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Everything posted by DCLissa17

  1. DCLissa17

    Shearing the Budget

    Bummer! I just bought a new phone 3 months ago (I use metropcs) and it's not compatible with total wireless!
  2. DCLissa17

    Doctors Appointment

    Also, the physical therapist I saw for two months prior to the chiropractor accomplished NOTHING to relieve my pain, except to refer me to that particular chiropractor. FWIW
  3. DCLissa17

    Doctors Appointment

    I have no idea the specifics of your injury, but chiropractic (by the RIGHT) practioner, has made a world of difference in my chronic awful back pain. A few sessions over a couple weeks and it was 70% better. Then continued slowly improving with twice monthly therapeutic massage over a couple years with occasional chiropractic visits when it flared. Now my pain is 90% resolved and managed with just monthly massage. If I do something stupid at work, I ice and ibuprofen and sometimes need one chiropractic visit or extra massage. But it has truly changed my life.
  4. I think it looks beautiful and very refreshing! Lol to the stove, I bought my house last Jan and it was built in 1968. Pretty sure my cooktop/wall oven came original. Both work great outside of one small burner even though they are ugly. Placated the gf by saying I would replace both asap, but gee isn't it interesting how other things keep taking precedence? Heehee, lol! I figure I have at least another year or two or another burner going out before I'll have T actually replace it!
  5. Yes indeed, I would LOVE TO be contributing over 15% and defintely plan to do so once I get the income up and at least the rental with mortgage paid off or sold. There is a match for the 401K but really small... $0.25 on the dollar for the first 3% of gross that I contribute. So 0.75%...ugh. not sure if it's even worth bothering, though I can just set it at 3% to get the match though this match would be about $9/mo (me contributing $36/mo) on an average clinic month since I'm so part time now. Course it would vary as sometimes I pick up more hours, but you get the idea. Should I just leave it alone with 3% or redirect that $36 towards the Roth? I might and can change it up easily online depending on my overall income for the month too. I think I'm leaning towards fully funding the IRA on the set schedule. I much prefer budgeting with real dollar numbers rather than percentages. Even if that means it pushes me to get my butt in gear a bit more, hah!! Thanks everyone, will go run numbers and ee how that changes the budget....
  6. This is probably not the right time to think about this, but I'm pondering whether to change my approach to retirement savings. This last year I started contributing to a 401K through the clinic I work at. When I did, I moved from fully funding my Roth IRA to putting 15% of clinic income into the 401K and 15% of business income into the Roth IRA. At times, this total combined was more than the Roth limit, but now that I have lower income, it is less. I like the concept of 15% across all income, but I hate not fully funding the Roth. I am thinking about switching in 2016 to minimizing or eliminating the 401K at least at first, and instead putting a standard $500/mo into my RothIRA. This has it fully funded as of the end of November and leaves the $500 for Christmas spending next year. $5500 is 15% of $36,667 gross income, which I should hit. I would track cumulative gross income and then as it goes over the $36,6667 amount, put the additional 15% into the 401K. It might leave me stretching a bit during leaner months, but at least I'd have a set base BS4 amount, and preplanned Christmas savings. I need to run budget numbers to see exactly how this affects the monthly, but I think it's doable. What do you guys think?
