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. 

Savings Plan

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.

Plan:

  1. Pay off $500 debt to cousin.
  2. Have my Phone Bill current and no longer on ‘payment plan’
  3. Have my Power Bill current and no longer on ‘payment plan’
  4. Increase Savings Rate to 15% of income.
  5. Pay off Parking Ticket
  6. Pay off Ticket from a long time ago on [Collection]
  7. Pay off Credit One Card
  8. Pay off Capital One Card
  9. 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.

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

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.