at night to reflect on things that happened on my day. I want to start writing when I wake up. The idea is that, I will be more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to my day. I can write about my plans, and ideas instead of ranting about what happened during the day. I’m going to try to do this for blogging too.
How this would affect this specific blog:
- I can write about how I plan on spending my money instead of how I spent it. Of course I can write about how I spent it too, but I think that my budget will be more actively on my head if I write about it first thing.
What do you guys think? When do you write on your journal? If so why do you like writing during that time of the day?
I want to take a year simply exploring the world. I have no budget as you guys know. But if I were to go home, I think I can afford it. Even better, I might have enough to start a company. I can live off my grandparents’ farm. But I have a math problem. For sure, I can leave for 2 months but I might need to come back to my city right now for a week or two for a professional event. Should I airbnb my room out? or should I just completely get out of my lease?
June passed by so fast! And while I was able to catch up on some monthly bills. I’m behind on savings, and I still need to earn more. I know that I need to do this, but for some reason it feels comfortable right now, so I’m not trying as hard.
Any suggestions on how to form habits or how to earn more on side hustles? I’m all ears.
I used to be a server and I would earn money per day through my tips. I earned a lot, or at least enough that with the right budget I should’ve been in a better position. But I was so young, and YOLO was my life’s theme. I would invite people for parties, cover the costs and not budget it at all. For example, I remember buying $120 worth of groceries when I had $140 in my bank account. I thought it was ok because I was going to earn money on my next shift anyway.
I want to post these memories so I can remind myself of my progress – having $185 in savings and thinking ahead to say 2 weeks in advance when it comes to finances.
I have about a 3-4 month that I can keep living off my unemployment if everything goes well. I look at it as my grace period. Within that 3-4 months I need to be able to keep all my bills current. Renew my passport, and stand on my own 2 feet.
I think I will start investing money in the stock market even if it’s only a little bit at a time. I also decided to make all my credit cards current, and I think I can have 2 of them paid off before that time is out.
More importantly, I need to have my career almost set-up before that time is up. There’s so much to do! Now is not the time to be complacent.
One of my lifegoals is to built my own house. For someone that was raised as a renter, owning a house has been a dream. I’m almost 30 and I’m still dreaming about it. Fortunately, since my other home is in a developing country, the cost of owning a land there is so cheap. So I turned that dream into a plan, by setting a rough estimate on how much it would cost me to build. Fortunately, my architectural background would enable me to build it on my own. I have ID background too so I can build my own furniture. But just for shits and giggles, I wanted to what kind of money it would take to just furnish a 1 bedroom/ 1 bath house. And my shopping list in Ikea is running about $6,000 at the moment. I can buy a small plot of land for about $3000 back home. If my built cost is the same as the larger number, I should be able to build my dream for about $15,000. That’s not even a downpayment for the United States City that I live in! So it sounds doable, but of course since I plan on building it myself, it means I’ll need to take some time off from working and just building my dream.
Considering, I’m still looking for a job, it feels unattainable at the moment. But it’s good to have a plan for it. Save $15,000 for my dream cabin/ tiny home. If I add another $5000 to turn whatever furniture I build for myself into a furniture line to sell, that means I just need to save $20,000. Easy peezy?
The first number for my goal seems set. Now I just need to figure out timing. How much time do I need to finish my dream cabin?
I haven’t really set a budget, because I’m catching up on so many bills. But I know one thing for sure, is that in order for me to not be reactive, but instead proactive for my financial life, I need savings. I’ve read plenty of blogs about how to do this, and I do think that it’s something that should be designed for your lifestyle and goals.
My plan is slow and steady. For now, I’m going to deposit 10% of my weekly check to my Savings account the day after I get it. This way, Savings is the first thing I do with every check. I have a few things on collection, and few accounts that are not current to work on while I’m on this 10% plan. After I’ve paid the following things, I will up the percentage by 5% for my savings plan. And every time I’ve paid off something on collection, I will increase my savings budget by 1%. Until I have $3,000 in my Savings account. At which point, I’ll need to re-strategize my Savings goal. I think that’s a good number to have in my liquid savings minimum. After I have that amount, I’d like to re-examine what my debts are, and other savings goals and then re-strategize. It would still be important for me to keep contributing to savings in order to keep that habit, but I would like to have a more aggressive plan on saving for a real estate down payment/ retirement/ business capital/ travel/ wedding/ debt payment.
- Pay off $500 debt to cousin.
- Have my Phone Bill current and no longer on ‘payment plan’
- Have my Power Bill current and no longer on ‘payment plan’
- Increase Savings Rate to 15% of income.
- Pay off Parking Ticket
- Pay off Ticket from a long time ago on [Collection]
- Pay off Credit One Card
- Pay off Capital One Card
- Check Credit Report and Re-strategize.
Off the top of my head these are my immediate needs. After all these are paid, I need to review and restrategize, I think this will be when I start tackling my student loans.