Category Archives: Earning

Weekly Pain & Gain: Money and the Capsule

Weekly columns are a nice quick way to give you all some updates on whats happening here at the Traveling Wallet HQ. This is specially useful if I can’t seem to get a full post out on specific idea topic. I have seen lots of bloggers take part  in a weekly update sort of post so I am going to give it a shot myself. I actually have been wanting to do one since tax season where I was going to talk about the awesome refund and whine about an unexpected charge but that one never made out into the public.

I want to end on the happy note so I will discuss our pains and then our gains. Also since I am currently in the midst of a 3 month capsule wardrobe challenge I will hit on that as well.

So lets talk about last week. Most of the fun for our family happens on the weekends so I figured Monday would be the best day for the Traveling wallet weekly updates.

This weeks..

Pain

As part of my effort to remove the excess I posted some stuff up on Craigslist and I was pleasantly surprised to have multiple inquiries. However the meet up fell through. After several messages back and forth during the week I was pretty surprise at not being able to get a hold of the buyer over the weekend. So I was pretty frustrated that I had taken time to get it all nice and ready to go. I didn’t make my $35 plus I am just disappointing that I have to hold on to them for another week. Its pretty amazing how freeing it is to take out excess stuff from your home and life.

I was not happy to miss out on that rush I get.

But it seems they are still interested so we will try again next weekend. I already fixed what Mr. Roamer said was my biggest mistake. Not getting a phone number. So I requested it right away and got it. Hopefully next Monday I will report back $35 richer. 🙂

Gain

This past week included my bimonthly pay check and that is the star of this weeks celebratory gain! For 2 separate reasons. Why?because my company finally, FINALLY got around to processing my shift differential pay increase.  That’s right I mentioned it in my quarterly goal review back in MAY!!! Happily they also didn’t gyp me and also retro payed me for the 2 months they missed. That means my regular paycheck had a nice 10% increase and I got a “bonus” check. Oh and the second reason is that we are all done front loading our 401Ks so we dropped the percentage substantially so our paychecks also appear much bigger thanks to that. Pretty much this month we are rolling in the dough!!

But it wont last long as I already plan to  adjust all our automatic withdrawals so that we shift that money where its suppose to go. ( I think I will write more on that)

Also I am happy to finally be done reading one of my books. (High Fives)

Capsule Wardrobe Update

So this weekend was my 7th week on the capsule wardrobe and so far I am enjoying it. Its really refreshing to have so much more space in my closet.

This weekend was very weather-arific and we had glorious rain in our oh so dry California. But that happened toward the end of the day on Saturday and Sunday and so we still made it to the beach first. Here is what I wore this weekend.

2015 summer capsule wardrobe
Saturday Tennis shoes and dress for a day of hanging around

 

Summer 2015 Capsule wardrobe
Changed into boots and put on sweater for a rainy date night.
2015 summer Capsule wardrobe
Sunday Off to the beach.

Side note: Why can’t I stack these pictures next to each other instead of on top of each other. Guess I still have more to learn about this wordpress site. 

There should actually be another 2 outfit picture for Sunday because after the beach we all showered and put on the most refreshing clothes we could find!!! it was so hot and sticky. But then it started raining so I had to change again! So that was a lot of changes but really I wear my capsule so little because I spend most of the week in my work clothes.

So have you ever been stood up by a buyer? If so do you give them a second chance? Any thought on capsule dressing?

 

Signature

Quarter 1 review of goals

Actually I guess its not a quarterly review as much as a trimester review. Jan- April.

So part of making goals public is that they help you with accountability right? Well things have not been going well on all fronts.

I am just going to hit these all fast and hard… Is what I was going to say, but who am I kidding 🙂

Starting from the top and working my way down.

Picture of the goals I carry around in my planner. The one in my planner is actually all marked up.

Spiritual Awareness

Let see what we have on here?..