  7. That's awesome! It can be so hard to let go of the money over something that can be so easily viewed as a "want", but the truth is that clothing is part of the 4 walls and if we don't have correctly fitting or appropriate items, we truly cannot operate at our best because it Does affect our confidence and motivation in so many areas of life. I just bought a $12 pair of Capri yoga/workout pants because the leggings I was wearing are starting to wear down at the seams and I really want to reward myself for actually going to the gym and keep up the motivation. Cuz, you know, a pair of yoga pants is much cheaper then buying 3 new pairs of pants to fit my bigger butt this winter! ,-)
  8. Well I kinda fell out of the habit of posting in the blog! Here's the latest: Went on the cruise, it was great. Bought myself a gorgeous tanzanite/diamond ring for $350 (plus the gf paid another $150 towards it). This was not in the budget, but I cashflowed it from the awesome July income. I LOVE IT. I had no real or nice jewelry and I'm not really a big jewelry person, but I wear this ring every day and feel the splurge was worth it. Had a great time with my mom, we both really needed the break. And nothing like introducing your gf to your mom for the first time and then everyone bunking down in a 90sqft cabin for a week to find out if they like each other! (they did) Other than the ring, stayed within budget on the cruise, so very happy about that since I wasn't totally sure what to expect. Also went to my aunt's wedding, travelling with my sister. All budgeted and paid for ahead of time and stayed easily within budget. Was a good time and I got a lot more one on one time with my new niece! (So. Much. Family. this year for me who lives 2000 miles away from all of them!) Just finished decorating for fall/Halloween. Only bought about $10 of candy/new decorations and plan on about $15 for pumpkins (we go to the pumpkin patch next weekend). So that's pretty good all in all. On to work --- I gave up doing the employee schedule. I've done it for nearly 3 years and I was DONE. We've been bought out by a corporation during that time and in the last year our entire management team has turned over - not for the better. We've grown by 100% in employee numbers. It's a stressful, chaotic, and exhausting job that I was not being properly compensated for. And with my own move this summer to only working in the clinic one day/wk, it was even more invasive because I STILL had to go into the clinic another 2-3 days/wk to work on the schedule for just a few hours at a time because its dynamic enough that you can't just sit down once a week and churn it out. (not if you want to actually do a good job that is, which I still tried to do) It was flexible hours but at the same time not really flexible in the way I needed -- if something changed/happened you needed to respond quickly to it. So it was impossible to develop a schedule/routine outside of the clinic during the weekdays, which is something I really need to do in order to be productive and self-manage. So the newest change was that they were forcing us to move to a different scheduling software and I said nope, I don't want to put in the crazy amount of work that will entail and I'm just overall done, give it to someone else. So now they have a girl who hasn't even worked on the floor before (she was a receptionist) doing it WHILE learning/working a new position in a new department to the hospital. She's smart she just doesn't have the right background to really enable her to do it the most effectively as she doesn't really understand the various positions/employees/dynamics of the schedule. And I found out that they are not even offering her any additional compensation for taking on the schedule. Basically they are totally taking advantage of her and screwing her over. Gee, reinforces why I wanted out of dealing with this management on a daily basis! I hope she does well, I've let her know she can come to me with any questions, but she's going to make a lot of mistakes and have a nasty learning curve -- and morale is already in the toilet. Makes me sad. So -- now I am working just one shift/wk at the clinic - in the oncology dept! I always thought I would hate hate hate onco, but I'm being pleasantly surprised that it isn't dark and depressing like I thought it would be. Most patients are actually in pretty good condition/attitude, the owners are pretty logical, and I get to use my favorite skills ALL day long -- drawing blood, placing IV catheters, and organizing everything meticulously! I really only took the position because it worked around my schedule needs (not too early/late in the day, a mid-week shift, etc). But I have been really happy with it. I wanted to stay a PT employee at the clinic vs. just going to relief/sub work for a few reasons: to keep my employee pet care discount of 50% plus free labwork/exams, to keep getting the call-in bonus of $100 if I come in on a shift with less than 24 hours notice, to keep my senority/pay scale intact in case I wanted to be FT again, AND to keep one source of stable, guaranteed income. It's not alot, only $600 per month after taxes and 15% to the 401K are taken out, but close to 1/3 of my "normal" monthly income. The business has definitely