I greatly appreciate all your constructive feedback on my priority list that is being incorporated into my life plan. After evaluating much of your feedback and really weighing what is important to me, here is the current priority list and broken down bits. (Timeline to be added with next revision.) Please review and let me know your thoughts.
- Take ownership of Honda Accord – add insurance, tax bill. This happens this week as my dad is bringing the title to what we call the “twins car.” This debt ($1900 was eliminated via the sell of the house per my dad and my agreement.)
- Sell car – eliminating high car payment, higher insurance payment and tax bill. This has been listed for sale for months no with some interest but no luck yet. I will explore other options of getting it sold…ie Car Max etc after Christmas.
- Enroll in AAA. This will bring me some security in comfort in driving an older car. Thanks for the suggestion!
- Begin paying self “car payment” to savings for next car – est $300 month – add this to monthly budget so I 1) have money for car repairs and/or 2) can buy a newer used car with at least mostly cash when time (eta for this would be Fall, 2015)
- Continue paying minimum payments on all debts.
- Pay off checking account debt this month (December) whatever it takes! Total $746
- Focus on Credit Card – Retail with any extra debt payments.
- Build $1000 EF
- Pay off Credit Card – Consumer with any extra debt payments
- Add monies to EF until I have $6000
- LAST DEBT: Pay off Student Loan with any extra debt payments
- Begin living on last month’s income using EF monies to start.
- Retirement plan
- Continue to work on design for dream house – free
- Continue to monitor land sales – free
- Get solid phased plan broken down by costs and timeline
- Land phase (owner financing or foreclosure possibility)
- Phase I house – livable shell with construction loan (architect costs and find construction loan so I only have to pay interest during build out)
- Move out of apartment (moving and furnishing costs)
- Phase II house – build out interior doing as much DIY or bartered as possible (this is an as I have it phase, incurring no more housing debt)
- Phase III house – ???
- Land phase – at any time with right deal
- Begin House – Phase I after Finances #6 is complete
- Get re-certified as foster family (this will have to be done if we are not able to take in children by May, 2016)
- Learn something new every month. This doesn’t always have to cost money or alot of money, ideas include but are not limited too:
- Learn to knit – class available at Joann’s for about $30
- Find car maintenance class for self and twins (try Parks & Rec and local community college)
- Find house maintenance class (local community college?
- Vacation…save for it, dream about it, plan it
I did not add this into the priority list because frankly, it is the gate through which everything else must be done…so after much consideration I have decided NOT to return to corporate. I did not make this decision lightly. The thought of a steady and most likely higher paycheck was tempting, sorely tempting, not to mention the possibility of signing bonus, moving expenses since I’m will to relocate…well, very tempting. But let’s face it…the cost would be too high. I would give up the flexibility I have to be wherever my kids need me, when they need me. Not just activities, but sick days, therapy visits and just mental health days. I would give up these moments with my kids where they really grasp something and it lights up their faces and then proceed to sprint forward in understanding in application of concepts and ideas. I would give up those little moments of me time that I get almost daily because after returning from a full day at the office I would need to supervise homework, get dinner on the table and really be there to get one on one time with each child, something I am really able to do at leisure throughout the days now. And all these don’t take into account the very high possibility that I would have to travel, have lots of job related stress and the over-hanging cloud of working mom guilt. So that’s a long way of saying…I have decided not to return to corporate.
However, this does not mean I must accept the status quo. When I lost my oldest, and almost biggest client last fall, I took a big financial hit. It was literally like going from a two parent income to a one parent income, and I didn’t get the relief or help that would have been in there was actually a second parent staying home because I was still doing it all. So I have decided to go with option #4 from my original priority list. It is time to change the game. I’ve enjoy my “off” time per se since losing my 40 hour per week phone client and it’s time to re-strategize and then market the new and improve business model. So here is my current game plan for my business (still under construction:)
- Set up a meeting with local SCORE chapter. It’s time to get some expert advice.
- Redesign marketing channels: web site, social media, LinkedIn
- Create marketing plan
- Revitalize job hunting profiles: Guru, Indeed, Fiverr, etc. Got more suggestions? Where do you search for consultants?
- Research passive income streams
- Get the kids involved
- Twins have expressed an interest in doing projects via Fiverr, encourage and guide them
- Daughter has expressed interest via actions and words in dog training and care, encourage and guide her
- Little Gymnast needs to focus on school but add income and budgeting to his curriculum through real life experiences
Okay, so that’s where I’m at. Probably not the best format for this type of plan, but the goal for the next round of evaluation will be to put it in a timeline format with dependencies in place. I am wide open for your constructive opinions and criticism. Obviously there are places that I will need to plan and break things down a bit more, but I’m feeling good about this first draft right now.