  • Attend 4 churches in a year( attend 4 times a month ) 1  2  3   4
  • Write in  Journal, reflect 15 min what I am thankful for 1/wk (Total of 52)

I’m going to come right out ans say it. This is so not a priority right now. Which is kind of funny and sad as I am always aiming to improve as a person and mother and I’m sure the reflection would help me realign my values with my actions. I’ve been extremely short tempered since switching to night shift. Though finally I am getting use to the schedule and at least that is improving.

As for the finding some sort of spiritual house or following…. I am going to go ahead and just strike that off the list. Technically I could cram it all into the last 4 months of the year. But… I am just going to be honest that for the next 5 months I don’t see myself searching for different religious houses of worship and then forcing my family to attend in an attempt to broaden mine and their horizons.  I’ll only review this again if I decide I have time to put it back on the table

Spirituality final tally: 0%… Or F if you prefer a letter grade. Either way I’m off track.

Health

Warrior Dash in march. Tonya and I getting ready to get muddy...(that is not my real hair :)   )
Warrior Dash in march. Tonya and I getting ready to get muddy…(and yes, I did give myself crazy hair and a smile to try and conceal my identity).  🙂
  • Run two 5ks, 1 Jan-June and then 1 July-Dec.

I actually completed this so Yay! Yet I’ve only done 1 organized run a year for past 2 years so I don’t know why I keep putting 2…. Is it to push myself? Must be. I am not a 100% fan of the sticker price of fun runs but I am working on a post where I rationalize the shizz out of it.

Run: 50% complete, on track

  • Dance 1/ month @ home

I’m doing pretty good on that. Though it looks like I missed February. Which means I can’t get 100%. 🙁

Dancing: 25% complete, on track

  • Take 1 class (yoga, dance ???) With Mr. Roamer.

Haven’t touched this one yet, but there is still time. So no grading still on track to be able to complete it. Haha thank goodness for a goal of one with still over 150 day left in the year.

Languages

  • Read 1 book in Spanish.

Sadly I’m not including children’s books….. Or am I? 😉 I’m going with not done yet. I still have time so I am going to say no grade necessary yet, I’m still on track. But I am getting my reading muscle working and added

  • Read 4 books this year.

Really sad compared to how much I use to read but I’m sure 400% better then last year. Already working on I Will Teach You To Be Rich (pg 109 of 260) and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (pg.144 of 340).

Reading: 20%, slightly behind

2014 characters learned
2014 characters learned
  • Chinese 2 characters/month

I have not really touched this one yet. By this point I should already know how to pen 10 new characters above and beyond last years learning. I think I have done 1.

Chinese: 4% when I should be at 40% , Behind

 

Relationships 

 Date
Leftovers from our fancy January date
  • 1 date a month w/ Mr Roamer.

We have done really well so far and not spent a bunch of money. We’ve gone to the movies, a fancy dinner and picnic date. I forgot to write some of it down but we have spent very marginal amounts of money as well.

Dating husband: 41% complete, on track

  • Write in kids memory books.

So far my planner says I am on track but missed January, and might still need to do May. I think this is a great ways to capture important moments and doing it once a month at the minimum isn’t too difficult.

Memory book: 25% , missed a month so can’t get 100% , On track 

  • 1 date a month with each child.

I haven’t been doing so well here I have missed whole months. With my new schedule I now get to spend a lot of one on one time with Minnie Roamer , but see Jr.Roamer a lot less. I haven’t been setting time aside for just him and so I need to pick up the slack. Moving forward Minnie Roamer will automatically be on track, what I need to focus on is Jr. Roamer.

Jr. Roamer time: 8% should be 41%, off track

Minnie Roamer time: 25%, off track

  • Sister & mother 1 date/ 6 months

I have one month left to schedule this and be on track.

Sis, Ma time: 0% , on track

Financial

  • Earn side hustle  $500

So far I’ve earned $30. If I divide $500/12 I should be shooting for about $42 a month so I am behind. I need to pick up the slack. So far I am not a craigslist whiz.

