I’ve had this nagging feeling in my spirit that I was blowing far too much money this month, just simply by not calculating what’s going out and what’s coming in. I knew I needed to cut back on some things, but it wasn’t until today that I realized what those things were.
The challenge for those of us that make money daily is the fact that we tend to spend money daily as well. Although I’m not your typical girl that loves shoes, fashion and high end labels, my splurges tend to be on the geek stuff like electronics, software and internet marketing tools.
Yes, I admit, I’m a sucker for a good offer, and I do spend a lot of money on stuff online… which I don’t regret.
However, I do want to be smarter in what I’m investing in to make sure that I’m getting proper use out of it, and that it all falls in line with my big picture goals.
I also want to get in the habit of living a minimal life, and saving a great chunk of my income just in case things take a turn professionally, and I need to tap into some “emergency funds”….
My 7 Big Money Goals:
As of now, there are 7 things lingering over my head that I really want to work towards financially… They are:
- Pay off my Student Loans
- Pay off Hubby’s Student Loans
- Buy a house cash… or with a huge chunk of money stashed
- Increase our Emergency Fund to 6-12 months of living expenses
- Open a SEP IRA and max them out annually
- Start kids 529 College Plan
- Clear an IRS Issue that evolved from a bootleg Accountant… (I’ll get into more details of this on another post)
I’ve calculated our Student Loans and believe we can get these paid off in less than 2 years. And if we really cut back, we can do it in 12-18 months. Currently, here are our balances with our Student Loans:
- Nicoles’ Student Loans: $32,408.89
- Hubbys’ Student Loans: $35,120.06
Total, this equals $67,528.95. I calculated how much we’d need to pay monthly (not including monthly interest), and we would have to send the following payments to knock them down in 1-2 years:
- 12 month payoff = $5627.41 per month
- 24 month payoff = $2813.70
Obviously, this would increase with interest accruing, but it gives me a good estimate of what we need to focus on putting towards the student loans monthly as we plan to knock them out….
Why rush to pay them off….
I used to have the mentality that “everyone has student loans so pay the minimum”, but the truth is, this is interest that I’m paying as well as a debt lingering over our head that is eating into our monthly income.
At this point in my life, I’m ready to buy a home, settle down and live below our means, while generating a great income that affords us the opportunity to travel and have the freedoms to do what we want, when we want, how we want.
Instead of pouring money into debt, I’d rather pour it into my bank account… so at this point, debt is bondage, and I want to be free!
Buy A House Cash
There’s tons of different opinions on this, but at this point, I’m committed to keeping my debt to a minimum. If I don’t buy my house cash, I’ll at least put a big chunk of change down so the payments can be reasonably low.
One thing that I work so hard for is the ability to travel and see the world. And I realize that there will come a time where I don’t want to work as much or do as much to earn an income. When that day comes, and with us having a pretty great Net Worth with the ability to live off of various investments, I know it would be beneficial to not have a lot of overhead, so we can travel and experience life.
FYI, I’m not talking traveling in my 60’s and 70’s… I’m actually ready to live my retirement life while I’m young, healthy and vibrant, so the smarter I get now, the better I can live in the very near future, and paying cash for my home will be a great way to afford to do the other things I want to do…
Increase our Emergency Fund
It is recommended that you have at least 3-6 months worth of emergency funds to hold you in case something drastic happens in your career or in your life. We’ve been on and off about this, but I’m now ready to make this a priority.
I realize that by cutting back on so many frivolous expenses, this will allow us to put more money into paying off debt, so we can free up more cash to invest in our reserve account as well as other investments… so I’m pretty psyched about getting this account up to a decent amount….
Open up a SEP IRA
I currently have a Roth IRA which allows you to invest I believe up to $5,000 annually. However, a SEP IRA is for entrepreneurs and business owners and allow you to invest up to $50,000 per year. They are generally 100% tax deductible and investment earnings usually grow tax deferred.
Another thing that I “heard” about SEP IRAs is that for business owners, with us paying taxes quarterly, we have an option to put our money for our taxes into our SEP to accrue interest, until payment is due, without any penalties. I’m not sure If this is 100% true or not, but will definitely find out from my CPA as we proceed in that direction.
I not only want to start a 529 plan for them, but I also want to begin an investment account for the kids as well. I realize that as a parent, you can’t control life’s circumstances, and you must plan for the future of your kids.
In case anything happens to me, I want to make sure my kids don’t suffer if our income goes from a 2 income household, to a 1 income household. So investing now is the smarter way to protect them, in addition to my already having life insurance and other investments that they would inherit.
