Friday, November 16, 2018

October's Passive Income Recap

October was not a good month for me and my passive income. Not only is dividend income low, so is everything else.  October is usually not a good month in dividend cycle.  But my motivation to make other income was low.  I did get more in gifts.  And now that my Christmas shipping is completed, I can save that for next year.  I hope November will improve, but half way through the month I don’t think so.

My net worth decreased less than 15 from September but is still 6.5% higher than this time last year.  Would like to keep it 105 better. I have to work on that.

But what really bothers me is that our expense are increased instead of decreasing.  I know we bought a new home in September and had some adjustments in October, but I am hoping that it will go back down as we approach the coming months.  The more expenses increase the longer it will take to get to FIRE.  Keeping my fingers crossed and my wallet closed!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

I Have Writer's Block Big Time!

You ever have that feeling when you don’t want to do anything?  That’s the way I have been feeling lately. Mostly with my writing.  I haven’t been inspired to write any blog posts or ever get back to that book I was writing.  Why is that?  IS this block mental or something more?

In the course of my lifetime, I have written many unproduced screenplays, unpublished books, stories, and even two blogs.  I was much more motivated when I was younger.  As I get older (I am not going to say mature), I seem to have lost that mojo.

There are ideas running through my head and thoughts written on scraps of paper that go nowhere.  You would think that I could something with that.

Not only have I lost the mojo, I lost the structure.  I keep telling myself that I need to schedule time to write, whether it is readable or not.  I just need to do and not procrastinate!

So do I start reading books on dealing with writer’s block and delay the writing or do I just write, even if it is garbage.  Love to get some feedback.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

When being frugal – plan ahead!

Other than keeping little money in my wallet when I go out shopping (and yes, keep those credit cards out of there too), the greatest tool to being frugal is planning ahead.

When planning ahead, you save money by not spending money needlessly.  Example, if you are going out, you can make your own coffee and/or lunch so that you don’t have to buy while out.  The same goes with refillable water bottles.  Bring your own, and don’t need to buy.
Planning ahead could meaning cooking your meals for the week ahead of time.  Save not only money but time.  I used to do that when we used to commute and it was late when we got home at night.  With meals ready to reheat meant we didn’t need to go out to eat or order a pizza.

Planning ahead for the future is great for being frugal.  Whether it is clothing, trips, appliances, etc.  We plan ahead for all big items and for trips.  My wife is good at finding deal, coupons and such others.

Little did my wife know that I was planning ahead and saved money to make the move from New Jersey the month we started living there.  It was never to be our forever home (only to be closer to my daughter).  So when the time came some fourteen years later when she had enough of the snow and I couldn’t or wouldn’t shovel it anymore, I showed her the bank account.  This made the decision and the move to Florida very easy.

When we have goals and save for them, you find that it is not hard to be frugal.  You see the big picture.

So plan ahead, establish goals and see where you can save every day, every month, and every year.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ibotta the free app that pays you cash for everyday purchases

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

I usually don’t go for shopping apps, but I have to tell you that Ibotta is working for me.  Not only can you save money on groceries (just scan your receipt), you can also save shopping online.  And alcohol and liquor is included too.  Sure helps when you are having parties.  It is not just brand names, there are many “any item” choices and even an “any receipt” option.  I’ve been using it for food shopping and love to get money back.  You can cash out when you reach $20.

They also and promos and contests to help you save more money.  And I love saving money!  If you sign up through my link, you get $10 to begin with.  There are stipulations though.  I also like that when friends (those who sign up through your link), they can save even more money be reaching certain goals.  Ibotta makes shopping and saving fun, so why not check it out and sign up today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

September Passive Income Recap

September wasn’t a bad month but it was a good month.  Although my passive income stay around the same, the majority of that was from dividend income.  Make note to self to purchase stocks that with dividends in different months than I already have.  I like the $600 range each month but would prefer to increase slowly over time.  Not happening yet.

Also, September was the month we moved into a new home (moving expenses) and sold our old home (broke even).  It wasn’t a great month for extra cash, that’s for sure.  My newt work decreased 3% from the previous month (damn stock market roller coaster) but still up 11.70% from the previous year.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book Review: The Wealthy Barber - Everyone's' Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent

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Some say that The Wealthy Barber is outdated.  I read the revised third edition which was published over twenty years ago.  Times have changed but the words in this book is still relevant for the everyone that wants to become financially independent.  If you look at it as your first book to read as you make your path to reach that goal.  Although, I have been doing much of what is written, it was still helpful.  I would recommended this book to those starting out on their own and don’t know what to do with the finances.  He covers not only saving, but life insurance, with a bit or taxes and real estate.  Not in depth though, but more as a starting point.  Easy and fun read that I would recommend to everyone who wants to a push in the right direction for their personal finances.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The No Spend Challenge

I recently came across 10 Tips For A Successful No Spend Challenge and although I may have mentioned in other posts some of these tips, I want to share again because I think this is a great way to budget one’s money.

If you are wondering what no-spend challenge is, it is a challenge to stop impulse buying and use what you are already have.  You can do it for a month, a week or just a weekend.  I try at least one week out of the month.   But remember, paying bills are not included. You must pay your bills (that’s not really impulse spending).

1) The first tip is the pantry challenge.  I wrote a whole post on this.  You can visit that post here.  Mainly, you are using up what you have in your pantry to prepare meals.  Waste not, want not.

2) The second tip is to plan your meals.  If you plan your meals in advance and purchase only what you need, you can cut your grocery bill in half.  When I plan my meals, I plan for more than two people and freeze the rest to enjoy it another day.

3) Free activities.  Great advice.  There are always something going on in the neighborhood that doesn’t cost money.  Last weekend, my wife and I went to a Rocktoberfest, which was free. We brought out lawn chairs, a cooler and listened to three local bands without spending a dime.

4) Stock up.  If there is a sale for something we need and use on a regular basis, I will stock up (especially toilet paper) and save money that way.

5) Unsubscribe from emails, especially ones from stores.  They’re nothing but advertising and they want you to spend money.  No emails, less temptations.

6) Be accountable to someone.  If this works with weight-loss programs, why can’t it work for money saving programs?  Let people know you are trying to save money and are keeping within a budget.  It helps.

7) Use up everything.  Not just food, but everything!  Don’t buy something at the store if it is a good deal when you already have it at home.  Kind of goes against #4 Stock up, but I get where she is coming from.  I don’t need two dozen pens, the same amount of markers or jars of salad dressing, etc.

8) Plan Family Fun At Home.  And we do.  Although there are no children at our home, my wife and I love to play card games and board games.  It’s fun and doesn’t cost more than the purchase of the game.  Of course, we’ve gone through three decks of Phase 10 since we play so often.  Okay, my wife did splurge on a Skee-Ball game, but she plays often and sometimes to relieve work stress.  Does that mean I can use it as a tax write-off?

9) Leave Money At Home.  That’s easy for me because I never have money.  But then again, I mainly use credit cards.  Not that this tempts me to buy things when I am out.  I also don’t carry all my cards when I go out.

10) The last on her list is to use up gift cards.  If and when I do get gift cards, I sue them. If I get Visa gift cards, I redeem them for Amazon gift cards and keep the balance in my Amazon account.  It also works if you have pennies left on a Visa gift card.  I use my Amazon credit to buy gifts all year long.

So, try a no spend challenge.  I did and it is a challenge but it is fun and we saved money or better yet didn’t spend money when we didn’t need to.