Hustle: 6%, Behind,  need to up the hustle.

  • Max out 401k ,18k/ person

We are aggressively front loading our 401k and in June we will drop it significantly to have enough to continue to get employer match until year end . This is also one of the main reasons I didn’t want to quit when our family situation suddenly changed.

401K: 70% complete, on track

  • Save 30k for house($2500/month)

I really shouldn’t have added the per month part as I knew we would be front loading 401ks. So we have not been hitting the monthly goal but after June and the 401k adjustments we will be saving over the monthly goal and should end up with both goals met by year end.

House fund: 19% complete, Behind , but not worried

Blog

  • Write 2 posts a week.

Yup. Nope! What was I thinking not even on my good month was I able to keep that up. Its a good goal and it reinforces the need for consistent content to A. Practice writing and B. Keep people interested but I was being too aggressive. With my new work schedule time to write seems more sporadic and hard to come by then before. My realistic goal moving forward is 1 post per week . which is vastly better then the 1 post per month I have suddenly found myself doing.

Posts: 13%, Behind, goal adjusted, 25% with new goal

  • Add AdSense when hit 35 posts. Have blog pay for itself.

It’s been added. So far not good. I am cutting this goal from my view for the next trimester as I strictly focus on creating consistent content.

Adsense: 0%, dropped off the queue

  • Attend Fincon

I purchased the early bird ticket and now Mr. And I need to have a discussion and figure everything else out. I am looking for roommate!!!! To save on cost and I might even venture into credit card churning to lower cost. But I need to figure this all out asap. EEK!

FinCon: Can I even score this???

Work

  • Reevaluate job in July..

Well I am working a new position and though its still not something that makes my heart sing it is keeping my brain working harder then it was before the switch. As of right now goal is to stay until end of year. But I will ask myself again in July.

  • Hunt for new job / interview 3 times.

As I am now working a strange corporate shift 3:30- 12:30 am . I keep telling myself I won’t find the same deal anywhere else. Technically I should have interviewed once already but I think this might just get cut out.

  • Get pay increase of 5% .

Well I haven’t seen it in my paycheck yet but I am supposedly getting a 10%  increase. Still not happy but that’s a story for a different post.

Pay increase: 100% complete? and then some….(update when check rolls in)

Now you might be thinking. What in the world was that. After all this is all you see for my goals here on the blog….

Goals as they appear on the blog
Goals as they appear on the blog

Well I wanted to really check in with all of them so that is why I referred back to the goals I presented to you in the new year. Now another reason I brought up the blog vs. my other goals is that here I include my travel goal.

Travel

Denver... in the Spring?
Denver… in the Spring?
  • 1 family trip 5+ days

We made it to Colorado and back. We spent time together and with the rest of our family. So all done in this department according to goals. Still we are planning a second trip for the winter. This keeps getting dropped from yearly goals because really its almost habitual. 1 yearly visit to extended family is part of our life, so really no goal is necessary.

Travel: 100% complete

So why am I sharing with you? Well like I said you all help to keep me accountable. Also writing up this post really did help me review stuff and see where I need to focus my attention. My strengths are clearly saving, now I just need to manage my time better. It was also helpful to recheck goals to see where they stack up and realign objectives. Which included striking some from the list.

Any pointers? How do you manage multiple goals at once? Let me know down below.

 

One More Year Syndrome

I have given up writing beautiful prose.(don’t laugh)

Instead of just not ever publishing because of limited time I think I’m just going to start publishing my thoughts as they come. Some I think would be useful to my readers and other well they might just be good practice for me. (Besides it’s not like I can’t go back and delete the really bad ones)

So here goes you have all been warned. Actually what I should have is a weekly wrap up like so many other bloggers have. But again then I wait because it’s unfinished and never end up publishing because the moment has passed.

So let’s get started.

I’m suffering from the one more year syndrome.

But first let’s take a step back.