Clear IRS Debt…
This topic still frustrates me, but I’ll share the in depth story on another blog post. Just know that you NEVER want to deal with anything other than a CPA as a business owner, because it requires an expert to protect you when it come sto your finances and the IRS!
November Income Report (first half of the month)
As of today, I’ve calculated my current earnigns and expenses for the month so I can take a turn in those areas that may be doing more harm than good, which is why I’m sharing this so early on.
I do not plan on doing a bi-weekly report, but for now, as we get started, I’ll go ahead and share where I’m at so far, based on what I calculated this past weekend with my earnigns and expenses.
Income From 11/1/12 – 11/11/12
As of today, I went through and calculated my earnings. I will say that there’s other income that is still being processed through my merchant account, but I only accounted for exactly what I have my hands on at this very moment.
I currently have 4 main sources of income at this time. Here’s where I’m currently at with the different income streams:
- Empower Network: $4191.40
- MLM PLR Store: $2209.40
- Affiliate Programs: $415
- Previous MLM Company Income
Total Income So Far This Month: $6815.80
These numbers are actually not a reflection of current earnings, as my Empower Network income has a delay of about 2 weeks, so the current earnings above reflect a check from 2 weeks ago.
However, this gives you a pretty good handle on average, the kind of income I typically generate from home.
Now the number above is okay, but it’s not up to par with my daily goals of $1,000 Per Day, which I’m working towards right now. So I’ll be sharing with you my one page business plan, that maps out the specifics of how I turn my income goals into an Income Producing Activity Plan that makes me focus on the specifics of what I must do to accomplish that income goal, so stay tuned for that.
Monthly Expenses so far
This actually makes me a bit uptight, but here it goes….
Marketing $454.95 – this covers all expenses paid towards marketing strategies
- Tools $756.13 – a great deal of income is spent on multiple tools that I use to keep my business going. Below I listed a few of them, but this goes to show that as a business owner, you have overhead, although you work from home, so when people fuss at me about paying a measly $25 as overhead for their business expenses, based on my overhead, you can see why I don’t take them as serious people who want to run a successful business, because this is just a sneak peek at what I spend to run my business.
- Meeting Burner $99.95
- Purchased Back Up Buddy Plugin $120
- Contact Me $4.95
- Amazon Hosting $18.80
- Hootsuite $5.99
- Paypal Fees $19.99
- Dropbox $19.99
- Premium Web Cart $149
- Ez Texting SMS $94
- Send Out Cards $126
- Post Planner $14.95
- Hubze $27
- Affiliate Commissions $438.59 – these are the commisisons paid out to MLM Plr Store Affiliates
- Outsourcing $669.88 – what I pay my team for their support
- Bank Fees $60.37 – fees from merchant accounts
- Merchant Fees $381.13 – fees from my authorize.net merchant account
- Autoship $149.49 – fee to run autoship in my previous mlm required, to ensure I get paid.
As you can see, I’ve earned
- Income: $6815.80
- Expenses: $3059.42
- Earnings: $3756.38
As you can see, this is what I’ve earned so far, and we’re just 1/3rd of the month in. Obviously, the overhead dipped into the earnings quite a bit which is my focus for cutting back on certain areas.
I actually lay out my income in a way that the minute I get paid, the income is immediately divided into percentages, which allow me to separate it based on specific business needs.
It’s kind of like adopting the envelope methods that you may have heard of before when it comes to budgeting, but instead, I use it for my business.
So I break my business expenses up into the following layout:
|Bank / Merchant Fees||4%|
I have an excel document that will already calculate the amount, based on the income, which makes it very easy to separate the earnings into various categories, and know exactly what I have available for spending.
I will not say that I’m an expert at this topic at all. As a matter of fact, I read books from a ton of experts, bought programs, software and tons of things to help me budget properly, but this turned out to be the system that worked best for me.
Areas where I want to improve:
Considering that this is the beginning of the month, most expenses come out early, which leaves out the calculation of income that will be earned throughout the duration of the month.
- Tools – I’m spending way too much money on tools, so I need to do an inventory to see what’s necessary and what isn’t to downsize the overhead in this category
- Outsourcing – I’m adding additional staff for support, but their at a much lower rate, and the objective is to get them doing income producing activities like marketing which will hopefully increase more traffic and exposure, allowing me to create more income.
- Marketing – the goal is to invest around 20% into marketing to keep business coming in, so I have a bit of a budget available to go out and marketing more, which will be my focus this week. I’m pretty excited about that cause I’m just getting to learn more about paid marketing strategies so this will be fun!
Over the next couple of weeks and months, we will go into more detail about my business plan and additional strategies I use to generate income, and business, and it will help you out a great deal as we prepare for a new year in a few months.
So stay tuned, spread the word, comment below and I’ll see you on the next blog post;)
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