Archive for the ‘passive income’ Category

Kinda fell off the wagon

March 26, 2008

I haven’t been here lately because I’ve been increasing my debt (over $18K now) and am starting to feel guilty.  My credit score went from 720, to 630, and it’s up to 656 now.  I knew that was going to happen in order for me to not pay 21% in finance charges.   However, gave up on the blog idea (one of the reasons why I’m not writing here as frequently) and put all that energy towards learning about real estate.  I found some good books at the library.  Also I had some careless penalty fees: two parking tickets at $37 a pop; signed up for a background casting site which is useless and it charged $19 and possibly another $45.

I apologize to all the people who commented, but I didn’t approve it for a while.  Thanks for reading.

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Debt Consolidation complete for now!

January 30, 2008

Ok, I’m card hopping – not the best routine, but better than getting killed with high interest rates.  Now I the most I’m paying is 4.99% at Bofa for about 11K of debt.  The rest of my $15K debt is at zero percent.  This means that I’m paying about $525/year in interest charges down from $2100 just a few months back.  Also, I increased my credit limit on my bofa card to 16K.

FALLING BACK INTO THE DEBT PATTERN

Since my rental check didn’t come in, I have not been able to pay the bills so I had to put it on my credit card.  This is the same pattern that happens so quickly with falling into debt.  I have not at all been able to spend time focusing on film – especially my own projects which I direct and/or produce.  I have people pissed off at me, but I’m trying to make them understand that working on a non-paid project is hard to justify when I can’t pay my bills.

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG? 

A few weeks back I was studying about blogging intensely, but realized that if I put that same effort to learning about real estate my wealth will increase even more.  So I have been focused on that. I’m not going to discontinue blogging, but it will be much further back on the priority list.  I do see a passive income stream there, but a slower one.  I have one site already set up with google adsense and will maintain it.  However, I don’t think I will start anything soon.

I’m also looking to get a job with an airline or some other franchise or both.  This way,  I can visit my parents more frequently.

MY PRIORITIES

My priorities are in a state of flux.  Previously, it was in this order:

1. Film/Acting
2. Family
3. Travel

Then last month it was:
1. Family
2. Finance
3. Film
4. Travel

Now since I’ve seen my  parents recently it’s:
1. Finance
2. Family
3. Film
4. Travel

I have a pretty clear vision now of where I’m going.  A few variables are getting a job to pay the bills until the passive income kicks into a higher gear (at least $2K/mo).

Financial Pressure was Mounting till I Chose for it to NOT Mount

January 12, 2008

I was feeling very stressed out yesterday about the international trip. I had been looking for jobs but nothing came my way. I made up around 3 different resumes, but something just didn’t seem right about aimlessly working to make money. I wanted to work somewhere where I could gain knowledge. It felt like my dreams were crumbling as I see so often with my friends who have to make money instead of going on audition and next thing you know, they’re a full time manager somewhere and their dreams have gone away. I do NOT want that happening to me.

My wife preaches the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” about how to break habits. (She’s really good about practicing what she preaches. She took my advice when I told her that she should be saving 10% of everything she makes and she stuck with it for the past year and has several grand in her account. Then she opened up an HSBC saving at 4.25% just yesterday.) She said that I keep going through this every time property tax rolls around. I said that I want to build up a system (blogs) and not just work minimum wage jobs which will take away from my time to build the sites. Plus, it’s not like I sit around all day and watch TV. I don’t watch it at all. She said that it didn’t look like I need money that bad because I’m not jumping at any job. This is exactly how I keep getting into debt. I’m managing it now, but the trip will be too much.

Then I went to sleep and woke up feeling almost the same way, then I realized that it’s all a choice. I am choosing to be stuck in this pattern and be miserable. Like one of my favorite quotes, ‘you can be in debt and be miserable or you can be in debt. Period. I prefer to be in debt and do something about it – which I have been.

Then it dawned on me that I wouldn’t mind owning a franchise and possibly even working somewhere first where I could gain knowledge and then later own it.

I spoke to my father as well about selling their second house which they never use and buy a 4-plex. My mother was interested when I told her about it recently. I’m heading there tomorrow to see them and will bring it up and possibly go check out the area as well.