tapered off the last couple of months. A couple of bigger jobs has kept the monthly tallies up ok, but those were one-time gigs. It always gets quieter in the fall/winter because less people go out of town and a big chunk of my business involves medical petsitting. So now that I am FINALLY not doing the schedule at the clinic and have set days off each week, I can work on truly getting some business promotion going. For real. Or I'm going to be getting myself in trouble! August I got $730 from the July extra business income into the Hills/Valley fundafter accounting for cashflowing my ring and some other stuff. Aug business income was less since I was out of town and had to pay someone to cover for me for half the month. But still managed to make my normal income amount and squeak out $130 to the Hills/Valley fund. I only have $140 more to finish it out! So close! Sept business income was the lowest in 6 months -- boo. But I worked a ton the last 2 weeks in Sept at the clinic training the new girl to do scheduling and training to do the oncology stuff for myself. So I broke even - no snowball to the H/V fund, but didn't have to reduce the budget/pull money from the H/V either. October projected income is looking good: Clinic: $1400ish Business: $700ish Total: $2100ish (after retirement) So I SHOULD have ~$200 in snowball. Unfortunately, my plane ticket for Thankgiving will be more than I had planned it looks like, so that will have to go to cashflowing that along with what I have saved in the travel fund. Ugh..I want to finish this Hills/Valley fund SO BAD, but at least I'm not pulling from it or having to reduce the budget. Unless there is a big upswing in business income (which could definitely happen and will be what I'm working towards!), Nov income overages will go to finishing the H/V fund and cashflowing Christmas expenses as I don't have a great handle on them yet. So it looks like no BS6 snowballs for 2015, bummer. BUT I only have to look at my signature to see alll that I HAVE accomplished in 2015! I've cashflowed several thousand in vacations/family trips. I've cashflowed new garden/yard equipment purchases, a property survey, a fence. I've established a 2.5K Hills/Valley fund(or buffer, or business FFEF, whatever you want to call it). I've continued adding to my own FFEF and not needed to use any of it. I've maintained 15% into my retirement accounts. I haven't had to drop my budget expenses even once. And I did all this while: Starting the year working just 30hrs/wk plus minimal side business income. Changing in June to 15hrs/wk at the clinic and significantly increasing the business income. Moving in October to 9hr/wk at the clinic and pushing forward with "FT" self-empployment. Through this, my base budget with the "normal" amounts that I been using throughout the year is $1900/mo after taxes/401K. So that's a gross of $32,500 annually as my base income. I'm feeling pretty good about that!
  9. I will never again buy a property with an HOA. I would definitely not buy a HOUSE in an HOA neighborhood. A house equals freedom to do whatever you do or do not want with your own property. (Yes even have an unmowed lawn or purple shutters or a rainbow flag hung from the clothesline or God forbid, a vegetable garden in the front yard) I do currently own a condo. Those of you who have been around awhile know about my condo HOA. It had reasonable rules when I bought it, which is why I was OK with it and intended to follow those rules. Then the board president turned out to be a sociopathic control freak who delights in spying and stretching the rules and the truth to make everyone's lives miserable. AND she likes to arbitrarily change the ules to suit herself with her merry band of board member lunatics every 6 months or so. And so in the 3 years I've owned it we can no longer: have multiple breeds of dogs, allow the dogs to eliminate on the property whatsoever, must get dogs DNA tested so if one does poop on the ground the owner can be fined, must not have anything but white curtains (and they can't be some variety of too short?), any tenants of owners must undergo a background and credit check with results to be given to the HOA before renting, and must not have "too many" plants on their patios/balcony. They also have warned me due to my tenant having a broom on the patio, and a trash can (small) on the patio. I personally while living there received warnings about my Christmas tree still being up at the end of December, a pumpkin out on the patio in late november, and a visitor who visted too frequently and would be now considered a roommate and would I give them her personal info and pay $100 to add her to my unit. Yes this is an extreme example. It FEELS extreme when you are living within it. It feels like you live in some sort of containment facility where your rights have been taken from you. This was not the place I bought, it became that way afterwards. And due to assessments from construction that I voted against, I can't sell it either. All I could do was get myself into other housing and put a tenant into the place instead. Not everyone has that choice though. And I will never make that choice for myself again. I'd rather "risk" my neighbors being slobs and whatever property value effect it might have.
