We have all had our ups and downs. My financials are at the lowest point they have ever been. Follow along to watch me reach my goal of getting out of debt and working toward becoming financially independent. Money is just a scorecard to keep track of your financial progress.
I want to share my story as a motivation tool to help those in the same position I am in. I also want to inspire those that are currently ahead of me to keep pushing further and harder.
If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.— Terry Pratchett
People with goals succeed because they know where they're going. I am hoping that by sharing my financial goals with you it will inspire you to create your own. As of now, I don't plan on changing my goals, but as life goes on, shit happens and I will adjust accordingly.
The following are the goals that I plan to complete. I have written them out this way so it is easier for people to follow along where I am in my journey. Besides the goals below I have two other primary financial goals; increase my income and help others with their financial goals.
I have been tracking my net worth and cash flow for the past several years in a Google Sheet. I have always had a pretty good understanding of my finances. Life in 2018 was a bit overwhelming for me. Because of this, I did not track my finances every month and things got a bit out of control. I decided to start tracking again, but this time I built a tool that would automate the process for me. I am pleased to welcome FiStatus, a personal dashboard that I have been working out great to help me keep track of my net worth and my cash flow. After many requests, I decided to release this tool to the public. Sign up to get early access to the beta.
After my divorce finalized in Q4 of 2017 I ended up taking on a lot more debt than I anticipated. All of a sudden I had a bunch of credit card and loans with high-interest rate. I called them all to see about getting the interest rates reduces. Surprisingly the IRS was the most helpful in reducing my interest rate for the back taxes I owe. For the ones that wouldn't budge I ended up getting new credit cards with zero interest rates for a year or got a much bigger loan to consolidate the smaller ones at a better interest rate. While living in NYC I was paying $3,300 a month in rent, so I moved into a 2003 VW Eurovan Camper, which greatly helped reduce expenses.
I currently feel that I am drowning in debt. Well, it's because I am. I will tackle the credit cards and loans with the highest interest rates first.
As of right now my monthly expenses are around $9,000 a month. I would like to save $30,000 in cash for emergencies. I generally like to keep this money in a liquid account such as a saving account so I can easily retrieve it when needed. Normally I would do this before paying off any debt, but because my debt is so out of control I feel that I need to take a bit of a risk to get to where I want to be.
This second phase of paying off my debt I will be following the Debt Snowball Method taught by Dave Ramsey where I will be paying off the smallest debt first to create momentum in paying off all the debt.
Now that I am debt free it's time for me to start building my assets back up. My primary focus has always been real estate, specifically multi-family units. I will invest 80% into real estate and the 20% into simply buying the S&P 500. Mostly likely that S&P 500 purchase would be $VOO. I might reconsider my investments to include a Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, and/or angle investing in friends startups when I get to this stage.
I appreciate those that follow the FIRE movement, but I don't think I will ever retire. I look at money as a freedom. Freedom to work on what I desire. This is where the magic starts to happen. In order to make this happen, I need to put my money to work for me. I need to have my money being the one to earn the income for me. As of now, I don't have a target number, once my financials gets into a little better shape I will revisit this.
People share their religious views, share their sex stories, and their views on Donald Trump, but it's still too taboo to talk about money? A third of young people under 34 are living back at home with their parents in record numbers , the millennial generation and below have the lowest rate of home ownership  and a staggering amount of debt and yet our educational system continues to ignore imparting financial fundamentals to our youth. I strongly believe that being genuine will be the currency of our future. What better way than to openly lead by example and let people know they're not alone.
I am in no way trying to tell anyone how to manage their money. I am trying to help provide some tools that can help out anyone that is either looking to track their money, get out of debt, understand financial success or simply educate themselves. We do have the FiStatus podcast where we will be talking with regular people and experts in their field about money. If you have the authority to talk about a subject manner, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to have you on the podcast.
That's right, the Founder's Dashboard is all real. It's all of my, very personal, data about my financial health.
I actually built this years ago in Google Sheets. It was very manual and not that smart. I decided to build this for myself and figured I would share it people that were also in need of this tool. 🎩 Hat tip to Paul Graham.
The whole story of how I ended up here is something that I would like to keep private as it affects others. On a high level, I choose to get a divorce that was finalized in Q4 of 2017. I lost pretty much everything and gained a bunch of debt.
One of the principles I try to live by is to "Live In The Present" , If you live in the past, you’re stuck in “why” mode. That means you always think about why things happened. That’s a recipe for unhappiness. Life keeps moving forward — it doesn’t care what I think or do, so I might as well not waste my time on stuff I can’t control. Being an entrepreneur has always had it's up and downs. Shit, life has always had its ups and downs. And I have always pulled through it a stronger and smarter individual. I have learned my lesson and will never let it happen again.
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