Reintroduction of the Reports
Hey, guys! I’m back with the new and improved reporting system. What this means: first, I’m going to be doing away with the past reports, as I feel they haven’t been entirely accurate of the whole picture of what is going on.
Second, I feel like they haven’t been in depth enough; I feel like I haven’t fully explained what I did in the arena to increase income, explaining fluctuations in spending, and how wealth is increasing (or debt is decreasing). I promise I will try to do a better job of this going forward.
Last, but not least, I want to start giving an account of how my time was spent. Not necessarily how I spent every minute of my day (although that may happen), but just a general overview of where I put my time, and how that is influencing things with my website(s), writing, etc, and how changing my habits going forward may allow me to do something better, or learn more.
Again, I’m going to be putting the past month’s happening at the top of each report, so if you see it on the income report and you move onto the spending report, feel free to skip it! That section will begin with…
Past Month’s Happenings
Indeed! Time to discuss what was up in September. Geesh. I seriously can’t believe October is already here. No bueno, am I right?
Well, September was a…happening month, haha (I’ll show myself out). In September, I did the following:
1. I Found Myself an Editor
I found an editor for my first short story, Sometimes It Pays, and it was awesome. The feeling of finally moving forward was amazing. It is pretty great when your work progresses another milestone. I hope this is the first of many, but I plan to share my experiences with finding the editor, in addition to the editing process, once the edit is complete. I already did this with respect to my beta reader experience. I think being able to write well, regardless of the writing, is one of the keys to financial success, after all, it is ubiquitous in our lives.
2. I Started The Official YouTube Channel of The Smart FI Sprint
It’s true! Now there is an area where you can visually see me as I yell at you not to go out and buy that shiny new bauble (but you weren’t going to do that anyway, right?). All kidding aside, I finally delivered on the promise I made to you all that I was going to branch out into the video medium. I did it and in the first week I received:
- 73 views
- 7 likes
- 3 subscribers
- 327 minutes of total watch time
That completely surpassed my expectations, and I can’t be more grateful to the people out there who watched it!
My goal with the videos I create is to try and reach more people than I normally would with just the website or podcasting.
However, like the website, I want to make an experiment of–and earn a little extra income from–Adsense. Wouldn’t you know it though? I forgot to monetize my video before all of those views started rolling in! I should’ve had a V8, amiright? But, I did that today, and I plan on seeing how that pans out in the future. I’ll probably play around with the ad structure going forward to make it as unobtrusive as possible.
3. We Got a New Car
This kind of happened in August, but since it happened close enough to September, I figured I would discuss it here. I’ve been driving Patti The Prius (yes, how my wife addresses the car) around for a little over a month now. Everything has been fantastic with it, and it has been a gas saver like no other.
I’ve been averaging 44.7 miles to the gallon, whereas when I was driving my Monte Carlo, I was averaging about half of that. This means I will be paying half as much for gas. The current tank has about 420 miles on it and counting. Can’t wait to see the savings trickle in!
As for how I’ve been spending my time over the last month, I didn’t track it, but I most likely put a larger portion of my time toward posting on the website than writing. I have plans for new works of fiction, but I also have ideas for several non-fiction works as well. So, I’m going to try and be a little more even when it comes to extra-website writing. In addition, I also put a lot of time into overhauling the website and adding newer features in, such as the contact area.
And now we finally come to the wealth report:
|Debt||Amount ($, USD)||Percentage Change From Last Month (%)||Investments/Cash/Assets||Amount ($, USD)||Percentage Change From Last Month (%)|
Alright, so this report is going to be a little inconclusive for the next five or six months, most likely. That’s because we are currently saving up for a down payment on a house, and both That Learning Gal and I would feel more comfortable if we didn’t reveal our current cash position, as it is inflated beyond what we normally would keep at our disposal. So, I apologize in advance for that.
However, I can confidently say that we are slowly but surely bringing down our debt to assets ratio. Based off of the assets and cash, assuming a $10k emergency fund, our current net worth would be $-34,618.41. This jumped up substantially because of the new auto loan. That puppy set us back by about $10k (*sobs and opens ice cream*).
However, with last month’s payments, we brought our total debt down by almost 4%. That may not seem or sound like a big number, but as we pay off more, the amount we’re paying as a percentage of the total debt will continue to increase.
I’m really trying not to rain on our parade because we will be purchasing a house at some point in the next half-year or so, and that will contribute significantly to our debt burden. However, the interest rate should be very low. That combined with tax incentives, appreciation (in theory), and building of equity will be a much better deal than just straight up paying down student loan debt and an auto loan.
When we pay those things off, then we will not have to worry about paying off the house extremely fast because investing would be the smarter road there. Well, this is assuming we can make a down payment of 20%. We’ll see what happens there! Still trying to figure it out.
I’m sorry this report couldn’t be more informative, but I hope you understand. Hopefully as our income increases, combined with future spending reductions, increased savings, and debt reduction, we can hit that red mark sooner rather than later. The net worth of $0 is the first step, and is usually the hardest one to hit for the majority of people, including myself. So, we just need to stay motivated to make it happen!
If you have any questions or comments about what we’re doing to make a positive net worth a reality, post them below! Can’t wait to discuss. Thanks, guys, and have a great rest of your weekend.
-That Learning Guy