I’ve never really been one to make new year’s resolutions. Mainly because I know how often they fail for most people. I proved this last year when I decided I was going to take one day off a month and do something for my mental health, relaxation and de-stress. I think by February, I was in such go-go-go mode with Flip 4, that resolution flew out the window!
But what hasn’t failed, despite any failed new year’s resolutions, is my five-year plan which I’ve shared before.
I started this journey in order to pay off student loan debt…all $70,000+ of it. Well, that’s done!
On to the next phase: Owning an investment property in Florida.
That is not happening this year…but steps to making it happen are. The Florida house is the end game, but I have several steps to accomplish to reach the end game.
- Double my current balance in my mutual fund.
I started a mutual fund this year because I’m learning the importance of diversity in investments. There are various methods to investing in mutual funds– mostly designed for slow, steady growth. My investment adviser and I chose a more aggressive approach to reach my five year goal. Since opening the mutual fund, I have contributed to it once. This year, I want to double my initial balance through multiple contributions– excluding any gains made.
2. Pay off my car
This is one of those debts that people may seem shocked to learn that I even have. I’ve paid off student loan debt, I’ve invested and I still have car debt. The reason it has been on the back burner is because the balance is so low, the interest rate is shockingly low, and the monthly payment is so minimal. I have not been paying any extra…just the regular monthly payment. My goal is to pay extra every month and by the end of the year in 2018, I should be in a place to write a check to pay off the remainder. Even though the interest is minimal, I want any and all interest working FOR me and not against me.
3. Purchase another flip
2017 was such a fast and furious year for me and flips. Almost too exhausting. I questioned my sanity a lot. I finished and sold Flip 3, I purchased, flipped, and sold Flip 4, purchased Flip 5 and started work, and purchased, flipped and recently listed Flip 6. That’s A LOT for one calendar year. I’m not saying I wouldn’t tackle another year like 2017 if the opportunities presented themselves, but I think I just want to continue working on Flip 5 and tackle one additional flip for 2018. This life is exhausting, and I need some balance…even more than I need the cash.
4. Improve my bookkeeping
I’m an accountant’s daughter– this shouldn’t be such a headache for me. But it is. I’m a shoebox girl. I bring in my wad of receipts and tell Dad to make sure I don’t owe! Ha! I have tried various systems, and I can’t seem to find one that works for me. Partly because I HATE dealing with the numbers/accounting side of this business, but when you’re self-employed, that’s crucial. If you’ve found some bookkeeping/budgeting systems that are designed to track multiple investments, personal finance, and such, send me your suggestions!
5. Grow my Ebay business
I have spent the last year dabbling in Ebay. I have followed some major resellers on Instagram, tracked their progress, and dabbled slightly in reselling on Ebay. With minimal effort, it has been a nice little side income (certainly not any windfall!). In a continual effort to diversify my income, I want to greatly expand this endeavor. I mentioned before, I’d like to net $10,000 in 2018. I don’t plan to use that $10,000 as “live on money” but rather for investments.
6. Grow my real estate business
2017 was the best year I’ve had as a Realtor. I far surpassed my projected income– which is a good problem to have. I choose, however, to live off far less. I have lived off the same monthly income for probably 8 years. I’m used to that small number each month. So all my commissions sit in a savings account, and I pay myself that same amount every month. That gives me a cushion, which, in this crazy, fluctuating self-employed business, is crucial. 2017 was also the year of repeat customers. I had so many people purchasing/selling multiple properties in 2017 and used me for each transaction. That’s my end game in real estate– loyalty. It’s the best marketing plan I’ve seen. That being said, I want to continue to branch out and increase my sales even more. In a market saturated with Realtors all competing for the same business, it’s a struggle. I’m always looking for creative ways to grow that business. My house flipping lifestyle has been the biggest draw for clients, but I want to branch out beyond that. I’m not sure how…we’ll see.
7. Begin my research and homework into the stock market
For years now, my dad has been urging me to branch out into self-directed stock market investments. It has always been an adamant NO. It seems so risky…which most people then remind me of my lifestyle. To me, however, real estate is assurance. I know. I live it. It’s literally all I’ve known my entire life with Dad as a Realtor. I’m not rushing into some Bitcoin craze or fast windfalls, but something that can help me reach my goal in five years of buying a house in Florida. I know nothing about the stock market. But I can learn. Anything that has the potential to make me money, I quickly become consumed with and do lots of homework on before pulling the trigger. I don’t know if I’ll pull the trigger in 2018 on the stock market, but I want this to be the year to learn. Become a student of the stock market.
8. Spend less on eating out
Confession: I HATE…no DESPISE…cooking. It’s not enjoyable. I always burn it. There are so many leftovers. I hate leftovers. I just want a personal chef. So, as a single gal, I eat out a lot. $5 here, $10 there…and it adds up. My goal at the beginning of 2018 to relatively calculate the approx. amount spent on eating out on 2017 and decrease that amount. In all honesty, this will be my hardest goal! When you’re out showing property all day, you have no choice but to swing through the drive through. This is going to require some creativity, planning, and sacrifice. We shall see how successful I am with this goal…
9. Do Florida real estate homework
I have started a Florida folder. I regularly peruse Florida listings. I want to print off ones I would like to buy, ones that have sold, etc. I want to get to know the market–especially the price per square foot, the fees, etc. When I did my Florida real estate scouting trip this summer, I went blindly into their market. I hated that. I like when I know a market well, so, as with everything else, that is going to take some homework.
I’m not listing goals about doing yoga more, biking downtown, or monthly stress relieving massages—but, for the record, those are “would be nice if they happened” kind of things. I have my sights on one thing: it’s my five year plan. Each of the items listed are crucial to reach that $100,000+ mark in 5 years. Obviously, the more I sacrifice now, the faster I can reach that mark.
I’m a Type A person…I like to reach my goals. But I’m also a realist…especially in this career with such fluctuating income. I’m not giving myself the bar of perfectionism. I can occasionally award myself some grace, but I firmly believe in sacrificing today so I don’t have to tomorrow. So that’s my motto for 2018: Sacrifice Today.