Complacency is a hard habit to beat

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. 

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Dreaming and Strategizing

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?

Fighting Poverty and Depression

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.