Originally Posted On January 10, 2016
Phi's 2016 New Year Resolution Checklist
- Continue to exercise and improve my health
- Run in an organized race of some sort (5K, 10K, etc.)
- Attend a ping pong competition
- Travel to a new location
- Read a book on financial education every month (January is already complete!)
- Post at least 50 blog posts containing real content
- Attain $40,000-worth of assets
"Those sound like pretty solid reso-WAIT, $40,000 of assets!?" is what I'm imagining some of you are thinking right now. How am I going to do it when my pre-tax salary is $56,400, I'm spending almost all my saved money on a down payment for a house, have almost no assets right now, AND in addition to all of this now I'll have the associated liabilities that come with a mortgage!? Honestly, I don't completely know yet. It's ambitious, headstrong, and probably impossible to accomplish if things stay the way they are now. But that's the fun of it! I don't want things to stay the same, I want to keep improving myself and my level of wealth! This is what this blog is all about - pushing forward into an upward-ascending fog of unknowingness, being forced to adapt to the surroundings that present themselves and attempting to clear the haze to attain a new summit!
To clarify, the self-imposed rules on my biggest financial goal are as follows:
1) Money going to principal on my mortgage does not count towards my 40k. That's not an asset, it's paying back money I owe.
2) Interested gained or lost on my assets counts towards my 40k goal.
3) Reinvested asset gains (dividends) will count towards the goal.
My game plan:
- Begin contributing the maximum (18k) to my 401k. With my employer match, I should be able to gain 23k just by doing this and have the added bonus of temporarily avoiding some taxes. Meaning that the other 17k will have to come from my now-fairly-small take-home pay and other clever methods of making money.
- Eliminate what I don't need. I've got a lot of old guitar gear, a giant comic collection, and a bunch of other junk I'll never use again. I don't need this stuff! This weekend I'll begin trying to sell it on Craigslist and Amazon. That should generate a handful of 40k percentage in a small amount of time! On the same train of thought, I will be intentional not to buy things I don't need or that won't positively impact my finances, either. To implement this, I'll be waiting 2 weeks on non-essential purchases and decide then if I really want them or not.
- Focus on generating high interest. My 401k only offers a few mutual funds to choose from. Mutual funds aren't bad, they're safe and have a pretty good return. But as of now I think I'll need for my post-tax investments to grow at a higher rate in order to make my goal. Yes, this will probably mean a higher risk. But the way I look at it, if the value is great I succeed, if it isn't then I'll be forced to grow to make up for my deficit and still reach my goal. Either way I win, which is why I believe that it's always a good time to invest!
- Find a way to make a little extra money. I've had this idea for custom-made aquarium coffee tables for a while. With my own space, I'll be able to craft one for a fairly small sum and, using my in-use table, begin to market them around my city. Each table sold will make a decent profit which can be used to buy more materials and invest the rest into assets. Ultimately, I've got lots of ideas like this and bringing them to life will not only teach me a new set of skills, but each sale will also get my closer to financial independence. So it's well-worth the time!
- Rent out a room. Or maybe even two! I'm a single guy with three bedrooms and two bathrooms who's open to having a good, like-minded friend as a roommate. Since heat and electricity don't linearly scale in cost, having a roommate mean less expenses for everyone involved. Plus, having a roommate would help keep me accountable and active. Actually... the more I think about it, the more I WANT a roommate!
- Consider downgrading my car. I really enjoy my Miata. It's zippy and sporty, especially with the racing stripes I plastidipped on myself! It doesn't even get that bad mileage on the road - around 27mpg on the average amount of driving to work. However, it's impractical. It only has two seats, almost no carrying space, and could be replaced by something that takes less to operate. Gas is cheap right now, but I'd anticipate the price rising in the not-so-distant future. And even if it doesn't, the less you need of it, the less you spend. In a few months it'll be convertible season and maybe then I'll be able to trade down for an old hatchback with great fuel mileage and some extra cash. By doing so, I'd make a profit, increase practicality, reduce my gas costs, and I'd also be able to transport materials around for working on increasing my house's appeal/resale (or rent) value more easily. The thought of selling it kind of sucks, but I have bigger things to move onto and experience. I'll be finishing some work on it and keeping an eye out for a good opportunity, but in the meantime enjoying the roadster while I can.
Current Invested Cash Assets: $3,314.80
2017 Invested Cash Assets Goal: $43,314.80
What better way to start the year then make a ridiculous and outlandish resolution? Happy 2016, everyone!