Monday, November 28, 2005

Goals and an exit strategy

I'm continuing to think about my next round of goals. I realize my dreams of quitting my day job need to mesh with concrete goals of steps along the way. So now I'm asking myself if people who suddenly lost their jobs had been given a year or two's notice, what steps would they take along the way to prepare themselves for the change?

The steps become obvious - learn to live on one income, start making more money on the side so that another income can be developed, save as much as possible, stop wasting time, learn more skills, write that book, etc. Work much harder during this time of harvest to put back for leaner times. Stop spending so much on junk.

Write down the reasons why I want to quit that job and what I would do instead. Write down each goal and quantify it. For example, "save more money" is good. "Save $25 more each pay period" is better.

It's time to get committed!

I also keep telling myself that we have got to live on budget but it isn't happening. I think it might be better to do it 10% at a time. I can start doing an automatic withdrawl of 10% more each month or two.

I've got to get these goals in writing before January 1.

They need to be evaluated monthly.

We've made a good start by not increasing our Christmas budget this year (we do a good job sticking to our Christmas budget and I'm very thankful for that!) I'm also glad we didn't just wipe it out either. There really is an art to this balancing act.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

What happened to the day by day stock trading commentary?

I found it clouded my thinking and my judgement. I found I was thinking more about how my moves would play in my blog instead of the other way around!

I'll publish a scorecard at the end of the year and summarize what has happened.

I haven't given up on this but am beginning to realize that I'll need multiple streams of income ...

more to come ...

Goals - Making a list and checking it twice!

I found a list of goals that we had made in the early years of our marriage. The list seemed ambitious in view of the large amount of debt we had. We didn't make mucy money back then and had 4 young children.

We were amazed that every goal had been met beyond what we could have imagined. For example - at the top of the page above goals that were broken into financial, education, spiritual, etc. was a scrawled note "save to buy a new car for George?" He now drives a 7! Whoa!!!! I had hoped to finish college and we wanted to buy a nicer, larger home. I earned my B.S. in 1992 and we bought a much nicer larger home five years later - on a 15 year note that we later re-financed at a lower rate of interest for 11 years!

We are so psyched and will be making another list of goals over the Christmas holidays. We plan to include this list in our New Year's celebration and I may post it here.

Consider starting your own list - our only recommendation? Think LARGE!