  10. I think the only rule you really NEED to make regarding a pantry challenge is to STOP buying meat. You have a zillion different options including tons of chicken and have a large amount of beef that you are spending a large amount to buy coming soon. Skip the meat counter, avoid even glancing at the page in the sales flyers. You can eat for a year or more on the meat you have (counting the beef). Buying more (even on sale) will be starting to edge into hoarding territory. I give this advice with empathy because as a fellow couponer I know how hard disregarding sales prices can be! (but I don't need more chicken or razors either for the next year, no matter the deal)
  11. DCLissa17

    July wrap-up

    Well my forecast was fairly accurate! I ended July with $1780 net income from the business (after IRA). There was also $290 gross of business income that was paid out to people subbing in for me over last weekend. I ended up having to fly home to NE unexpectedly for 4 days for my grandpa's funeral. I am grateful that I could be there with my entire family, AND that I could find people to cover my clients, AND that the ticket was only $400! (usually plane tickets even in advance are $500-800, so it's bizarre that one with 2 days notice was so cheap). I am also grateful that the timing worked out as I just flew back on Tues and my mom (it was her dad) flies in here today since we are leaving on our one week cruise to Alaska on Saturday. Needless to say its been a stressful and emotional couple of weeks around here! It was a sad occasion to be home of course, but it wasn't unexpected as grandpa was on dialysis for the last 2-3 years and he opted to discontinue treatment, so everyone had time to say goodbye. I'm waiting on my last July paycheck from the clinic tomorrow, but my forecasts should be accurate there and I should hit close to my previous $1900/mo as there were 3 paychecks this month. So of that $1780 business income: $400 to cashflow my plane ticket home, and $1380 to the Hills/Valley fund. Which should top it off at $2880. I will leave the overage in there until August is done, but I think its likely I won't need to touch it! I have a number of clients already lined up for August, and even with paying a couple of people to cover me during my trips, I should end up with at least $900 net income from the business. I've got a couple extra shifts already signed up for at the clinic, so will likely end up with at least $1000 from there, to equal my "normal" $1900 budget. I may not end up with much/any snowball from August's income, but if I break even and don't have to pull that extra $380 off the Hills/Valley fund I will be excited, and THAT will be the snowball. Which is going to go to the rental mortgage because I will finally be back to throwing BS6 snowballs! Woot woot!
  12. DCLissa17


    Awesome news on the house! It cracked me up reading your update because parts sound so much like me right now. As you know I just transitioned out of my ft job into self-employment with a somewhat uncertain income. I can definitely vouch for the power of budgeting one month ahead and using last month's income for this month's budget...it's a really nice buffer whenever there's an income level change! Hopefully your transition will go easily like mine has and you will see the affirmation of your choice in peace of mind and soon in financial blessings!
  13. I have a Kindle Fire and LOVE it. Don't forget about Amazon Prime video...that's free too and you can watch things on there. I also have the Swagbucks apps loaded and run those videos when I'm not using the Kindle for other things. I've earned enough money on Swagbucks using the kindle to PAY for the kindle! I have my Google calendar linked. And don't get sucked into buying books...check out your local library website and get the Overdrive app - you can check out digital books for free to your hearts content...2-3weeks and they just disappear at the end of the lending period (you can return them sooner too), so no late fees! And of course, internet browser ACCES anywhere you have wireless access. Hee hee I have the IHeartRadio app and listen to Dave's show on it while outside gardening too!
  14. Ice cream and popsicles! Help for soothing that poor bruised throat. Glad you are feeling good and have some answers, t.hat is such an important thing
  15. I'm not snowballing the IRA but it is currently being funded by 15% of my business income and I have 15% of my clinic income going into the 401K there. So 15% of total gross income going into retirement. I won't max out the IRA at this rate, but I'm ok with that. Getting the rental house paid down so I can get rid of it is wayyy more important at this point. The overall goal plan is to be able to sell the rental house by end of the year next year (end of 2016). Then, while applying my snowball to my primary house mortgage, take the positive cash flow on my rental condo and save it each year towards paying down the giant construction assessment that will be on a 14yr repayment plan at that point (UGH!) That should hopefully be done in 5 years or less (end of 2021). At that point I will be having positive cash flow of $700+/mo from the condo, which will then be directed along with the snowball to my primary house mortgage.....which should be paid off in 5 more years or less! (mid-2026) So my very projected date to be out of BS6 is only 11 years away!
