#10. Step 4: Figuring Out Ways To Make Money
Updated: Jan 22
It is finally time to discuss Step 4 in our eight-step plan in The Seven-Year Time Challenge. Step 3 was all about finding ways our family could make forever changes to save money. Step 3 and Step 4 will be ongoing steps that we constantly have to revisit. We discussed in our last post in this Time Challenge Series how we were going to take a systematic approach to our savings. We think this will increase our chances that our saving decisions become full blown habits.
A brief recap: In Step 2 we decided to start saving by categories. The first category we attacked in Step 3 was food.
A brief update: We are getting there! It is difficult for me not to be too hard on myself, but I cannot argue with the numbers. We previously determined that we were spending $1,416 monthly on food for our small family of three. This was WAY too much. After changing our food purchases from unconscious spending to purposeful spending, we have spent $453.75 from December 1 until today, December 21! Here is a breakdown of the numbers (If you would like more detail on what goes into each of these three categories, click here):
Previous monthly Kroger spending: $700
Monthly Goal: $300
Current monthly Kroger spending: $267.92
Note: We still have one week of grocery shopping in December left, so
it is unlikely we will reach our goal of $300 a month, but we did far better than before!
Previous monthly subconscious food purchases: $303.60
Monthly goal: $103.60
Current conscious food purchases: $90.80
Note: We are on track!
Previous monthly eating out spending: $400
Monthly goal: $200
Current eating out spending: $95.03
Note: We are crushing this category!
We plan to stick on the category of closely tracking food in January as well before adding a second category to try and save money in. I feel strongly that we can hit our goal in January!
Onward to Step 4: Figure Out Ways To Make More Money
My wife and I have two primary sources of income, her salary as an elementary school teacher and the money I make as an attorney, which is dependent on people hiring us. Other than those sources of income, we also own a commercial rental property that has two units. One unit is rented out and the other unit has been unexpectedly vacant throughout 2022. We are breaking even with the rental property, so we are not receiving any extra income from this.
We will be focusing more intently on two short-term ways to make more money and one long-term plan.
One of our short-term plans is to make more of an effort to find a tenant for our rental property. Doing so would instantly create a positive cash flow to invest in our long-term plan to create extra income.
I am going to start researching more ways on advertising our vacant property and will track what specific steps I take. Hopefully, when we actually rent it out, I can let you guys know what specific steps I took on advertising a vacant rental property in a small town!
The second short-term way to make more money is to put in more hours at work on advertising and building our brand. I feel strongly that our firm provides some of the best representation to clients in the area, and I want to make an asserted effort to take our law firm to the next level.
To make this happen, I bought the book Traction by Gino Wickman (I receive no compensation if you click this link!). I am hoping that it allows our law firm to grow exponentially. I will provide updates on my thoughts of the book and how it is helping our business grow.
We will keep our eyes open for other short term ways to increase our income, but this is where we plan on starting.
Focusing on our spending/savings, and then keeping our efforts to make more money as narrow as possible, will be the best way for our family to succeed on this time challenge we are on.
Oh Yes, Our Long-Term Plan To Make More Money . . .
I think it is called burying the lede. I mentioned having a long-term plan to make money earlier seeing if you guys would notice. My wife has been working on the side on opening a bridal boutique for awhile now. She has a true passion for all things wedding related.
We would like to have $100,000 invested into her bridal fund before officially opening her store, but this has not stopped her from doing the groundwork. She agreed to write a guest post for me on Friday, so make sure to read and click the "heart" button on her post!
Also, if you are interested in entrepreneurial stuff (such as starting an LLC on your own and building your brand) or weddings in general, she will provide ways in Friday's post on how to follow her on social media and stay up to date on all things wedding related :).
Finally, since I will not be publishing another blog written by me before Christmas:
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