Investing is something that both John and I are rather new to. Other than our company 401K plans, we’ve never invested any of our money. We’ve always saved and set goals, but when it comes to taking risks with our money? Nope. Not gonna happen. Recently, our mentality has completely changed. We want to take risks, we want to learn about stocks, mutual funds, REITs and dividends, we want to generate passive income streams, we want to see our money grow, we want our money to start making us money. We want to start investing. In other words, we want to be rich 🙂
So I’ve been thinking about this post all day and, sadly, I think it’s much easier to write a post on finances than it is to think of 7 random things about myself! I feel like I’m a pretty “vanilla” person haha, but here goes! And thanks to Michelle at Making Sense of Cents for the nomination!
I mentioned before that I was wanting to read Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door. Well, today I took my girls to the bookstore so they could play and I could do some reading. Sure enough, they had this book and I couldn’t wait to dive in! While I only got to read a few chapters, I did come across one very interesting formula on calculating how much net worth you should have…
I would say one of the biggest challenges my husband and I used to have was keeping our financial goals. We were GREAT at setting them, but not so great at keeping them or even remembering what they were. Setting goals is important in life, but if you don’t keep them, there’s really no point in even setting them.
Now, we’re pretty good at keeping all of our goals. Wanna know our secret?
If I’m being completely honest, I don’t really follow a budget. Now, that’s not to say I don’t know where my money goes, don’t save and spend frivolously. In fact, I do the opposite of all of those things. But an actual budget? I’ve just never really taken the time to create it and follow it. It seems too time-consuming and stressful, and I personally like my method of managing money. It’s allowed us to save, move across the country, invest and work for ourselves. Not to say not having a budget is for everyone, but here’s why I don’t follow one and what exactly I do instead.
I love reading people’s “A day in my life” posts, so figured I would do one myself 🙂 To recap, I’m a work-from-home mom of two little girls, ages 2 1/2 and 1. Life is BUSY now, but we make it work and I’m happy to be able to bring in an income from my home. Everyone has their own schedule and own way of doing things…this is mine.
Is it just me or does it seem like EVERY month something “unexpected” happens? Seriously. Just a little recap…but in July our air conditioner went out (in AZ), two weeks later we had a massive swarm of bees outside our front door ($160), in August we moved across the country, in September we bought my husband a work truck, tools for his business, insurance/licensing for his business and general house stuff to get set up in NC, and now this month we had both our cars in the shop (husband’s new truck dies multiple times in one trip // our family SUV needed a new tire). November will be Thanksgiving, time off work for my husband and the start of Christmas shopping! I’m sure something “unexpected” will happen then, too.
So how do you plan for the unexpected expenses?!?!
I picked up Get Rich Click at the library a few weeks ago. It sat on my desk until this morning when I picked it up. I could not stop reading this book and in fact just finished it this evening. I’ll be honest – I’m not really a book reader. I prefer to find information online, haha (don’t we all?).
Anyways, Get Rich Click is written by Marc Ostrofsky and is described as “the ultimate guide to making money online”. I originally checked it out because I thought it would pertain to blogging. While I’m not looking to make any money off this blog right now, I do have high hopes for it in the future. My goal is to fill my head with as much information on monetizing my blog before I begin to actually make money on it. Right now, I want to focus on producing quality content. With 2 little ones and a freelancing career, I expect this to take me at least 6 months.
Ok…got off on a tangent. The book doesn’t really talk about how to make money from blogging specifically, but it more discusses the various ways you can make money online (and WOW – there are SO MANY). For example, you can sell some else’s product for a small fee, generate leads to websites and get paid for each lead, purchase domain names (also known as “internet real estate”), sell products as a third-party vendor (this allows you to not carry inventory) and more. If you’re selling a product yourself, the book also says it’s wise to purchase a few different domain names that all link back to your parent product. This is a way to drive in more sales. For example, Barnes and Noble owns Books.com. Purchasing from Books.com means Barnes and Noble gets credit for the sale. You with me?