  16. Ok, I have the finalized numbers for June's business income, PLUS some really exciting news about July! I tallied the business income for June and even though I knew it would be good, I was STILL surprised by the total! $1830 for my net! 15% goes to the Roth IRA, but I still have $1500 extra as my snowball. I have several pared down budgets I can use, depending on my business income each month, but so far I have been able to just use my previous budget (based on 30hr/wk at the clinic -- side business was the snowball). So all spending/sinking fund contributions have been maintained. My previous budget has my clinic income at $1900/mo. June's clinic income had holiday pay for Memorial Day + 3 weeks of 30hr/wk and only one of my new 12hr/wk so it was ~$1700! The $200 shortfall was made up for by an escrow overage payout from my rental house. So that ENTIRE $1500 business income was my July snowball -- whoohooo! That's goes a long way to funding my new Hills/Valley fund. Which speaking of.....will be finished funding at the end of this month when I throw the August snowball. July's clinic income includes 3 paychecks, plus holiday pay for 4th of July + I already have 20 hours of extra shifts I've picked up that will be paid out. So it should equal my previous $1900 if not more. Which means that all the business income will be snowball again! And with already booked (and working) jobs for the nursing business in July I will make at least $1890 net (after IRA contribution). That's my previous clinic income. That's CRAZY! It's a little unbelievable to see how this has all come to pass. I was working hard to get the cruise money saved up (after spending all my extra cash to buy my house at the beginning of the year). And then in just the last 3 quick months, WHILE transitioning to self-employment, I'm finished/ing off the initial house improvements, the cruise fund, a new trip for a family wedding, AND a new Hills/Valley fund of 4 mo of minimum needed business income. Depending on how August goes (I have 10 days of trips where I will not be working business jobs -- will get coverage for myself) for the business, I may need to pull some from that nicely filled H/V fund, but I'm hoping to not have to dip below the $2500 mark. So the plan is that starting in September I can throw snowballs onto the rental house again. It should be quite interesting to see how close I can manage to get to having both my remaining goals accomplished -- the rental house below $100K and the IRA maxed for the year. I have quite a ways to go on both.......
  17. Oooo that's so exciting, coingirl! Sometimes I wish I had stuck with my original plan from a couple of years ago that would have me only a year or two out from paying off the original (rental house) mortgage. But on the other hand, I love my new house, I have acquired a very nice rental condo with great cash flow that I do own outright, and I LOVE not renting anymore and having a yard again. This will be a very intense and extremely satisfying 6mo for you I think!
  18. Well June is almost at a close around here! The business did fantastic for the month, and all of my booked clients came through so that's always good for everyone. We said goodbye to my catheter client last Saturday, which was bittersweet. It is always sad to lose someone, but because of my services, this dog and his owner were able to enjoy 5 more weeks of this beautiful summer together while he still felt great. If I hadn't been there, he would have likely had to put him to sleep 5 weeks prior. So its one of those cases where I feel a large amount of value in what I can offer people that is unique and important. A lot of what I do in the business is pretty simple and straightforward, such as giving medications when people are out of town. They don't HAVE to have a vet tech for that service, most family/friends and definitely petsitting companies can do it. They pay for me because my trained medical eye is also of value to them. But I'm not essential. There have been a handful of patients/clients in the last 5 years where I felt that special satisfaction that what I am doing for them is something they couldn't easily receive in any other avenue and something with the potential to change their or their pet's life. These cases are really the ones that I started this business to serve, and I am excited to see more of them as the business grows. In more financial news, I received a check in the mail yesterday from the client I had sent an invoice to so yay! I've been talking about my business more to several of the doctors at work, including one of the surgeons. And I made it a point to stop in and chat to the cardiologist, who has sent me 2 new clients in the last couple of months that will both likely be long-term clients for me ongoing. He is a lovely lovely man and my business is a good match for his clientele. Most of his patients will be fairly stable for potentially years, but are on multiple medications and can decompensate quickly. So when their owners are out of town, having a more medically trained petsitter (or in addition to a petsitter, a tech to give the meds), is actually of much greater importance than for many pets. My