A 2018 New Years Resolution
Looking back at 2017 I personally had a few expenses I could have definitely done without. I am sure we all did. There is a fine line in deciding what you really need and what you don't, especially if you are suffering from near burnout at any point. For some reason you lose track of what is important when you get too much work to handle, and I believe that the ideal human should be at work 24 hours a week as opposed to the industry standard 40. Yes, you won't have as much money, but also you will have more free time and less stress so you will need less money. Sustainability amiright? Plus the industry standard 2 or 3 weeks of vacation a year (that includes your sick leave) does not seem like enough to keep a human fully fueled up for any job, especially a stressful one!
What was my point? Oh yeah, I had expenses last year, and I will be using them as a crutch to lean on. This crutch will be used to bear the weight of my bad decision making and ultimately be a pathway to justifying why I didn't save as much money as I should have. I am a professional at the beginning of a long career, 10 years in engineering already where does the time go? And I need to be saddling up for many more to come because I'm not ready to tap out, not just yet.
But what is my point again? Well I'm getting to that. My point is that I had a crap savings ratio. Especially for someone running a financial site with a good job. I am doing a piss poor job of telling myself no on frivolous expenses. I also do an excellent job of justifying money that I didn't save! wierd how this works. Here is a standing list of the major expenditures I remember from 2017:
- The Corvette for 2500$ and counting. (this was actually late 2016 but whatever)
Why is this on here? It's from 2016. Well, In 2017 I bought ZR1 rims for this car, a windshield wiper motor, Stainless steel braided brake lines, oil, transmission fluid (2types), A tow hitch, Window tape thingys, Smog test (not cheap) and some track tickets and a helmet! This was all to have fun. I have justified this decision by using the following logic: I spent less on this car than anybody else at the track on any given day. And I wasn't the slowest out there (though I was close.) Also I feel I will be able to recoup some of this cost when I sell the vehicle, though I gurantee it won't be 100% of the cost probably closer to 80% when all is said and done. And that's with free labor!
Wait, what? Yeah I decided to build a 454 I had in the back. Pistons, rods, rings, bearings, oil pump, gaskets, intake, water pump, paint, plastigauge, freeze plugs, seals, cam, lifters, valve springs, the whole 9 yards. I also have parts for the TH400 that came with it though I haven't got to that yet. Just a shift kit and all the seals if you must know. I probably spent over 1000$ in parts and I haven't even started it yet!
- Build a dodge Dart
Dude Dave you have a problem. Yeah ok so I bought a 62 dart for 500$ and got a 360 engine and trans from my brother for 300$. Obligatory 1000$ in parts later, I have it in here and it runs but its not ready to drive yet so stay tuned!
Spent a lot of frieking money on this! But it was totally worth it, it looks and feels great! This was in January of 2017. This hurt me all through the year. I also did an overhang addition above my home gym outside to keep the rain off me this winter. Just leaking money from everywhere.
- Dance conventions and lessons
I probably went to 3 or 4 of these conventions throughout the year averaging 150$ a pop (with competition fee) for a ticket plus lodging! And my lessons in the last half of the year, whew. The good thing about these outings is that because they are usually fri/sat/sun I can always go back to work on Monday having only used 1 day of vacation or none at all if I don't mind showing up late.
2017 In Summary
These expenses made it so my savings ratio for the year was a dismal 20%. That's right, a guy who preaches about saving and scraping by on the internet only saved 20% of his pre-tax income. I can hem and haw all I like about why that is and why it's worth it blah blah blah but in all honesty this is complete crap and I know it. I absolutely do not condone this behavior. I should be bumping at least 50% the way I preach around here. AT LEAST.
Here are the adjustments I will make in 2018:
- I spend too much time and money on cars and stuff. I will absolutely finish what I started in 2017 (the dart and the 454) but I will not start anything new until I get rid of some of the clutter. Future vehicles will be less labor intensive and more suited for what I want them for with less modification and overhead in getting them there. This will free up a ton of time which I want to use on this site and other things. Also a sale of the beloved Corvette will help here.
- No more remodeling. Not just because I don't want to, but I got all of it out of the way the last 3 or 4 years and I feel I can make it all the way through 2018 without any major expenses relating to a remodel. This will help the most with the savings percentage mentioned above.
- I'm going to keep dancing. Sorry, but I like it and the expense is minimal compared to everything else. Also, going places to dance is the best vacation ever.
- I will work extra hard and try and rake in a promotion. This job pays the bills and I'm going to respect it and go the extra mile without getting burned out.
Wish me luck!