Personal Finance Overview 7/17/18

Personal finances overview for this summer:

Have you ever taken a hard look at your personal finances? I mean a hard look, like track every transaction, every paycheck, every bill you pay? Two years ago, I started tracking my personal finances during my co-op and internships. It has really opened my eyes to what I spend money on every day and gives me a better idea of where I am at with my finances. Let’s look at how I’ve been doing this summer!

finances

Above is a snip of my master spreadsheet for this summer. It contains all my expenses, paychecks, investments, some of my goals etc. Let’s go over this briefly to get a sense of what is going on. In color coded column is a category, from left to right: food, gas, fun, gym, girlfriend, bullshit. Sorry you’ve got your own column Nikki, but you cost some money and I’m not going to put you down at the bullshit level.

Anyways let’s analyze each column starting with food. Obviously, this is critical as you need food to survive and it’s a very basic need, I have included any eating out (fast food, restaurants etc.) as well as coffee and energy drinks and things of that nature. I work from my car and my job is pretty demanding out in the heat and having considerable amounts of energy is vital to my success so while I could opt for cheaper energy substitutions (majority of my coffee is from Starbucks) it is a necessary evil for me to preform well. Considering all of that, I average just under $300 a month over a 2-month span for my food consumption and it will hopefully taper down to $250 when I near the end of the summer.

Next up is gas, again a very necessary portion of my job is I must drive a lot and I also travel back home and back to school on occasion (200+ mile trips one way). At just under $200 a month on gas, I do go back to STL this upcoming weekend but that should be my last trip home besides actually going home for the summer, hopefully we can reduce that expenditure a tad and I can drive more efficiently.

Fun money! This is the column I try to minimize the most, as you can see I have some of paid subscription services but in my defense, I pay for the Netflix for my whole family and my brother and I use Spotify and I pay for it all. But besides that, you see alcohol and tobacco costs taking up the bulk of this column, I will have a substantial increase here as I will be paying for copious amounts of alcohol this weekend. Its gonna be litty titty.  This column will make its way up to $200 a month without a doubt here shortly.

Gym: If you didn’t already know my health and fitness is very important to me as I am a rugby player and have been lifting all my teenage years. The gym membership was a large upfront cost and I should have enough supplements to get me through the rest of the summer, hopefully this column ends at about $60-75 a month in costs.

Girlfriend: Sorry not sorry but you cost me some money this summer babe. Mainly in plane tickets to vacation but also lots of food and nice little gifts. Again, I wasn’t going to put it in the bullshit column so it gets its own column. There probably won’t be any additions to this column for the remainder of the summer so hopefully ending around $200 a month on this one.

Bullshit: this one is a toughie. To preface, this isn’t all bullshit like obviously I need to pay rent and to live somewhere but that’s what I called the column even when I wasn’t paying rent, so I stuck with the title. As you can see we have a deposit and lots of rent, I am paying 2 rents right now, one for Rolla (college town) and one for here in KC this summer. That started in July and my KC august rent will be low and the Rolla rent will increase slightly so it’ll lighten the load overall, but July rent sucked up a lot of my money. We have electric and internet bills, they both had start up fees, so they have since flatlined and we’ll only need to pay another month of two of those. Some of my supplies for work cost me a decent chunk of change including ladders, shoes, clothes, but those can be tax write offs as well. I also got my first ever speeding ticket this year which cost me $220 to get it moved to a non-moving violation. Anyways this is the largest chunk of my costs but hopefully with august being a short month it will taper down, and I can get my deposit back and we can wash our hands of this.

As of today July 17, 2018, my monthly costs of living is $2,134.50, I’m not sure if that is a lot or a little compared to most of the people reading this. I don’t have kids, I live in a cockroach invested shit hole of an apartment, I am partially paying for two rents, I eat cheap, etc. My assumption would be yes this is very cheap cost of living. I would like to reduce it further though. As I’ve stated above for some of the columns they should not increase anymore and as father time keeps ticking my avg cost per month will reduce. I had the goal of $1500 a month this summer however that was way underestimated and simply won’t be possible, I would like to have a cost of living under $2,000 though I think that would be very reasonable considering the circumstances.

