Where the Wind Blows

I have officially told my roommate that I’m leaving at the end of the month in September. I’m not sure if it’s the best decision, but I know that I cannot afford to pay rent so I’ll be moving home. My income has been unpredictable and that’s the scary part when it comes to moving to a new city, but even as I’m typing this I am realizing that it makes so much sense to be home. I’ve been a little aggressive lately when it comes to side hustles, so I hope it all works out. Fortunately, moving back home means cutting some expenses, but my travel costs and a possible lost of access to my clients is a worry that I will face once I’ve settled in.

I wish it was so easy to save money to buy a house instead of rent, and to pay off debt. But I know that taking this step means I will be spending less and I can focus/ concentrate on my financial goals. It’s so easy to feel discouraged and nervous so blogging and typing about it actually really helps.

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Boost!

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!

Best,

-S

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. 

Memory 1

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.

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?

Barbara Corcoran

I didn’t think I could admire Barbara Corcoran more, until I finished listening to a podcast that interviewed her recently. It’s “How I Built This – Barbara Corcoran.” Things that I hope to remember the rest of my life:

1.Know how much time you have left based on the amount of $$$ in your bank account.

Hearing Barbara budget her cost of business based on the salaries of her employees really resonated with me. This is something that I vaguely practice. I know what I have and whether or not I have enough money in my bank to survive another month etc… But something about the way I’m doing it, doesn’t push me enough, while something about how she does it makes me want to do it her way. I’m not sure what the difference is, maybe it’s my personal finance versus her business. It’s probably more of a push for her since she’s got her employees depending on her, while I only have to take care of myself. Because of this knowledge though, as I dive into “self-employment” I think I’m going to look at things this way too. How much time will each of my accounts payable buy my business?

2. Recruit based on potential and then empower your employees.

In the beginning her staff, are people she’s interacted with that she thought had the potential to be a real estate agent. It’s baristas, waitresses, flight attendants that she connected with and empowered to work for her. This is something I want to do. I want to recruit based on people, instead of resume. I think I will need to, in the future if what I’m trying to do is develop an economy where most people didn’t really go to school. I do believe training is a responsibility that good employers take on.

3. After a certain amount, numbers and values don’t seem to mean much.

She put her company in the market expecting 1 Million ish, she got a call from a broker saying somebody made an offer for $23 Million. She rebutted with, “don’t call me back until you get a $66 Million offer” simply because it’s her lucky number. My take away for this is that, after a certain point the value of something is really what you think it’s worth to you. Don’t be scared to negotiate.

Barbara is somebody that I’ve always looked up to, and it was really more because she’s kind but fierce in shark tank. But after listening to her podcast, I respect her so much more because her successes are truly because of her street smart, and her go-getter attitude which is something I always thought I had.

 

Retrospect – Week 1

I think I’ve had this blog for a week! And even with the small change of talking about my finances and lifestyle, already makes me feel like I’m starting to claw my way out of the ground. As I’m thinking about my situation, I have such a long list of goals, plans, ideas, budgets, strategies. But to be completely honest, I don’t think I can fulfill all of them if I tackle each of them at once. Remember how I said I’m going to focus?

So instead of changing my lifestyle drastically in order to keep a budget, I’m going to start with 1 small change each week.

Next week, 3 habits I’m going to build would be:

  1. Save on Mondays
  2. Spend on Fridays
  3. Track Expenses

I think these habits would lead up to being a prioritizing saving over other expenses. Keeping and maintaining a budget, and also knowing where my money goes. It’s steps I need to take to better strategize in the upcoming weeks.

Wish me luck! and keep me accountable guys!
-S

On Self-Employment

I mentioned that I got laid-off/quit because my previous employer never paid me on time right?

That event is big… because I’m in debt and will turn 30 this year. But It’s great because it makes me feel so uncomfortable, I’m pushing myself to the edges. With that said, here’s some quick rants on what I’ve learned so far as I try to be self-employed.

Read your Contracts!
– So many companies use templates from the web, that they fail to change basic info such as location, names etc. This is of course a no-go.
– Negotiate the terms. I’ve been talking to a prospective client for over a month, it seems like it’s going somewhere, but I’ve never in detail told them basics of getting paid. In order to compromise. I’ve accepted the NET-30 payment terms they suggested, but reiterated that I need a deposit before I even start anything.

Big Lesson of the Day:
During the ‘dating phase’ of getting consulting work, make sure to be very clear about your payment terms. Put this in your project proposal! So that when it comes down to signing contracts, there will be less amendments.

Focus

I listened to a great PodCast today: TED Radio Hour – Endure. I didn’t finish it because I got too excited after the first one, which is actually a funny story. Anyways, the first speaker holds the record for completing the trek of hiking from the coasts of Antarctica all the way to the South Pole. What I learned? They were so focused on this task. So much so that when they reached the South Pole, instead of going inside the camp that was there, they just took photos and hiked out right away. See the irony? I learned that focusing is good, and yet I didn’t focus to finish the podcast, instead I’m writing about it immediately… hah

This talk actually really shed some light to my work habits. I’ve always thought that routine creates success and incremental changes leads to big changes once you factor in the time. I know that is true. But I think what I’m lacking in my plan and strategy, is that I’m making incremental changes and building my routine for 600 different goals. Today, I’m restrategizing and will implement focus on those goals.

Instead of taking 15 minutes a day to watch 4 different tutorials for different skills I want to learn (software, coding, foreign languages, business management) it might be more wise to take 1 hour every day to focus on one of those tasks. Similarly, instead of dividing up my day to work on freelancing projects and personal projects, it might be wiser to focus on one project for uninterrupted amount of time each day.

And finally for finance, I should focus on feeling safe. To me that means, having $3000 in my savings account as an Emergency Fund. Having contract jobs lined up for the next 3 months, valued at (10,000). I think I can focus on that, and I think it’s doable to achieve that before the end of the year. Once that’s taken care of, I can start planning how to attack my debt.