Be a Goal Getter

I don’t care who you are..you need goals. Think of the old cliche saying that totally applies here..how are you supposed to get where you’re meant to go if you don’t know where that is? I firmly believe that if you take everything else out of the equation, mindset and goals are the biggest drivers of if you will or won’t do something. It also doesn’t matter if you’re on a different path than me and think I’m crazy for my recent FIRE movement 🔥, you still need goals and the right mindset for whatever your movement is, whether financial, personal, professional, relationships or health related.

Don’t be a flake and say something vague like “I want to pay off my debt” or “I want to lose some weight”. If that’s your goal, then you may as well replace it with “I don’t want to accomplish anything ever” and just get excited about carrying around those extra 15 lbs and all that consumer debt for the rest of your life. We wouldn’t have paid off all of our debt and bought our first rental by being flaky..period.

Instead, set yourself some SMART goals for whatever you are trying to achieve. Stop and brainstorm your life, past present and future state. I know everyone is “busy”, but sometimes you have to make it a priority to stop and reflect. Think about tomorrow, end of the year, two years from now, and maybe even think even farther, like 5-10 years from now. With us being halfway through 2019, it’s also a good time to look back on the past six months. What do you see? Do you like what you see? What will happen if you continue the way you are? Will you get where you want to go?

After you think about your path and your big picture, which will be different for all of us, think about 3-5 micro goals over the next 6 months that will help you get that much closer to your big goal. Get all high tech and write them on a post it and put them on your fridge…where you see them every day. 👀 (bonus points if they fall off all the time so you have to look at them even more when you pick them up off the floor)

As you can see, I have crossed out and updated a few of mine when my priorities shifted and opportunities came my way that altered my original timeline. Be ready to adjust as life comes at you, but even when things don’t go as planned, don’t ever give up. Remember to set your goals high enough to push you while making sure they are also attainable with some focus and hard work.

Don’t forget to stop and celebrate your successes as you hit your goals. Then make sure you continue to set new micro goals to get you that much closer to where you want to be! We need to think bigger and get some new goals since we’ve already paid off the student loans, currently looking for our second rental and also pretty sure we have increased our net worth by $25k just in the past few months. So I’m curious..what are some goals you have crushed and what are some that didn’t go so well?

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Net Worth Tracking

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I never really thought about or paid much attention to our net worth until about 6 months ago. I didn’t really understand that it wasn’t just for “rich” people, and that everyone should at least have a general understanding of where they stand and where they are headed. But it’s also probably better that I didn’t, because my net worth was in the negative and that could have been very discouraging.

Now that we are almost done with our student loans, our final liability (minus our mortgages), I’m going to start using net worth as my new way to set goals and measure success and/or failure. It’s so easy to take your assets and subtract your liabilities from them.

With getting rid of liabilities and adding a few assets, we have seen a significant increase in our net worth in the past 6 months. It’s crazy how setting goals, taking action, being consistent, tracking progress and thinking about and sharing with others can really help accelerate success.

Does anyone else geek out on net worth or am I the only one?! 🤓

Curious about your own net worth?

I found a cool free app that is easy and also curious what others use to track. WealthPlus Net Worth by Little Appshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wealthplus-net-worth/id933534901?mt=8

Follow me @my_semi_basic_life on Instagram if you aren’t already, and tell a friend or two if you like what you’re reading. 😉

We are officially landlords!!

It all started in December. The choice to live a more minimalist lifestyle with the No Spend Year I challenged myself to. Turns out I had a lot of extra time and money once I stopped shopping. 🤣

So I started listening to the BiggerPockets podcast, and a few other FI podcasts, along with reading a bazillion books for 60 days and kept penny pinching away. After talking to my husband, and getting him sold on my crazy ideas (besides the selling our house and living in a van down by the river idea), we set a goal to buy our first property by March 2020. Except this may surprise some of you..I’m kind of inpatient. 🤷‍♀️

We then went and looked at several places and decided to put in an offer on a single family home because we loved the location. We discussed doing short term AirBNB, but found out the city is pretty strict, so went with the long term rental strategy instead.