My monthly conversion for what I am paid comes out to $3,033 a month. To me this is extremely low and pisses me off, (salary equivalent = $36,400) because I made $50k salary + living stipend last summer, and I am working significantly harder than I did last summer. My numbers should bump up soon and I will get a bonus as well at the end of the summer which will help. My goal was to make an equivalent of $60,000 salary from this job and I am very very far behind that goal.

As always let me know what you think!

Do you keep track of your personal finances? Do you keep track like this?

Could you benefit from tracking like this?

How do your expenses compare with your income?

Thanks, B^2

 

 

The Next Level

Many want to take their life, finances, current situation to the next level. Some have a vision of what that is, even fewer have a game plan to get themselves there. I will share with you today my vision and how I intend to get there.

So, as we speak I am 22 years old pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and engineering management. I have a net worth around $18,000 through mainly my co-op and internship salaries. I will graduate college in May of 2019 and take on the real world.

Vision:

This is always a hard question to articulate and put into words which is why few people get this far. Think about it, when was the last time you sat down and figured out where you want to go in life. Some may have small goals like I want to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini but what about the BIG goal.

I would like to first buy my parent’s the lake house of their dreams on table rock lake. My mom and dad have provided for me all their life it is my obligation to give back to them. My dad would like the top of the line jet ski and a nice boat, my mom would be happy with a home that looked like it came out of better homes and gardens, a nice greenhouse and an abundance of grandchildren. My mom is going to have to wait on the later, but my brother may be able to help me out with that one. That is my first and foremost goal.

Second, I would like to give back to the people and organizations that made me who I am today, my wrestling program in high school, my rugby program in both high school and college, and my fraternity to name a few.

Third, is an obvious one but I think it should be said, to provide for those around me. I am going to assume at this stage in my life I have others to take care of other than myself, maybe a girlfriend, or a fiancé or a wife maybe kids the timeline of this one is foggy. My dad made it a goal to give my brother and I everything he ever wanted when he was a kid and to provide more than his parents could for him and I would also like to do the same to my loved ones. My dad did set the bar high on this one so I look forward to the challenge.

Fourth, financial freedom. There is an unbelievable amount of people in the United States that live paycheck to paycheck and I remember my parent’s doing the same at times. I don’t ever want to live a life like that.

Fifth, to help those less fortunate than me, I already practiced this when I was younger and currenly. I am aware I’ve had experiences that many have not or will not be able to have in their lives and I would like to the share that with all those that I can.

So Mr. B^2, how on earth do you plan to do all of this?

That’s a good question isn’t it, when it’s all laid out like that its hard to fathom that kind of success.

First step would be to graduate obviously, I have spent years in education and lots of money has been spent on me to get to where I am so obviously finishing what I started is a good place to begin. I would like to graduate with a 3.25 GPA currently at a 3.16 as of this semester.

Second, I would like to walk out of this university making $80,000 which I believe is a lofty but possible goal and with my skill sets, education and past experience I believe this is within my reach.

Third, using that money, and the money from my investments, and what not buy investment properties and other passive income sources. How many and of what kind I am not sure, but an investment property in my college town would be a good start I feel and from there only grow and expand my horizon as I move and travel. This could also be a side business that I develop to generate more revenue to acquire these properties and make more investments.

Fourth, rinse and repeat over and over and over again.  That in combination with my strong work ethic and developed leadership skills should put me in a position to move up the corporate ladder or start my own business or something of that sort. Not sure where I’m going but I’m going for it all.

With all of that said I would like to attain a net worth north of $3 million before I am 30 years old. I understand that is going to be extremely difficult but nothing of such high aspirations comes easy and I believe what I am doing now is laying a solid foundation for what I plan to do in the future and the fact that I already have the vision and the majority of the game plan is evident that I am already on my way.

As always let me know what you think, even if you think I am blowing smoke up my own ass I’d like to know what you think!

B^2

 

Summer Plans

In my spare time today, I did a little bit of thinking about what I wanted to do this summer as far as my finances are concerned.

