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0 In Education/ Lifestyle

Financial Goals 2021

There are a lot of people who will tell you that you need to invest, you need to save, you need to xyz. It is hard to do those things when you are barely making ends meet. Right now, in COVID time, it is so hard to get ahead….if it is not one thing….it is truly something else.

What you can do: look at your situation… take a deep look and make plans to move forward. Think about selling that car, selling that place you live in… make life easier and worry less about what people think.

My gorgeous house was sold after 2 years and I was a tad sad about the place (you have seen pics! It was gorgeous) but it is a house….a house is not a home and it is best to let go of the ideal and live with reality. I am in the process of making my new reno better than that one anyway. It is still a process….life is a journey and remember to stay true to you.

I hope you continue reading because my goal is to help share a few secrets of mine that have added significant monies back into my account once I realized what was happening….

Let me start with……people mean well. People tell you things all the time- do this, save that, sometimes they just do not understand where you are. I can remember graduating college and making $20,000 a year at a small school district in Ohio. I can remember thinking – how am I going to pay everything? I will be the first to admit that I have had opportunities and my parents have been extremely generous and that is probably too mild. I can also say that I have busted my tail since high school to retire early and have wealth.

What do I mean? I started college during high school – it was post secondary and meant that my parents did not have to pay for part of my college – my brother and I both did this. It saved or shaved off at least $40,000 by attending the local community college. I know some people reading this may say- oh but there is a college experience – I will agree with you. I will also agree to disagree that by staying at home; I did not find myself in trouble, did not find myself having time to make poor choices, and also can say in hindsight…it might have helped find a suitable mate that would have lasted or gone the distance with me but who knows ?? I do know when I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Principal’s License, and Superintendent’s License – I had $0 debt. I started my Ph.D. program and started paying off my program one quarter at a time…it was expensive and my quality of life (travel, car, life- was impacted) and decided to take out student loans to the tune of $140,000 (more than my first house)

If I had taken out loans with my Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s – there is a good probability that I would not have been able to finish a Ph.D. with the cost required in funding – so again, Community College V. 4 Year School. Both pay the same when you get out and get a job.

Reverting back a minute, being fiscally responsible is important. I have tons of friends who blew through money; I always worked hard for what I have. My parents had my brother and I renovating houses, flipping houses, and building houses in our spare time – this paid the college tuition. I can remember my brother and I both being at Cedarville and I had just graduated – my brother was also doing the same business program and he was also running a multi-million dollar project for the military while holding down a full course load. I was playing college tennis, taking classes at 3 universities to finish at the age of 20.

My brother and I both have grit. We have extreme work ethic and a no failure policy. We fall down, but we get up stronger and learn from our mistakes…we have had plenty. With years in education, years in remodeling, and helping to sell/ building/ and flip houses; we have a skill set that is unique and provides for extras in our daily life. With that said, we put in an extreme number of hours to afford such things. We also have skills many people do not have: when I was a teacher and there was a snow day; I would help snow plow, snow blow sidewalks, and clear parking lots/ businesses for money. I have helped out on farms – driving a combine or driving a grain cart. I do not have a CDL (I regret not learning how to drive stick and not having a CDL, but if I wanted to do; I am sure I could) This comes in handy and will share in a few …

Back to finances….. how you can get it together in 2021 and have more money each month and can plan for the future? Below is google sheet with 3 tabs that is good for anyone, college, high school, or adult.

Sinking Funds Checklist

The Sinking Funds Checklist shows an example of my monthly fixed costs as well as the monthly incidentals that get ya! What can you eliminate…what can you see disappear?

On the second tab is a blank one so you can copy and save for yourself. Tab 3 shares the actual income, costs, additional funds, and tracks expenses – use this monthly.

Why is important to having a sinking funds checklist? To plan ahead of the expenses you have and to save at least 5 months for an emergency fund.

I did say 5 months of expenses – add those costs and that should be what you aspire to have in a savings account in case something happens….

When you look at my list, there are definitely things that could come off…ie spray tanning, but that also serves as an additional revenue for me. (Instagram and my blog) so you can definitely see some examples. There are also somethings I will point out and no judgement to others, but no drugs, no alcohol, no smoking: those costs add up…..I do have travel expenses and never feel bad about paying for those crazy outlandish costs – ie microlight over Victoria Falls, helicopter of Kauai, last minute flight to Amsterdam…..

Something I do recommend…is to consider thinking about revenue – how might you create another stream of income beyond your regular job that creates happiness or joy?

Do you like to organize (can you establish an organization business) or you love numbers and like accounting and can help out a small business on a part-time basis? or you like to be crafty and can design birthday kits for parents who cannot pinterest?

I personally have several revenues of income: I have created 2 apps that were sold by Apple and Google. I have created items on Teachers Pay Teachers, I sell things on ebay, mercari, facebook, and craigslist. I renovate houses, I consult on home projects/ design, write for blogs/ newsletters/ companies, provide content for companies via instagram, Amazon, and other famous companies (you might see my pics floating around), I instagram, blog, TikTok, Likee, and Zynn. All of which have paid me to do different things. My point is….hone your skills. Know yo Worth and Get At It.

I am going to share more on money each month…I have been asked at least 20 times in the last month on information to save, survive, and have. I will do better at blogging on that to help others.

Success does not happen by accident (for the most part) it is hours of planning, hours of working, and hours of trying to move forward. I also start with goals…..3 month, 6 month, and long term goals and write it down – which I will do here. I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions…I fall off the wagon every year, but with goals…..I seem to meet them.