Closed on my 36th Birthday on 3/26 for $103k with 15% down and walked into $10k of equity right off the bat. We put a few hundred bucks on paint and new screens, trim touch up, etc. and put some weekend sweat equity in to get it rental ready.

If you remember from other posts, we recently got rid of a car payment and daycare, clearing up $1100 a month of outgoing expenses. So we have decided to pay the $700 mortgage out of our own funds, and take the $900 rent and put it in our investments account for a down payment on the next one. (We actually got a really great tenant who signed a two year lease AND paid $10k for the first years rent in full). We are going to use that rent towards our next investment and are currently in the market for a multi-family if you know of one. 👀

It still feels a little weird to say we are landlords. We dreamed about and talked about owning real estate for around five or so years. But we were so strapped with debt and were scared because we didn’t have any real estate background, or solid goals or plans put in place. Didn’t realize it was as easy as picking up some books and listening to other investors tell their stories to educate ourselves. It’s exciting to see our years of hard work and sacrifices starting to pay off now though. Only regret is that we would have taken action sooner. Next step is continuing to build our net worth and getting a little closer to financial independence every day!!

Credit Cards and why I will NEVER carry a balance

I can almost see 18 year old, broke, irresponsible, partying, college kid me opening my first credit card offer like I had just won the lottery. Wait..you mean to tell me you’re going to GIVE me access to $2,000, and in return, I only have to pay you a minimum balance of $25?! What?! Why are you so nice and how did I get so lucky?! I was so impressed with your timing and that it was almost like you really KNEW me and were there for me with a credit increase when I was at my lowest..what would I ever have done without you?! Now I didn’t have to worry about that new phone I wanted, that dinner out, that new outfit, etc. Then you even told your other credit card company friends, and they also wanted to give me credit cards?

Fast forward to 24 year old me, who didn’t end up getting her degree, and had spent the past 6 years racking up $15,000 in credit card debt. I kept spending and they kept increasing my limit (I’m starting to figure out at this point they weren’t doing this to be nice). I was paying their minimums and it wasn’t even enough to cover the interest and was affecting my credit. I remember the exact moment where I thought that bankruptcy was my only option and feeling so overwhelmed and thought I would never get out of the hole I had dug.

I was on my way to a job interview for my first job in the insurance industry. I literally had to use two different credit cards for gas in my gas guzzling Durango to make it to the interview (insert whole other soapbox on the car). I was so broke and my cards so maxed out that I could barely even afford to make it to the interview.

Luckily, I got the job that started a very rewarding career path for me. I also got introduced to Dave Ramsey Financial Peace through a coworker at that job, and this was a totally new concept to me. I just thought everyone lived this way and walked around with debt, and honestly had no idea that there was any other way. I read that last sentence over and over, because I fancy myself a semi-intelligent person and it just sounds so stupid..but it’s the truth and a reflection of me being a product of my environment (also for another day).

I then met my husband two weeks after that and we knew right away that we were going to get married. Unfortunately for him, that meant marrying a smart, pretty, hilarious woman..who just happened to have a lot of financial baggage. 🤷‍♀️ I’m not even going to discuss the $30kish of student loans because that’s for another day.

Apparently my brilliant personality won him over, and he decided to hang out in his moms basement with me for 18 months to help dig “us” out of that debt. Talk about sacrifice. But we made it work and paid all of that credit card debt off, got pregnant with our first human, and saved up a down payment for our first home.

I think back to that $15k once in a while and wonder..what if I had never opened that credit card offer. What if I was able to pay my student loans off sooner, or what if I could have put that in a 401k, or as more towards our first house. And you know what? I do have regrets, but I learned a very valuable lesson that I will carry with me and pass along to my kids. It changed the way I view money, and things and debt. Looking back, I was not living within my means, and because of that 18 months of sacrifice and a rough start to our financial future..I will NEVER carry a balance again. If I can’t afford it..then I don’t need it. Plain and simple. I haven’t carried a balance in over ten years and it turns out I am just fine. What are your thoughts on credit card debt and has it affected you negatively or positively during your financial journey?