  1. I am going to absolutely crush this internship/sales position. I mean crush it! This is the first time in my life that I will get paid on commission meaning every minute I am not working or trying to sell is a wasted minute. That goes beyond the job as well, I also have this blog and an Instagram, and I will continue to expand my social media presence and further build my personal brand.
  2. I want to move away from the umbrella of financial security of my parents. They have done a fantastic job providing for me all my life and I feel obligated to lighten their load. I am making it a goal of mine to work harder than ever before to obtain scholarships and other means to provide for my schooling. My parents have also paid for my housing during college and pending the results of my friend meeting with his landlord tomorrow I should be moving out the fraternity house and plan to pay my rent and all necessary living expenses. I also came up with my method to do so. I have talked about Lending Club before on this blog but for those of you who haven’t read about it yet you can reference this post about it “Lending Club Review”.

 

My favorite part about Lending Club is how liquid it is while you are making money. I get funds transferred to my portfolio nearly everyday as I have 110 active notes currently. This pays me about $100 a month in both interest and principal payments. If I own about 400ish notes I will receive about $350 in payments per month which is coincidentally my rent for this next school year again assuming the conversation with the landlord goes as planned tomorrow. That is all while making about a 7% gain as of this moment. This whole school year I have been pulling out my interest and principal payments to cover my expenses (its not enough however I spend more than $100 a month typically). If I can purchase that many notes however that should cover my rent payment which would be a passive income source for me. As of now that is my game plan for this next academic year. My typical food expenses as I have learned from diligently tracking them through my internship and co-op is about $60 a week or $240 a month. I plan to use my savings and any side money to cover that aspect of my expenses.

  1. I have also began looking at investment properties in my college town, with the hopeful influx of money I make this summer this may finally become a reality and I have also explained some of those plans in a previous post linked *here*.
  2. This will also be the first summer where I will be relatively free while I have been this interested in improving my life for the years to come. On my co-op I did not start investing until very late and then I returned to school and was again very busy with my other obligations. While on my internship I was taking 9 credit hours of summer class which took a very large toll on my time and extracurricular efforts. I lived an endless cycle of work, working out, and then studying and doing homework during the 5-day work week and then my Sunday’s were typically consumed in school work as well. This is another very exciting aspect of this summer that I can hopefully take advantage of.
  3. I intend to learn more than I ever have this summer as well. I have an ambitious reading goal this summer of 10 books which is crazy to think about since I have not read for leisure in years but the value that it has been bring to my life is incredible and I have learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn more. If you have any suggestions I am open to them all but I will most likely need to focus in on something related to what I would like to pursue later in my life, namely entrepreneurship, business, investment property and real estate, and investing.
  4. I would like to make a strong effort to help my fraternities recruitment efforts this summer. Due to the new structure of our recruitment and pledgeship process this summer will be the ultimate factor to our future success and I would like to give my time, effort and talent to this endeavor. Not that I haven’t helped in the past, but I see the high importance of this task, but it will also give a chance to develop my new skills.
  5. I believe this summer will also allow me to network more than I have in the past and I have given up some of those opportunities for my other obligations in the past. Again, with all that I have learned this school year I believe this will be a key aspect in my ultimate success later in life and the more I can network and connect with the others the more opportunities will present themselves.

I’m sure there are other aspects I am forgetting to include but these are just some highlights. I will do my best to update all my readers on what I am up to this summer. Hopefully this last 2 weeks of school won’t drain me to bad, I had the problem occur on my co-op.

As always, I would love to hear all your comments!

B^2

10 Ways to make Passive Income – Financial Education YouTube Channel

I recently read Jeremy’s book 10 Ways to Make Passive Income. For those of you who don’t know, Jeremy runs the Financial Education YouTube Channel and I’ve watched his videos for awhile now and I’ve read his other book Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets!

Let’s get to it shall we. Passive income has been the latest rant and rave the last couple years it seems like. If you look up hashtags on Instagram it has tons of posts, there are hundreds of YouTube videos and books talking about it and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to make money every second of everyday without putting in any active work. Some may say “No way! That’s too good to be true, make money every second of everyday without any work?!” Hold your horses there, it’s either going to take some sort of initial work or initial capital so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Jeremey says, “Passive income is when you create a product, service, or business in the past and you are able to make money from that for years to come with little or no ongoing effort.”

What are 10 Ways to make Passive Income?

