I think I’m pretty good with budgets. I’ve been practicing with them for years. I think I’m so good that I want people to pay me to help them with theirs.
Mrs. Fi and I have pondered starting a small side job (or “side-hustle”) as financial mentors/coaches. We would essentially help people figure out where their money is going, how to budget that money, and then how to save for goals, etc.
Since we have no certification, we couldn’t give specific investment or tax advice—but we’d help set their thinking so they could make good, informed choices. Our goal is have the client become financially self-sufficient, or independent, if you will.
As our name infers, financial independence is the main focus here (Fi = Financial Independence). I’ve always wanted to help people financially, but looking into certifications and such, they are expensive, time-consuming, and ultimately touch on subjects (like estate planning) that I have no real interest in. Luckily, there are those who have gone before us and made a career out of being a financial coach.
This site has been the best example I’ve seen.
If it goes well enough, I might look into getting certified in some capacity and expand it. But I think doing what we do here (and what many blogs do) is give financial advice based on our experience and what has worked for us. I don’t see why we couldn’t translate this into the physical world.
There are a number of logistics to sort through before we even begin searching for clients. Still–I think financial literacy is really lacking in this country and for as many blogs, shows, and podcasts there are, we’re still not reaching everyone. The more people we can reach, the better. If we can make a little money doing it, so be it!
Anyway, on to our super exciting 3rd quarter budget update. As always, savings rate is key to figuring out when you can retire early, so that’s included in the summary. The left side of the table shows my budget projections, the right is our spending to date. New to my exciting budget table is a percentage of “spend to date.” For instance, I budgeted $480 for gasoline and spent $373 to date; so 78% of $480. This chart is progressive and includes the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter.
|Mortgage (incl. escrow)||$13,680||$11,476 (84%)|
|Home Improvement||$300||$226 (75%)|
|Lawn & Garden||$420||$306 (73%)|
|Home Supplies||$240||$184 (77%)|
|Heat (MDU)||$480||$352 (73%)|
|Electric (NW)||$480||$338 (70%)|
|Cell Phone||$840||$660 (79%)|
|Car Insurance||$480||$246 (51%)|
|Auto Maintenance + Services/Parts||$600||$25 (4%)|
|Bus Pass||$264||$210 (80%)|
|Health Insurance||$1,575||$1200 (76%)|
|Health & Fitness||$600||$1374 (229%)|
|Personal Care||$360||$331 (92%)|
|Gifts & Donations||$2,400||$1912 (80%)|
- Paychecks: $44,831 (after tax)
- 401ks (Contributions + Match): $9,930
- Savings Interest Income: $25
- Car: $1600
- Misc.: $428
Total: ~$56,814 (YTD)
Investments: $83,593 (IRAs, 401ks, Prosper, Fundrise)
Cash Accounts: $9,040
YTD Savings Rate: ~54%
2016 Target Savings Rate: 60%
We’ve had some unexpected health expenses this year and we will go over in a few other categories, but ultimately, we’re close to our savings rate goal which is the most important thing. We continue to look for ways to save money, but we’re also changing how we eat, how much money we give to people/charities, and more. Spending priorities are usually fluid so we’re always adjusting as we go.
We recently shifted focus to gaining more income, thus the side-job idea. I am also taking an SEO course to dabble in that from time to time. These are important elements to get us to early retirement quicker while maintaining a balanced life!
What do you think of our side job idea? With the 3rd quarter in the books, how is your budget doing? Share your thoughts with us!