most recent new client has an elderly cat with a very fragile end-stage heart failure. He is currently stable, but on 6 medications -- some once, some twice, and one three times a day. It's quite complex. At any point he might go into crisis and need to be rushed to the hospital, and if the warning signs are not picked up on at home, he could be dead by the next petsitting visit. His owner is out of town for nearly 3 weeks to Italy. Here's June's business: -"W" regular every other day cat: $450/mo -"G" catheter dog: $840 -"C" petsit w/ med cat: $200 (2 trips) -"L" regular petsit w/ med cat: $125 -"M" new petsit w/ med cat: $175 (heart disease) -"N" new diabetic cat who I give meds or do a glucose check on randomly: $70 (2 visits) So unless anything pops up in the next couple of days, my business gross for June will be $1860. That's $1200 net for me (after tax/retirement). Which if it was coupled with just my PT(12hr/wk) income at the clinic, would be enough to meet my FT budget. But as it turns out, due to the way that paychecks fall and the fact that I budget on last month's income, I will be getting more from the clinic because the June paychecks include 3 weeks worth of 30hr/wk pay. I should actually have a fully budgeted month in July PLUS a snowball to throw at my Hills/Valley fund! Yay! August's budget will be a better representation of how much I will be making from the clinic as all the paychecks in July will be with my lesser PT hours. Though we get 3 paychecks in July so.....there's that too. Ok, maybe September's budget will be a most accurate representation, lol. In the meantime, the business is growing quite nicely And I've had several of my coworkers offer to help me out if I need them, so that's a nice thing. I will likely be taking at least a couple of them up on that when I am out of town in August.
  19. DCLissa17

    Update on our lives...

    What a wonderful update mimi! It is an incredible thing when you have to make a hard, emotional, and potentially life-changing decision but then things fall together as though there were meant to be all along. Just a little nudging feeling that you have made the right decision and thank you for listening. My own situation was totally different (career choices), but I too have felt that grace recently. A beautiful thing.
  20. Well I finally finished out putting money into savings for the month. I work off last month's income so this was pure laziness on my part. May I had fulltime income at the clinic plus some extra hours plus a HUGE month for the side business - $1048 my net. I ended up with a $1600 snowball - WOW! I put an extra $1200 in the travel fund -- $600 to top off the cruise fund (added extra to accommodate for an increased plane ticket cost + excursions + a petsitter) And then $600 towards the costs of my trip to Ohio for my aunt's wedding at the end of August. With my normal sinking fund contribution, I managed to fund that entire trip in one fell swoop. Whoohoo! Then I put $400 into the house fund to finish off the costs of the initial garden/improvements and another $150 towards additional stuff (more garden supplies/a couple fixit projects). Next up: funding a Hills/Valley fund so that if I have some short months with the business, I don't have to draw from my EF/sinking funds. I decided to do $2500, which is about 3 months of my minimum budget for side business income. Obviously, I would expect to have at least some side business income each month so that could easily stretch quite a bit longer. I decided to start with that amount and then start my BS6 snowballs again. With the already made/booked income from the side business for June/July, I hope to have that fund stocked by August (and hopefully not need to draw from it in August) and start throwing BS6 snowballs in September. We'll see how it goes!
  21. I'm glad to hear you more upbeat here, I was very worried after reading the blog post. You are right, you do have a LOT going for you. And you know what you will soon NOT have pulling you back? A controlling, dictator husband who cares incredibly little about you and your well-being. I am so happy to hear that you don't miss him at all. The "things" that come with a 2 income household are nice, but you are smart, you will come out of this with much more than you are living with now, and you have all the frugal tools that DR has to offer. It may take time, but even on your income alone, you will be able to have nice things again. Limbo is hard and you have been living in limbo for a long time now. As you start taking more forward steps, a lot of these negative stressful thoughts will stop circling in your brain and be refocused elsewhere. And as for happily ever after? My favorite aunt turns 65 in October. In August she is marrying a wonderful man. She has been single my entire life. She never wanted kids of her own, it's just not her thing. But she's marrying into a family -- he has 2 adult children, both married. One son is expecting twins after a long fertility battle, the first of the grandkids. So just remember, family comes in a million different variations. Your original vision of it is changing, but you never know where you'll end up.
