June 2011 Net Worth Snapshot

This is coming a few weeks late... I've been very busy working, going on vacation, and getting engaged! Some of those activities are represented by the big red numbers below ;). I feel like I've hit bottom on reducing costs, I've been spending a lot of time researching passive income ideas.


Residual/Passive Income

I've crunched the numbers several ways and there's not really any way I can retire in 9 years with my current income level. I'm already saving around $2000/mo and cut my spending in most of the ways I know how. Even if I save/invest 65-75% of my income (which isn't very sustainable if I want to have any sort of life) it would take me around 20 years to retire. With all of that said I think you can guess what my solution is: I NEED MORE MONEY! Passive, also known as residual income, seems like the way to go. I can devote my spare time to something that eventually will create an income stream that won't just swap out one daily grind with another.

Here are the ideas I've been rolling around in my head:

  • Vending machine/bulk candy route
  • Rental Properties
  • Membership website with user generated content
  • Some other semi-passive business with a leveraged worker
  • Niche content website(s)
  • Some other sort of leveraged business/website
  • Affiliate (I'd rather not do sales, possibly creating an affiliate product)

Those are all of my ideas for now, lots of brainstorming to do ;)


Medical Bills, Haggle them down!

A few months ago I was in a pretty bad car accident. I totaled my car but fortunately God was looking out for me and I sustained pretty minimal injuries. During the course of the settlement I learned that most medical centers and physicians offered reduced payment options for paying quickly or being classified as self pay/uninsured. Since the other driver was liable, his insurance reimbursed me for the full cost of the medical bills. After I was reimbursed I simply called the billing center for each bill and asked if they offered bill reductions for self pay. Each time they promptly responded with a set percentage like it was standard procedure. Below is what I saved.

I saved nearly $1100 by simply making a few phone calls and asking to pay less!


Switched to Index Funds

I switched the majority of my 401k contributions to index funds today. Currently I contribute 20% of my income, some days I want to contribute less so I can build up more liquid savings but I'm earning more money at work now so it should balance out. Anyways, below is my current contribution amount and the expense ratio for each fund. There's not much reason behind choosing the percentages. I wanted a little in bonds to smooth out the volatility and I wanted some international exposure.

10% Bond and Mortgage Fund  ( .71% Expense Ratio)

40% S&P 500 Index Fund (.18%)

20% S&P 400 Index Fund (.35%)

20% S&P 600 Index Fund (.35%)

10% International Equity Fund (.86%)

That's all for now, if I can come up with a logical reason to adjust the contribution percentages I'll let you know.