3 Month Goals: (Small steps)

  1. REDO website: Make it aesthetically pretty and blog at least 2 times per week
  2. Gain more followers to my facebook page as well as followers to my blog (easier once new site is up)
  3. Learn how to use my Nikon d850 and Sony a7iii better
  4. Move into renovation house

6 Month Goals: (what do you want in June or where do you want to be)

  1. Learn more about Graphic Design. Make Pinterest and Blog more appealing to viewers
  2. Create content for 15 new companies
  3. Get the COVID vaccine
  4. Learn how to use a tripod well

Year Long Goals: (think future…what do you have coming up? House, Car, Baby, Wedding, Relocation)

  1. Save Money
  2. Max out the Roth IRA (457 and 403b)
  3. Improve Social Media Engagement
  4. Book Antarctica again without fear
  5. Save for Replacement of Lexi (my 6th Lexus)

There is a lot of information here…..

A couple books I recommend:

The 4 Hour Work Week

The Broke Millenial

The Millionaire Next Door

Okay, that is a lot. Hope you enjoyed



0 In Home/ Style

Navigating home buying/selling process for the first time in awhile

  • Having lived in the Columbus, Ohio area 14 years. I have owned a few properties in Columbus, Dublin, and Galena, Ohio. Most recently; sold two houses in 2020 and purchased another.
Sold June 2020

  • I have partnered with Nth Degree on purchases and selling the properties. The are a lot of real estate agents and Nth Degree provides staging, amazing marketing, and personal connection that makes the difference in real estate transactions. Growing up in a family business of building houses and selling houses; I have been consistently blown away with Neal and Jeff (and their team) on transformation and advice on selling and buying.

Sold November 2020
  • In case you don’t know how sites like Zillow and Realtor.com work: Realtors pay (and pay BIG ) to get in the rotation for Zillow. They buy a portion of a zip code/s and in turn when you call Zillow to get information on a listing, they farm it out on rotation to one of the realtors who “owns” that zip code. If you already have a realtor that you are going to use or work with, please call them and not Zillow! The realtor who answers your call and potentially takes you out to look at a house, does so with the hope that you will buy something using them and therefore get a commission from the sale. That’s how it works. Zillow does not pay any realtor to answer Zillow calls or questions or show a house requested through Zillow. This kind of situation is high on the list of realtor frustrations! If you have a realtor, call them or a member of their team.
  • If you are buying a house, you do not want to talk to the listing agent! Why would you? The listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the Seller. A Buyer needs to have an advocate for them. It is a big challenge for an agent to put the needs of two clients with opposing agendas both first! This is called Dual Agency and it happens and some Realtors even encourage it because it is most likely financially beneficial to them, but if you have been brainwashed into thinking you only want to talk to the listing agent realtor, you need to de-program yourself and make the better decision to get yourself a good Buyers agent who will represent YOU and YOUR interests above their Seller whom they already have a contract with!
  • Writing a contract in 2020
    • If you are looking to buy a home today, there is a good chance that you are going to be in a bidding war. We used to say this only applied to a certain price points but not necessarily so anymore. Inventory is low and interest rates are the lowest they have ever been. At this point the old rule of supply and demand kicks in and causes multiple interests in many homes.
  • If you are going to write a contract, consider addressing these points:
  • Can you pay cash? Cash offers always take a priority with a Seller
  • Expect to pay more then the asking price. That’s just how it is! I recently had a great property that was fully updated in a nice neighborhood. There were 42 showings over 3 days and 20 offers!
  • Expect to react FAST. Be prepared. If you are financing this purchase, make sure you are pre-approved with a reputable lender. Many homes today are going into contract in less then 48 hours. You no longer have the pleasure of scheduling second or third showings and “thinking” about it. If you want it, you will need to react quickly!
  • Expect there to be multiple offers
    • Buying a property “As Is”. If it makes sense, you may consider writing a purchase contract “As Is”. You still will want to do an inspection. If the inspection results produce normal minor items to be repaired, you forgo that and absorb the cost yourself. If something is alarming or unexpected, you can still terminate the contract based on the inspection results but the Seller will know that they are not going to be asked to repair multiple items possibly totaling thousands of dollars.
    • Waiving the appraisal or a willingness to cover a shortage in an appraisal. If you are able to bring cash to the closing in case the home appraises for less then the purchase price, you may want to do this. In today’s bidding wars, there is a greater possibility that the home may not appraise for the contract purchase price. If that happens in a financed deal, you may need to cover the difference between the purchase price and the appraised number, re-negotiate the purchase price, or cancel the contract.
    • Escalation clauses are very popular these days. Some Realtors hate them and refuse to allow them. In an escalation clause, you write the contract for a certain price and then agree to offer an amount above the highest offer up to your max number. The Realtor has to be able to provide the competing offer that engaged the escalation. You will need to be comfortable paying the max price in case it goes all the way to that number which may be $20 – 30,000 or more then your original bid based on the number of competitive offers!
    • Home Warrantees. You can always get a home warranty but this may not be the time to ask the Seller to pay for one – you may need to absorb that cost yourself.
    • Offering some time after closing for the Seller to vacate. You may not be able to take possession at closing which has been common recently. This is a Sellers market so they are going to be calling most of the shots. It is more convenient for the Seller to have a few days after the closing and they have their money in hand to move out.


In collaboration with Nth Degree follow on instagram @nthdegreecompanies @nthdegree_nealhauschild @jeff.ramm

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