Life changes so fast. Sometimes it’s an accident at a river, sometimes it’s because you can’t watch your mouth and don’t know how good you have it. Either way life changes in the blink of an eye sometimes.

It’s official

I mean really official

I’m suffering from the one more year syndrome.*

At the beginning of this month I had the perfect excuse to quit. I have been wanting to quit for … forever. And at the beginning of this month, I had the perfect excuse. But what did I do instead?

I extracted my claws, dug deep and clung tight. Too scared to let go. Too scared to take action.

Too scared to QUIT!

Instead of using this sudden excuse to take the year off. (My year off, that I planned almost 7 yrs ago.)

I panicked!

The timing was off. It wasn’t even June. That is when I had planned to reevaluate the job. To decided. I mean I wanted to max out my 401k before I left. Plus I just started this new position in December.

Excuses or reasons to not leave I had.

So instead of making a decision to leave I made the decision to try and stay.

So what happened?

Well, our 5 person household is down to 4. Oh and also we have no childcare.

Let me tell you, living in a multi generational house hold is hard. I’ll tell you about it some other time.

The imminent problem that needed to be addressed was who is going to take care of the kids?

Who indeed?

Due to our previous fortune we had no non family people in our resources. So we hodge podged  a week of care.  Discussed possibilities and finally decided that……

I could work nights.

Do you see it now? Is it clear? me clinging to work when I have the perfect excuse to quit.

Oh life.

Well things got shifted around and now I am working night shift. But I know I really do want to leave, because I was actually surprised when my boss said OK. You see I had tried to get the exact same arrangement right after my daughter was born and they had said most certainly “No”. So I thought I would walk in there propose the idea.  And leave thinking I had done everything to keep the job. But, oh well they had said no and its out of my hands now.

I mean talk about not wanting to be the one to make the decision.

So here I am working nights. Hanging on tight to my one more year.

I say it’s because I want to max out my 401k. Which is actually completely true. But I also think I just didn’t like the idea of altering my plan. June and December were the milestones for quitting. For multiple reasons too.  The 401k and another which was  the fact I was also intrigued by Financial Samurai’s book How to Engineer your layoff and wanted to give that a try.

But at root of it I guess I’m just scared of losing what I already have. A steady paycheck! More ammunition for our f-you money pot.

As of now I’ve survived the month and now have 8k of this years 401k safely sitting in my account. Yet I have to admit this is not where I want to be. How do I know? It would suck to pass on now. I see this is not ideal for the family and that the arrangement should only be temporary. That as it is I’m not entirely sure I am making the right decision.

On the positive side. I was also afraid of being at home all day with the kids. Let’s be realistic the change would take some getting use to . Now however I’m doing it and on very little sleep. So when I finally take time off it should be a piece of cake. 🙂

* one more year syndrome is a commonly used phrase by FI people to describe some one who is Financially Independent but keeps pushing off taking the plunge and leaving the 9-5.  Worried and thinking that one more year will provide them more safety.

I am not FI but my family is in a position to be able to not just survive but continue to thrive on one income for a year. That is why I am diagnosing myself with the one more year syndrome

We all say we won’t be scared to take the plunge but its quite a different experience when the decision is staring you in the face.

Do you suffer from the 1 more year syndrome? Is something stopping you from making changes or finally crossing something off your goal list? Leave a comment and Tell me below.

Extra Income Challenge Wrap Up

Last month I visited money manifesto, he had posted a throw down which I though was a great idea. So I took the extra income challenge.

Here is my pledge

The Pledge

I, The Roamer, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $100 of income this month. I plan to make this income through a yard sale where I get rid of unneeded items.I will also be registering to UBER to provide lifts. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

And challenge it was.

I’ll just start with the punchline. I failed. Oh man did I fail.  Now let’s get to the details.

The Yard Sale

My yard sale was actually a community sale hosted by my son’s  elementary. There was a buy in cost (-$20), first drawback. I also logically expected there to be stiff competition. I mean more vendors potentially selling the same style items mean more competition right? Second drawback. But I also figure it would be heavily advertised and it would be quite a bustling scene.