  1. Real Estate- This is Jeremy’s least favorite, because it’s not passive until you get to a very large scale. I am a huge fan still and plan to get into real estate in the next year or two. Passive income from real estate involves owning property and renting it out, like houses, apartment buildings, land etc. The reason this isn’t passive is because on a small scale you would have to find tenants, fix anything broken, keep in contact with tenants and make sure they pay on time, don’t break anything etc. This becomes passive on a large scale when you own entire apartment buildings and can outsource everything and make enough money to pay for that extra help and still make a profit.

 

  1. YouTube- Jeremey follows up his least favorite passive income method with his favorite. He obviously runs a very successful YouTube channel (126,000+ subscribers at time of writing). He tries to make a good balance of evergreen and regular content. “Evergreen content is when you make videos around subjects that people will still be searching for months/years/decades from now.” Regular content is more short term relevant videos at the time of production but may not have that long-term aspect. Building an audience and your subscription base is critical to building passive income from YouTube and requires making a video almost every day for a year or two to build a large following unless you luck out with a viral video.

 

 

  1. Dividend Investing- Another one of my personal favorites would be investing in dividend paying companies. To do this effectively you would want to invest in 10-15 companies to diversify your portfolio and invest in companies with a competitive “moat” as well as 2+% dividend yields with consistent growth and dividend increases. A competitive moat means the company is in no danger of competition taking significant portions of its market share and it’s a stable industry.

 

  1. Podcasting – Similar to YouTube podcasting requires lots of demanding work and dedication to create a following. Once you have a strong following you can advertise and cross promote your podcast to different social media sites. Podcasters sometimes make most of their income from listeners donating money to them via Patreon, a donation site specifically for podcasting.

 

 

  1. Ebook Author- Jeremey has had a lot of success with his investing book and can speak from personal experience on the benefits of being an ebook author. Nowadays with Amazon Kindle and ebooks becoming so popular its never been easier to become an ebook author! He suggests that you write books and funnel your social media platforms to buy your book, if you don’t have a large social media following he suggests selling your book for free the first week and get lots of reviews and reads under your belt before you start charging for it. Another strategy he talks about is if you plan on writing a series to alternate free and paid books. For example, if you are writing a 5-book series perhaps make book 1, 3, and 5 free and charge for 2, 4.

 

  1. Affiliate Marketing- If you are familiar with the Financial Education channel then you have seen the affiliate marketing Jeremy does. For those of you who are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing basically you link ads from sites like amazon and when someone clicks on your link and buys something from the site within 24 hours you earn a commission on whatever was sold. Now this is like 3-6% but on big items like laptops, cameras, etc. that’s an easy $20 bucks or so. The key to affiliate marketing is its just a numbers game and you need a lot of link clicks. Say for instance if we are talking about the Financial Education YouTube channel he estimates that 1 out of 100 people who view his videos click on the link. Of those 1% he estimates 10% will buy something. If you do the math on that you need approximately 1000 views to get 1 affiliate sale. This is extremely passive though, once the link is there it is there and if you have something that people will view, read, or site people visit often then its there forever more or less and can keep bring in passive income for years to come if the linked item is still relevant and for sale. I participate in affiliate marketing and while I haven’t converted any sales I am still at the very low end of the numbers game, for example at the time of writing this post, I’ve had 16 link clicks so if the rule of numbers is the same as the Financial Education channel then around 100 clicks I should ideally have a conversion.

 

  1. Website- This essentially piggy backs off affiliate marketing. The idea is to create a website with stellar SEO, and lots of views and use that to generate affiliate sales via amazon or other retailers.

 

 

  1. Selling Stock Photos/Music- Making music and taking pictures are popular hobbies nowadays. If you have a talent in this area you can sell photos and music on sites like Alamy, Istock photo, Shutterstock, and AudioJungle. Generally, the site you choose will take a cut of your profits but again a nice passive income source because once your photo or music is on there its on there forever.

 

  1. Create an Online Course- This is probably the fastest growing segment of passive income. In recent courses on Udemy and Teachable have exploded. Jeremey has recently started doing this he currently offers an options course and a stock market training course and has made substantial passive income from it. He recommends using a platform like YouTube to offer free content and then offer premium content on a course website and charge for that.