Mysteriously $2K disappeared out of my Bofa account and it is not showing up in the transactions as well as any other of my credit cards. The wamu2 got declined because I had the wamu1.

Washington Mutual Credit Card’s archaic system

January 11, 2008

I just filled out the WaMu cc paysmart invoice. Man! I felt like a dinosaur was about to rip my roof off and possibly eat me alive.  What does that mean?  Washington mutual’s credit card autopayment signup protocol is so archaic. I started the process days ago which was wasting my energy as I kept watching for late payments etc.  I finally got it and I had to write out a voided check – who does that anymore?

I must admit even though I seemed to switch everything from bank of America (BofA checking and savings), wamu’s customer service sucks big time.  First of all, I couldn’t open a savings account because of those stupid questions on their site for verification.  Then I didn’t get a debit card for 6 months.  I emailed them about every month and never received a reply.  I called them and they said it would be in within 10 days and it never showed up.  Then I called again and finally I got the card.  However, their products are awesome – free checking and checks for life; nearly 5% savings – which is why I’m with them.  I have no idea how they got JD Power and Associates Best Customer Service award.  I would write to JD if they screwed me over, but their in house customer service is very nice.  I like them a lot. I actually look forward to going to the bank. But come on WaMu cc – this is the 21st Century AD, not BC.

Nickling and Diming
I signed up for a few get paid for research sites such as pinecone.com as I’m totally broke.  I’ve been really stressing lately.  I had to buy a ticket for a domestic airline as my father is not doing too well.  I did put it on my swa cc so I can get something in return.  However, even bigger is the trip my wife and I are planning to go see her parents.  She hasn’t seen them in nearly a decade, so again we can’t put a price on that, but it is going to hurt. I was going to try and make some money before we go, but it doesn’t look likely now.  It’s an international flight which will set us back about $1500 each and we have to pay for our expenses here as well.  Anyway, this is going to kill me.  That’s why I’ve been trying to work harder on the blogs, but I feel so unfocused (I started another blog idea – not sure if I’m going to do it or not, but we’ll see).

Pressure of No Income

January 9, 2008

I’ve been feeling really pressured lately as there is no new money coming in.  instead of pushing my property mgr to get a new client in. I formatted the listing of my condo to his site specific.  Sent him pictures I have of the empty condo and said that I would send this out to craigslist unless I hear otherwise – instead of asking him, ‘let me know if you want me to send it to craigslist.’  So that way, he has to respond to stop me incase I put something in my listing that he doesn’t approve of.

I hung out with a friend who mentioned mint.com.  it’s a really cool concept and basically it does everything automatically which I’m doing manually on excel.  Check out this article about mint.com on Forbes.

I spent a lot of time updating my other site and adding adsense and Amazon stuff.  I have this tendency to work really hard for something that might pay me back later – ‘might’ being the operative word.  I have such an entrepreneurial spirit, but a lot of times it doesn’t go to fruition, so all this time spent is wasted.  But I know – just the same with film – that I’ll only fail when I quit.

Coming out of Avoiding Negative to Gaining Positive mode

January 5, 2008

I was hesistant the other day to put purchases on my SWA credit card because I didn’t want to go back into a credit card debt.  So I put a few things on there (gas, groceries,etc) and immediately paid it from my checking account.  Now that I got a lot of the 16% debt down (see previous blog), I am aggressively putting all my bills on there and including my wife’s bills so I can get free airline tickets.  Basically, I gotta spend $16K/year to a free ticket.  Which is basically a 2.5% return on purchases.  I valued the ticket at $400 because of the flexibility.

This is in essense passive income because I’m spending the same amount as I would have otherwise, but now I’m getting something back.

Let me know if you find a better cash back card.

To Blog or Not to Blog?

January 2, 2008

I spent almost all of yesterday 6+ hours learning about blogging as well as this morning for a couple of hours.  I’m becoming slightly disheartened by the amount of time I’m spending and the potential return. I’m expecting to make $1K/mo.  I’m not looking to do this full time.  However, after watching Donald Trump on a show and seeing how if I were to put this same effort into real estate then, it might pay off much bigger.  Which is still a plan, but I have not taken any steps yet.

