Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Spending Plan

This week I took two checks to the bank and felt like doing a little bit of shopping. I went to a pastry shop to pick up some French Macaroons. They were $1.95 each and I bought $23 dollars worth. Then I went to Cost Plus World Market and purchased Torani and some sugary carbonated beverages for the kids.  I looked at some cloth napkins and tableware and remembered my financial goals and put those items down.

These little $20 purchases add up. I want the stuff, but I don't need it. I need to use what I have and not purchase things that are easily affordable, because the more little things I buy, the less I have to purchase the big things I really want. Big things like a house or maybe even the ability to build a house.

When I look at houses online and see that a decent (3-4 bedrooms in a neighborhood where gun battles are not the norm) homes are a million+,  I feel like I should just decorate our house and be satisfied. I have to keep speaking positively to myself and knowing our goal is achievable if we focus on our goals.

Last week I did a 2016 spending plan and reviewed utility bills, etc. Upon initial review of the completed document, I became discouraged because our living expenses are a huge chunk of our earnings.  I asked Mr. A to contact cable/internet to see if we could get a reduction in price on those bills.  I decided to limit my water usage to night when the rates are lower.  Those seemingly little things that add up to a lot.

The next day I looked at our spending plan again and realized this month we'll be able to save nearly 50% of our earnings. That sounds great, but our earnings are not consistent each month, but based on what we've earned (though yet unpaid) in recent months, we should be able to save 50% or more for the next few months.

Our expenses are still too high for my liking but we don't have many options we're willing to do. We're not currently willing to move to a low cost of living area.  We don't want to live in a cookie cutter neighborhood or house, and it costs more to have a craftsman home.  We want to live in the city and close to things. It's hard enough driving 10 miles to our various activities and traffic in the Bay Area has gotten so horrific that living close in helps quality of life.

One day I'll put some budgets up here.  I've read other blogs and people get offended when people with seemingly high incomes post about financial struggles. I figure if I spend some time posting about how expensive it is, people will feel my struggle when I post budget stuff.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Goals

This year I've decided to clear $200,000.  This is going to require that I remain organized and focused. I will likely have to spend the year, working at least 5 days a week and not procrastinating.

We need a 4 bedroom house and that is going to cost.  My goal is to get organized enough this year to earn $200k and increase the next year.  Taxes trap us in the middle.  At a certain income, we're losing money but working more.  I think $200k is an amount that has high taxes, more work but allows us to afford to pay for the stuff more money will require us to spend.

My first order of business is to organize. My assistant is returning to help me organize.

I am committing myself to putting dates and events on my calendar and working a minimum of 3 hours per day.  The main reason my income is limited is because I work  2-3 days a week.  I'm going to change that.

I've made a chart with my money goals. The chart indicates that we've earned $33k for January. That money was earned in Nov and December but will be paid in January and will go on our 2016 taxes so I'm including it in January earnings.  I won 4-5 hearings in 2015, each one should be a minimum of $20k. One hearing was 2 days another was 10 days and the others were in between those number of days. Getting to my goal amount is doable.  I'm excited to see what can be accomplished with focus, organization and daily work.

I mainly want us to get a huge chunk of money and fund a house with views, that has enough bedrooms, living space, yard space, office space and then we can go back to working like we like living life more than work.  We're even willing to get a fixer upper.