  22. UGH I'm so sorry! It's so hard to see things happening for the good only to be snatched away. Though if there is anything I have learned its that if something seems to good to be true, 90% of the time, it is. Hopefully the open house generates a real offer from a realistic buyer.
  23. Well things are moving right along in this new self-employment journey! The uptick in business that happened in mid-May has continued. I still have my catheter client, though unfortunately we will probably be saying goodbye to him this week as his disease has progressed. And my new petsit w/ meds client has continued to book 2-4 day trips about twice a month. And the new client contact I made a couple months ago for a long trip has confirmed and that is officially on the books -- 2.5 weeks of once a day visits! I have gotten an invoice out to one client who forgot to leave me a check last month. And I've gotten the Thank You cards out to about 10 new clients from the last 6 months. I'm working on redoing my intro letter and info packets to give to local vet clinics when I go around making my introductions and trying to get them on board. I started my first week of real PT at the clinic this week. Went in Tue & Thu for 3 hours each to do scheduling work/meetings. And then Fri for my 6 hour radiology shift. I've had a summer cold this week so not as productive as I would have liked otherwise with my "free" time, but still saw 2-3 clients/day, did clinic stuff, kept up on house work, etc. Had been hoping to do some new vet clinic meet & greets for the business, but didn't think me coughing/sneezing at them during it would be a good first impression. So planning for that this week. June's business has been amazing. Here's so far: -"W" regular every other day cat: $450/mo -"G" catheter dog: $600 through next Mon morning -"C" petsit w/ med cat: $200 (2 trips) -"A" nail trim client: $50 (2 visits) -"L" regular petsit w/ med cat: $125 (booked) -"M" new petsit w/ med cat: $175 (booked) So that's a projected business gross of $1600 so far and we have more than half the month to go for new clients to spring up! That's $1000 net for me (after tax/retirement), which hits me very close to my previous budget! July is already starting to schedule as well. I have booked $1200 gross so far. And July is a 3 paycheck month at the regular job. Which doesn't add a huge amount, but it will be enough that I should equal my previous budget income. So potentially no need for any reductions in budget/savings at all in this transition! August I am gone on a cruise the first week of the month, and then to my Aunt's wedding for 3-4 days at the end of the month. So I will lose out on a good chunk of the side business income that month. Hoping to have the business built up enough for it to not be a huge impact. Then the plan is that after that hard month, I'll be having some actual snowballs that I can start throwing to the rental mortgage in September... get that sucker paid DOWN!
  24. Ok, I'll give my opinion as both a pet owner, a former pet rescue owner, and a vet tech. You made an emotional decision. That doesn't make it a bad one. I was depressed for months to years lately and truly, my pets were one of the only things to get me to have to be responsible to another living being and to get outside each day. Also, a young dog will help you meet new people. Think puppy/obedience classes, walks, dog parks. People are good! Yes pets can be expensive. There's a base expense and then there's the moon. Only you can decide and set limits on that cost. I recommend getting pet insurance and/or starting to put money each month into a vet expense sinking fund. Because stuff WILL happen, especially to a young dog, and veterinary care is expensive -- especially emergency and high-quality care. Check Trupanion -- they are by far the best pet insurance company around. Get Levi enrolled as a baby with no pre-existing and it is likely to be quite affordable (compare with a $4K vet visit for a foreign object surgery ----sooooo common!) - Items to include: Food (Science diet is junk. It is full of fillers and they will poop TONS. Do NOT feed raw. It is not better and is full of bacteria. Don't get sucked into the organic/limited ingredient/woowoo world (aka don't go to Mud Bay) Basic quality dog food is fine. Kirkland (Costco) brand is actually high-quality. 