 

 

  1. Sell on Amazon and have Amazon Manage Inventory- is also a popular fast-growing segment of the passive income world. Essentially create a product and send the product to amazon and let them sell it, stock it and delivery it. Of course, this takes a cut out of your profits by allowing Amazon to do the work instead of you but that is the point of passive income its not suppose to be active work everyday shipping product managing your inventory etc.

 

He finishes with an outro encouraging his readers to implement his advice to build multiple streams of income passively. This would ultimately lead to financial freedom and not be tied down to the old 9-5 job.

 

This book is short, took about 30-45 minutes to read and I’ve covered the material fairly well, because of this I would not recommend buying this book for several reasons. I have presented all the ideas of this book. The information can be found on his YouTube page @ Financial Education and there are plenty of other YouTubers covering the same material and perhaps going more in depth than the book.

 

With that I’ll leave you a question. What are you doing to build several streams of income passively?

I can say personally I am looking into getting in Real Estate soon. I currently invest rather heavily in dividend paying stocks, and peer to peer lending which produces passive income on the order of about $500 a year. This blog and the affiliate marketing I do on it clearly lends itself to passive income. I may dabble in some of the above-mentioned areas in the future but for now those listed above are my top priorities.

 

The Freedom Funnel – Dropshipping Guide

My long time friend wrote this article up for me, and after months of testing products and advertising strategies I can say from experience having gone through his tutorials that he can back up his facts and figures in his program. Thanks S.


Ecommerce is currently dominating the retail world. In 2017 alone over $2.3 TRILLION was spent buying things online. It is predicted that by 2021, that number will be $4.5 Trillion. When seeing these kind of numbers, one might ask ‘How do I get in on the receiving end of this? How can I start selling/making money online?’ Unfortunately, many get turned off by the time required to manage order fulfillment, the coding required to set up the website, and the initial large investment in inventory that is typically required for eCommerce.

simplified shopify

However, there is a variant of eCommerce that works just as well that requires ZERO initial investment, ZERO design/coding skills, ZERO inventory, and ZERO experience. Introducing eCommerce dropshipping. Here’s how it works: You first find a wholesale website that is willing to ship single items (such as Aliexpress). You next do product research to find an item that will sell. Then you import that item to your website on Shopify’s platform at a marked up price. With the help of Facebook ads you Hyper-Target traffic to your website and when someone buys it from you, you buy it from the wholesale site and ship it directly from the wholesaler to the customer’s doorstep. It is that easy. As you profit, you scale. With Facebook tracking every move of over 2,000,000,000 people, the sky is the limit.

I have found great success in this field by keeping it simple as possible. I believe the best, easiest, and quickest way to get involved in eCommerce dropshipping is by only having 1 product on your website at a time. Your entire website should focus on selling this one item at first. The reason this works is that not only does it give the website visitor no option but to buy this item or leave, but it also allows the Facebook Pixel to completely submerge in the data and optimize to only the most prime potential buyers. This method has brought me over $50,000 of revenue on just one item in 3-4 months. I have also had students who have followed this method and made over $1000 within the first 12 days of starting!

I made a complete step-by-step video series outlining this method and how to do it exactly. Best part is that it’s free (for a limited time only). Just go to this link – www.SimplifiedShopify.com – and follow the steps!

Highlights:

No Inventory: With 1-click you can add products to your store from wholesale sites with millions of offers. You don’t need to handle any products or ship them to customers yourself nor pay for them upfront. You buy them when the customer buys them from you.

No Design/Coding: Click to choose which theme you want, and then just drag and drop designs where you want them. No design skills are required, Shopify uses a beginner friendly system.

 No Experience Needed: I have an easy to follow step by step video training meant for beginners. You will receive daily training and advice.

So, what makes this unique?

Most people teach dropshipping in a drawn-out, complex manner.

What I offer is different.

My step-by-step videos are by far the easiest, most efficient, and least overwhelming way to get REAL results in dropshipping. This program is still in beta currently, so get in now for FREE access!!

In a world where simplicity is dominating, so should eCommerce.

It’s so simple in fact, that you can build your entire store, fan page, fill your inventory, and launch your first ad in less than 5 HOURS. It is even possible that you have your first sale in less than 24 HOURS.

www.SimplifiedShopify.com