FOCUSING ON ABES OVER SUSANS
I keep thinking about what Robert Kiyosaki says in Rich Dad Poor Dad about how much time people spend clipping coupons to save fifty cents, but they won’t put that same amount of time into learning about finances which would bring them much bigger returns.  However, the plus side of this blog thing is that 1) I write in my journal anyway, which I’ve been doing for 5+ years, 2) I just need to set up a system (the blog site, adsense) and then it becomes just a maintainence issue of writing and analyzing and it is passive income if set properly.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but that’s why I’m spending so much time right now learning about what not to do, so I don’t waste 6mos and end up making enough to buy a pencil every week via google adsense.

I have even shied away from the financial stuff and have not really looked at the balance til this morning.

Coming soon to FYGUY.com

January 1, 2008

I just bought it.  I was so surprised that it was available as all 3 and 4 letter URLs were sold out by the early 2000’s – even funky combos like sczx.com.  So, I still need to find hosting.  Will keep you posted.  Financially, I was a bit hesitant on spending an extra $8 or so a year to keep the url private, but with all the detailed financial info, I thought it would be a good idea.

Oh do you like my new graphic I put up there?  I made it yesterday and then found out that you can’t make any money here.  Of course, “Sisyphus B. Anthony” will travel to the new site.

FYGUY

Can’t make any money here!!!

January 1, 2008

I just found out that you can’t put google adsense or any income streams on wordpress.com.  So I will keep writing in my journal, but will not post here and once I get a site set up, I’ll post the link here.  There are no readers here, so I’m not that concerned about it.  It’s a lesson learned from problogger.com.

Debated With My Wife Regarding Finances

December 31, 2007

I offered my wife 20% for my half of the rent $425 (which equals to about $0.24/day). I didn’t want the emotion attached as if I’m a loafer husband who’s not pulling in the dough, so that’s why I offered double of what she could get with her money anywhere else.  She currently has about $3K sitting in a bank account earning about 0.25%.

She argued that I’m always on the edge every time prop tax comes around and questioned why I didn’t get a part-time job.  I told her that I refused to get a minimum wage job which is a waste of time. Instead I would rather put that time towards building a passive income system.

She works as a waitress like almost every other actor in town, but it’s not sustainable.  She makes decent income and can save, but it’s not what she wants to do.  So I told her that we’re at the opposite ends of almost everything we do – which is an excellent opportunity to see what the other person is doing and learn from them.  She said it breaks her heart to see me not having money. I told her that it breaks my heart that she’s working til 1am and coming home in the cold dark nights alone.  But didn’t fight and just kept each other in check to make sure we’re doing the right thing with our time.  This set up is so much better than both of us being in the same boat and not seeing a different type of life.  I told her that she has to learn about passive income every single day – whether it’s real estate, stocks, google adsense, etc.

BE KNOWLEDGEFUL BEFORE A FINANCIAL WINDFALL COMES YOUR WAY
Many of our friends land commercial gigs which pay about $20K for just a day’s work.  She even landed one recently, but you don’t start learning about what to do with the money ONCE you have the money.  You have to start learning BEFORE you have that money.  Usually what happens is that you get that kind of money and then you end up trying to save it and then six months later you realized that you worked less and spent all that on bills – like it happened to one of our friends just recently.  She moved into a nicer apt instead of setting up a system.  So, now she’s worse off than BEFORE she got the $20K because she lives in a ‘nicer’ place, but doesn’t have any more of the $20K to pay for it.

WAYS TO STOP EATING OUT
Also, we don’t have a system for food.  We usually go out and get something to eat when we have nothing in the house.  We should have at least 4-5 healthy choice frozen dinners as a back up.  We don’t like eating those things, but when we have no home cooked meals, we can dig into that which costs about $2 a pop – compared to $15 for two by going to a fast food restaurant.  We’ve been buying bags of beans and rice which is really cheap and easy to make and always readily available.  Another thing that really clicked for me in terms of cooking –  not sure if I mentioned it before – is to make gourmet food at home for about $5.  Usually when you cook pasta or something, it’s cheap and tastes cheap.  However, we started making fresh fish which at a restaurant would cost you about $25/plate.  We can make that for $3 at home.