03/14/2017 at 4:59 pm #14458Retro Treasures WVParticipant
As I’ve said here a few times, I would love to go full time on ebay. With a wife and 4 kids, it is a hard choice to make. It is compounded by the fact that while I don’t like the 9-5 office work life, I am quite fond of my nice salary and benefits. Every day I am getting closer and closer to jumping off the cliff of a day job and going full time.
So what to do? PLAN!
First off, we need to put a Kung-Fu grip on our household budget. I’ve never been one to make a budget (due to that nice salary). I ended up finding the Mint app, which is free from Intuit. I am quite surprised this app is free – it is very powerful. All I had to do was link my accounts, do a bit of transaction categorizing cleanup, and BAM – the program has already set a default budget for me. Of course I’ll adjust accordingly but what a great – and easy – start!
If you don’t have the Mint app and you are looking for something very similar to godaddy bookkeeping for home budgeting, go get it.
Anyways, folks please use this thread to share any advice and nuggets of knowledge when going full time in regards to budgeting and planning for getting off the corporate teat. I know I could use all of it!
03/15/2017 at 3:01 am #14516JoParticipant
This is definitely a huge subject, but I would say the first step is to get a very clear, realistic picture of where you are now. Exactly how much is coming in and from where and how much is going out and where its going. This usually involves writing everything down, even expenditures of pocket change. Tracking for at least several weeks or more for a clear picture.
After you have all of this incredibly valuable knowledge, you can look for ways to cut out unnecessary spending so you can save your safety net, grow your business & follow your plan. This really boils down to one choice at a time. Need or want? Save or spend? There are big ways to cut expenses, like refinancing a mortgage to a lower rate, and smaller everyday things that really add up, like eating less meat and more beans. I think the word budget sounds rigid, like the worst diet in the world, but it’s really just setting goals and making those choices that keep your money working for you.
Finally, here are some smaller things I recommend, and then I’ll shut up:
cut out cable tv and get net flicks (put the amount you saved in savings)
don’t buy bottled water, get a filter (put in savings)
decrease or cut out eating out (put in savings)
practice saying no to the kids (put in savings)
If you get a raise at work …(put it in savings)
read everything you can on the subject, listen to podcasts, watch finance shows
You can do this! I’m rooting for you!
03/21/2017 at 1:53 pm #14981T-SattParticipant
Completely agree Jo. When I did the numbers to see what it would take for us to do this full time, one thing I took into account was our “burn rate”, as in how much cash we spend each month. Then we looked to trim that down to match what we can bring in. Land line phone? Gone – Cell phones, which are also a business expense. Cable? Gone – Apple TV and Netflix. Dining out? Once in a while, as a treat, or during a business meeting with my wife and partner, so a 50% tax deduction.
Treat your life as you do your scavenging. We try to get all the trips needed for the day in one trip. FedEx package to drop off? Then hit the grocery store that is right next door. You are charging your miles on taxes for the dropoff, so get that personal trip in as well. Traveling to visit the parents? Hit that thrift store next door, get a 2-for-1.
We make our own wine. $3-$5 a bottle for good wine. So you can have luxuries too, just look to trim the fat. And when we need bottles for the wine? Ask friends and neighbors to bring you their empties. Get boxes and bubble wrap from office buildings. Use your cashback card on as many purchases as possible. Refinance from a 30 year to a 15 year mortgage (may be higher monthly, but you get your house faster and WAAAY cheaper).
Don’t take it so far that you feel like you are constantly depriving yourself. If you do, or if your partner does, then it isn’t sustainable. But trim the fat. It is very doable, just takes finding that spot to do it.
Also, when you are taking the plunge, save at least 6-12 months of burn rate before you do. We did that, and it makes life much less scary when you do it.
03/21/2017 at 3:42 pm #14999So Cal JoeParticipant
Clark Howard is on the radio and sometimes TV. He’s the cheapest guy I know and has been a Millionaire for over 20 years… He lives it, much to the chagrin of his wife at times.
Dave Ramsey is the king of budgeting. I don’t agree with all his philosophies, but with regard to budgeting and paying off debt, he’s the king.
They’ve both got radio shows and podcasts of the shows are often available.
03/21/2017 at 4:56 pm #15008Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Thanks for some great advice everyone. We’ve always been frugal and cost cutting oriented, but we’ve always used it to allow us to get more “bang for our buck” rather than for budgeting and saving. You have to be some form of frugal when you have 4 kids.
We can save a ton of money by tackling our out of control grocery and eating out budgets. Our eating out budget is embarrassingly high recently much like the person you mentioned in the podcast. We eat out many dinners due to our busy schedule. We’ve switched to higher quality (and much more expensive) places this year so we can eat quality healthy food rather than fast food junk. It has worked out well in the fact that I’ve lost 50 lbs, but it is not sustainable at all.
Figuring out how to meal plan and also minimize the prep and cleanup is not an easy task for a large family! We also may need some help in finding the energy to sticking to any form of meal plan…
03/21/2017 at 6:49 pm #15012So Cal JoeParticipant
If you’re looking for Motivation, try listening to Dave Ramsey. Most of the people he deals with are in all kinds of debt, but the motivation and budgeting are all the same.
He also has several books out, a few of which I’ve read.
It’s all about hard work, dedication and delayed gratification.
Of course, the whole family, especially you and your wife have to be on board.
It’s amazing how much money you can save, just by paying attention.
03/22/2017 at 12:13 am #15029T-SattParticipant
Agree. Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) are the best place to start. Keep the expenses low, work hard in the short term, have patience in the long game. Keep a measure of how much you profit per item sold, and how much time it takes per listing (shopping, prep, photo, photo edit, listing, and shipping). That gives your profit per hour. Then how many hours are you willing to work per week. That gives your average weekly income. Forecast your projected listings per week, your sell through rate per month, and you have a good idea of what you will make in the future.
Remember, if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve upon it.
In the end don’t just speculate about it…do it. Match your life (that you want) to what you do. At first, don’t be “fancy”. Work hard, and “live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else.”
I get it about having 4 kids. We have 2 boys, and they were a Junior and a Freshman in high school when we made the plunge. Check your numbers, look at the lifestyle, and see if you have the discipline and work ethic to make the switch, as well as backup cash for slow months and numbers coming in slower than expected.
It isn’t easy, but the freedom is worth it if you can do it.
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