I hope y’all are enjoying your long weekend.
I’ve been thinking about finances a lot and more importantly, about getting mine straightened back up.
As you know I’ve been blowing my extra money lately and need to stop, pronto. So I started thinking of what financial goals I should (and want to work on.) But I’ve hit a fork in the road. (You’ll see why.)
But first let me tell me you where I stand.
Money in the Bank
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted some exact numbers on the financial front, so here you go:
Emergency Fund – $6,533
Checking Account – $3,927.75
PayPal – $804.68
Kailyn College – $110.25
Ava College – $110.25
Stocks – $479.53
Total Money: $11,965.46
Emergency Fund: I did have around $8k in here but a few months back I moved $1,000 to my checking account as a buffer. This money hasn’t been touched but I feel so much better having padding in my checking account – I don’t want to accidentally overdraw and sometimes I come close.
Also, in the past year I’ve only touched my emergency fund once. That was when my laptop quit working. I had a bunch of writing assignments due so I ran out to Walmart that same day and bought a new laptop (it was around $400 – and it’s a piece of crap, I need to save up for a better one.)
Then I also used another $140 out of the emergency fund to buy Microsoft Office so that I could get my writing assignments done. So, I’ve spent around $540 of emergency fund money total.
Since I’ve went freelance I haven’t had to use any emergency fund money which is pretty darn nice. Right now I am more than comfortable with the $6,500 that’s in there.
Checking Account: The checking account includes the $1,000 buffer I added from the emergency fund, my tax refund of $2,567, and the $360.75 which is what I consider my actual balance.
I plan on putting part of my income tax money in a retirement account but more on that when I actually open the account!
PayPal: This is money I’ve received for freelance work but just haven’t transferred to checking yet. I like to let this accumulate to around $1,000 before transferring. And since most of my bills are due at the beginning of the month I like to transfer it then.
Kailyn & Ava College: Obviously, I haven’t been saving for the girls’ college regularly. Instead I just randomly add $10 or $15 whenever I feel like it. What I want to do is start adding at least $25 a month – but only after I get into the groove of contributing regularly to a retirement account of my own.
Stocks: This is the only money I’ve saved since going freelance full time back in October…..that’s not very good, is it? I decided I wanted to start investing so I dedicated a specific (small) stream of income to buying dividend stocks. I’ve tried to add to this each month for the past 3-4 months.
Here’s my problem: I haven’t been saving any money and I think it’s because I don’t have any solid financial goals.
Do you ever feel like there’s just nothing you want really, really bad?
When I wanted to quit my day job I was in super savings mode. I added every dollar I could to my emergency fund so that I could freelance full time. That goal meant something to me, so I went all in.
But now? Now there is nothing driving me to save.
I do need to get into the groove of saving for retirement which is one priority right now. But with that said I still probably won’t go all extreme in that regard.
I’ve thought about buying a house but truthfully I’ve been staying with the boyfriend a lot now so I’m not sure that’s even the right path to go down.
I really hate that I don’t have anything to motivate me to save but it’s true: I just don’t!
I guess I’ll just start saving for the sake of saving and figure that goal thing out later 😉
I’ve finally got to the point where I’m earning my $2,000/month from freelance jobs alone. Since I hit this mark I decided to drop a different income source that I never really cared for.
The funny thing is, since I’ve taken down my “hire me” page I’ve had multiple people contact me and ask me to help them with various blog/website tasks. Since a few of these request were jobs I felt like I wouldn’t be the best at, I turned them down. However, I did just take one new job. Which was pretty cool because I got to write a script for a video. 😉
My freelance work pretty much takes up Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday there’s really minimal work that I’m doing for others.
I am going to start dedicating Thursday and Friday’s to working on building my own sources of income instead of building it for others!
To be exact I want to:
- Write a few eBooks
- Work on a new website that sells an actual product
- Also sell that product on Amazon and in my Dad’s stores
In case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about when I say selling an actual product you can get a general idea here.
(And yes, I have started many websites in the past that failed or that I lost interest in – but now I know what not to do. Which will help be better with the next ones!)
What are you working toward financially?
Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way says
Alexa, you really have an awesome savings! By the way, just want to ask if how many hours do you usually work for others?
Thanks, Clarisse. I’d say I probably work an average of 25 hours per week for others.
Dee @ Color Me Frugal says
That’s pretty great that you’ve only touched your emergency fund once in the last year! That’s exactly as it should be, but I know a lot of people (myself included when I first started an e-fund) tend to use it more often than that. And congrats on your new gig!
Thanks, Dee! I really hate to use the efund. It make me feel comfortable knowing I have money if I absolutely need it so I do my best to keep out of it.