I was extremely optimistic. I though I would sell at least $70. Which would mean netting $50 and covering the space.

I expected to much. There was indeed right next to me a lady with a mountain of toys. I was also trying to sell my kids unused toys. But the worst of it. NO SHOPPERS!

The school has a parking lot on a main st and a parking lot on a side less busy st. We were set up in the less busy st. For safety reasons and available areas to park it made sense. But there was/is no real drive by traffic. I swear the people buying where the people a few stalls down selling.

It was not good. I severely over estimated how much it was advertised. I was considering putting up a post on craigslist but got lazy and never did. Lesson learned.

For 4 hrs of work we netted about $23( So $43 but subtracted the 20 for the space). $10 of which my son got to keep for being a trooper and actually working to sell some toys.  So it was pretty much a fail.

My take away.

  • Don’t assume they will advertise.
  • If you are paying for a space make sure you can cover the cost.
  • Post ads everywhere, Tell everyone. Invite your friends neighbors and strangers.
  • Silver lining, good learning experience for my son.
  •  I honestly feel I would have made more if I was selling Candy…hey I’m just sayin’
  • My husband said head gladly pay me $13 to never have to do it again , HAHA ( I have to laugh to keep from crying)

Uber

I have to say I was pretty excited about adding some side hustle income into my daily tasks. I had seen some ads on craigslist for drivers a few weeks before and I was happy to have an excuse to pitch it to the Mr.

Unfortunately I should have done more HW. Uber was another bust. I had heard that you needed to have a new car. OK check. Drivers license, insurance, I live in an area where there is a lot of tourists and it seemed like it was going to be easy money.

However that was not the case. Though our car fleet is as MMM would say off the HOOK. Way fancier then anything he drives ( in the newness department) Apparently they were not good enough. We own a 2011 Toyota Corolla, and a 2013 Honda Civic. Come on those are some new rides. But No NO!  They are “compact” cars .

You need to have mid-sized cars to sign up. I didn’t know it had to be a specific size. Mid size car? No check.

Well there you have it.

November GOAL $100

November ACTUAL $13 (minus $10 for my son)

So if you have any advice on how to sell unused items I’d appreciate it. I still have some items to unload. Nice toys mind you and baby clothes. Any Advice I would be so grateful.

Comment Below with your success or horror stories of side hustles.

 

I accepted the Extra Income challenge

As the Roamer here at the Traveling Wallet, I am reading up on how to optimize. One of my goals is to retire early and another is to be a better parent.

One of the methods I plan to use to reach these goals is by diversifying my income stream. If I can earn income from home then I can be home with my kids. If I can earn side hustle income while holding a 9-5 then I can save more aggressively and reach FIRE.(That’s Financial Independence Retire Early for any new to the term.) Which means that the sooner I reach it the sooner I can stay home with my kids.

It’s a never ending circle of finding a way to spend more time with the kids!

So one way,  like I mentioned earlier is to earn some side hustle!

So I proudly accept The Extra Income Challenge thrown down by Mr. Lance over there at Money Manifesto.

Money Manifesto

I’m going to keep the bar realistic given my lack of experience. But here is my official pledge per Lance’s Instructions

The Pledge

I, The Roamer, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $100 of income this month. I plan to make this income through a yard sale where I get rid of unneeded items.I will also be registering to UBER to provide lifts. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

This is pretty small peanuts when you consider it against my take home but every little bit helps.  The challenge also mentions having a reason like challenging yourself to earn enough to pay for a date. Well I gave you all my reason up top. This is a small step to earning enough to quit my standard 9-5.

Thinking about depositing those puppies straight into my investment account is motivational enough for me.

Will you accept the Challenge. Head over to Money Manifesto and make your pledge.

If you have any tips on how to succeed as a seller in a yard sale I’d love to hear it. Also any tips on Uber!