2 separate sources I trust implicity have researced this and both came to the conclusion Kirkland is the best on a quality to cost ratio. Poop control: a good scooper if you have a yard. Pet waste bags if you don't. I've found that Dollar tree carries pet poop bags , 120 for $1. Or a 75ct pack of diaper bags (essentially the same) for $1. By far the best cost. Toys: the sky is the limit here. Be very careful until you find out what kind/severity of a chewer you have. Some dogs gnaw, some destroy, some like to swallow things whole. Toys, rubber, wood, cloth etc can all be problematic. Rawhides/bones can be choking hazards or swallowed in large pieces needing surgery. Monitor him closely until you know his habits. Something to fetch, something to tug, something to chew are all you really need. But if you want to spen $200+ on toys, that's totally doable too. Training: Get a good puppy class so you can learn good habits along with him. Sounds like you already have a crate, excellent. Great for puppy training, travel, control, and exposure to what happens at vet clinics. Treats, leashes, etc fall into this category. Vet care: Get him into a vet ASAP if you haven't had an initial visit. Shelter/foster/random guy in van/breeders all have varying amounts and quality of veterinary care. Get that puppy in so that a trained professional can evaluate him AND his prior care and get a vaccine/deworming/flea/heartworm program laid out. 8 weeks is NOT too young to neuter, although there are differing thoughts on that. I can't believe a shelter adopted him out without neutering, that's terrifying and puts me in question of their entire veterinary care. If you don't have quality vaccines in a specific schedule, the puppy is at risk of a number of catastrophic diseases, its best to learn about these and the preferred schedule from your vet. Also: do NOT take this puppy into public until he is 4mo old and has completed his vaccine series. No dog parks, no pet stores, no obedience classes, etc. He will be exposed to other dogs with less responsible owners that have unvaccinated dogs and potentially give him dangerous or fatal diseases. Obviously this is very bad for him and also for you, as he is a kind of emotional support for you. Ok, any other q's I am happy to give advice on.
  25. End of May update: Ongoing every other day client - $370 for the month Once daily petsit w/ med for ongoing client for 2 weeks - $375 New client twice daily petsit w/ med - 2 separate 2 day weekends - $175 New client twice daily petsit w/ insulin shots - 2 days this weekend - $140 New client once weekly fluids - 4 visits - $120 New client once-twice daily catheterization -- this is now extended for an unknown amount of time, but the dog is doing well so potentially several more weeks. -- $475 for May Regular client, nail trim - $30 So my total for May, barring anything new in the next 2 days will be: $1685 business gross, $1500 my gross, $1050 my net after 15% income tax and 15% to Roth IRA. Whoohoo! I'm so ready to top of the travel and house savings and put some aside for plane ticket/wedding expenses -- my favorite aunt is getting married in August and so I suddenly need money for that (est. $1000 for plane ticket/hotel/meals/gift). I'll be halfway there AND have the cruise paid for AND have the garden/yard projects all paid for with May's income! And June looks pretty darn good already for the side business. 2 weekend jobs for one of the new clients, the ongoing every other day client, the ongoing catheter client, and likely a new client for once daily petsit/meds that is 2 weeks from the end of June/beginning of July. Also, I realized that the first paycheck of June will be all FT pay still for the clinic job PLUS 8 hours for Memorial Day holiday pay, so even bigger than normal. And the 2nd paycheck of June will still have one week of FT pay in it. So since I budget with last month's money, my clinic job income going down with my move to PT hours won't actually affect the budget until July! And with how June looks for the side business already and some continued marketing, I may never actually see a reduction in budget/savings/sinking contributions at all. Which is AWESOME! I figured out that if I average 3-4 client visits per day, that will completely replace my current regular clinic income. (which turns the regular clinic income into the extra -- the opposite of how it has been. Up until now I budgeted for only the regular clinic income and the side business was all towards cashflowing stuff/sinking funds/BS6). This is a totally doable goal. The last 2 weeks I've been averaging 3-4/day AND doing 2 graves + extra admin time, etc a week. Take out those graves and my schedule just opens right up. Last night was my last grave shift. I have one weird week of shifts this next week and then it's onto the new PT schedule. I am really excited and encouraged to be taking this next step in my life and career. It's been 5 years in the making to take this leap of faith and I'm really glad that I found LLNOE and DR and feel such a sense of peace in this decision -- I know I have more to do and work at with regards to the business, but I feel fundamentally prepared and secure in my financial future.
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