So, I highly recommend this book. If you’re looking to make an income online, grow your blog (it does mention 16 great ways to gain traffic to your website of blog) or just learn more about the never-ending income opportunities provided online, look no further. Though Get Rich Click was written in 2011, I personally found the information extremely valuable!!
Have you read any good books lately? I’m also starting an eBook on growing your blog! Stay tuned for a review on that!
Ahh, the great debate – Is it better to save as much money as possible and live an extremely frugal life OR seek out side jobs to make more money?
Natalie Bacon over at The Finance Girl discussed this in depth a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share where I stood on this issue.
Based on the title of this post, I’m sure you can guess that I’m more about earning and than saving every penny. I wasn’t always this way, though. In fact, it was just in the last few months that I decided I really wanted to focus on earning more instead of save, save, save. Don’t get me wrong – saving money is good. But, what you save is somewhat (read: very) dependent on what you make.
Ways that I save include couponing (I’m new at this, but will be sharing tips and tricks as I go), purchasing necessary items off of Craigslist (tools for my husband’s job, used vehicles, etc), not paying interest (paying credit cards off EVERY month), buying generic items at the grocery store, buying items on sale only, shopping at Costco and more. I will say, though, that the main way I save is by simply not buying stuff I don’t need. Yesterday at the mall I was browsing through Bath & Body Works, and while I would love to own every single delicious smelling candle, I didn’t buy anything. I was there to walk around with the girls and let them play – not to shop. I try to avoid impulse buying and would say I succeed 90% of the time.
Now, I’m looking to earn more money. I work from home, so my options really are endless as I’m discovering. Of course, there’s only so much I can do in any given day as my two girls are my main priority 🙂 I am excited to explore more income-earning avenues as time goes on, though. My husband is also working for himself, which means the more he works, the more he’s able to make. Once we buy a house, him and I have a few ideas for side businesses that we want to start. We need space for those projects, so unfortunately we can’t start those businesses while living in our apartment.
While both earning more and saving more are absolutely necessary to financial independence, you can’t make millions quickly simply by saving (assuming you make an average salary). You need to bring in more money that way you can save more money. You need to invest your money, develop passive streams of income, possibly own and rent out real estate, minimize your bills and so on and so forth.
My husband and I are very good at saving money and living within our means. Going out to eat is spending $15 at the local BBQ restaurant to feed all four of us! We love cooking at home, going on walks and to the library, watching movies, playing cards, reading and more. This past week, though, BOTH of our cars wound up in the auto shop (more on this later) and cost us $400 (we got off VERY lucky!). Still, that was $400 we could have saved but instead had to go to our auto repairs. Unexpected expenses happen ALL the time, so instead of stressing about not saving as much, I’m changing my game and focusing on earning more!
What are your thoughts? Are you a spender or a saver? Do you focus on saving more, earning more or both? I would love to know!!
John and I opened our first high yield savings account this past week! After some research, we went with Synchrony Bank. No fees (as long as your balance is over $50) and a 0.95% APY, this is definitely something I wanted to get on board with.
We deposited $20K to start, and if we never add to it, we’ll make about $200 per year. Not much, but quite frankly that’s MUCH better than the interest rate of a regular savings account (.01%).
I plan on tracking our progress and updating the blog to let you know how much we’re contributing. As of right now, we don’t plan on adding a set monthly amount. With my husband just starting his own business, we’re not quite sure what he’s going to be taking in per month and what we’re going to be able to save. The goal would be to contribute $500 per month minimum, but of course we’ll have to wait and see if that’s possible.
This is probably the easiest passive income stream to exist. While the returns aren’t great, there’s zero risk involved! I highly recommend moving your savings account or emergency fund into a high yield savings account (and no, I was not compensated to say that!!).
Do you have a high yield savings? Any tips? I’d love to know!!