I think you are doing pretty good with your saving. I’m in the same boat about saving. I think this month it was just busy and we spend a lot of money. Now that I am getting married in October I have something to focus on. I would love to work on a website beside part time for others. As far as your goals and staying focus on a site, I think if you keep yourself motivated like you did with wanting to quit your job you will do great.
Happy Memorial Day! Love the new website design BTW!
That’s awesome! I didn’t know you were getting married. Congrats! I am hoping that by talking about my money situation more often that I’ll motivate myself to do better. We’ll see how it goes!
Love this! Glad you have reached an income goal. I have a similar article to this going up soon – lately I have been receiving a lot of questions about what I plan on doing in the near and distant future to improve my business. It’s something that I need to start thinking about more. Sounds like you have a great plan.
Thanks, Michelle. I look forward to reading your post!
Wow your savings account is so impressive. Mine is hovering around $120. If you are looking for a inspiration just check out the cost of a university degree and the student debt numbers. That may motivate you for your daughters savings. I put money in every months for my girl. I probably won’t be able to pay it all, but I will be able to help her out. Keep up the good work, it inspires me.
I’ve wrote a few posts here lately that are focused on student debt and the numbers are scary!
I did much better at saving when I was working either two day jobs or one day job and freelancing. It was easy to save when I had one job that would pay the bills and another that was just extra money. Now I need to find some type of system to work for me.
I love seeing financial snapshots! I didn’t know you went ahead and bought some stocks. Which ones did you invest in? Hopefully I can persuade you to go with dividend stocks. Right now I’m getting about $150 – $200 per month in dividend payments, so it does add up over time!
I noticed there was no IRA. Remember as a self-employed freelancer you can stash ~20% of your profits into a SEP IRA which will lower your overall tax bill.
Starting an IRA is one of my goals for next month. I just got my income tax refund so I plan on using part of that to start the IRA
I did end up buying dividend stocks. My first stock picks were the medical marijuana penny stocks which I thought I was going to make money on (haha) but nearly lost all of my money. After that I started buying dividend stocks. Right now I have Lorillard and Ruger.
Lance Cothern says
Sounds like you have some good ideas in the works! Hopefully they end up making you some extra money 🙂
Right now we’re working on our month 7-12 investment emergency fund. Once we have that full, we’ll have to decide what to do next!
I hope my plans work out! I’m curious, what is an investment emergency fund?
Thanks for being so open and honest about your goals! I love that you only work 25 hours a week freelancing and make 2000 a month! that is not bad at all! 🙂 I”m a little surprised retirement isn’t that important to you?? I guess for me i have not much of an inheritance, and no kids or hubby and I’m older than you too. so for me it is more important and i feel motivated to save for that but i still spend too much too. Trying to go to a cash system i think that will help a lot. 🙂
Susan C says
Wow! You’re doing really well. It’s funny because your reasoning about spending Th/Fri working on building income for yourself is exactly what stated mr thinking about starting some sort of a blogging/freelance side hustle. At the time, I was working at least 20+ extra a week for my employer and thought I might be able to make some money for me if I just reclaimed that time. I’ve cut back on my work hours but that hasn’t translated to my doing anything about generating a side income yet. It’s a little bit like your savings account. I think we both need something definitive to shoot for as a goal.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
A few months ago I realized my paypal account was only linked to my savings rather than savings and checking. That simple difference forces me into saving more. Anytime I transfer it goes to the E-fund rather than checking, which for me equals spending.
do appreciate you putting your numbers up. Most people are so secretive about it. I have one family member that is in debt up to her ears. But she tells her coworkers she doesn’t have to work and that she just works for extra money. i shake my head when she tells me that. You motivate me to improve my financial situation too!
I think it’s so awesome that you are saving for their college, even in small chunks. Especially since you’re funding retirement first. I really want to save more for my kids, but I think we will have to wait to ramp it up until he is done with school.
Alexa, I’m really excited to see what you do about your future ventures! I checked out the article you linked to about starting an import business, and it sounds so cool. Definitely keep us in the loop about that and your eBook! Sounds like you’re doing great 🙂
C. the Romanian says
2014 has been a poor year for me too and I haven’t been able to save money either. I’ve been hit, in January, with a huge income loss from one of my websites and what I made until now only covered the monthly expenses. When I got the income hit, I also switched to insane savings mode, but it didn’t last long… fortunately things will change soon and we’ll be able to add some extra money to our savings.
Elizabeth @ Single Mom Debt says
Nice job on the savings and not touching it except when truly needed. As for online office programs, there is Google Drive and OneDrive. They are great and I rarely touch the office programs on my computer.
Congrats on building up the freelance career!