Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Life with Hope

I have found it hard to focus on my blog lately. This is the result of a combination of distracting things, from a hyper-demanding one year old, to the irresistible lure of bad t.v., and my new consuming focus on a possible venture.
My husband and I are always trying to find ways to increase our standard of living despite the monotony of our less then stellar incomes. We don't believe in buying luxury goods on credit and having the temporary facade of wealth that is merely backed by a piece of plastic. Happily, we are debt free. This also means that we don't own a home or a car (it is New York), and our furnishings are only a notch above a recent college graduate's. We do dream of more ownership, but don't want to be so tightly strapped to a mortgage that we can't afford a foreign getaway or two. So, the question is, how does one generate enough income to afford one's wants, without those desires becoming financial liabilities? On the recommendation of an economically, savvy friend, I just read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", by Robert T. Kiyosaki, a simplistic effort to elucidate the differences in how the wealthy vs. lower to middle class parents teach their children about money. The most valuable thing I took away from the book was a clearer understanding about the difference between assets and liabilities. An asset puts your money to work for you and increases your bottom line with cash flow in. A liability is something that does not generate income, but instead is a money drain, a steady bill. An example of an asset is stocks and funds - you put your money in, do nothing, and hopefully watch the pot grow with dividends. Your money is working to make more money for you without any effort on your part. Another example is owned rental property. Yes, you have your mortgage and maintenance fees, but in theory, your rent should cover these expenses and also line your pocket with some extra profit. Here is the difference with home ownership - there is no profit. Your money is tied up with paying your house bills and has no chance to grow (unless the value of your home increases and you sell!). Most people with home mortgages find themselves living paycheck to paycheck, without additional money to invest in anything outside their living expenses. This notion made me second guess a quest for my first home, in the romantic, live-in-it sense, and instead start to think about buying property in order to generate income via rental money. The theory is that the more assets you own, and the more income that they generate, the more cash you have to outright buy the luxuries you crave.

Anyhow, this is not necessarily the direction that I want to follow, it's just that I know I have to do SOMETHING. I don't want to continue working for the man and a paycheck that merely supports my expenses, but never my fantasies. I've decided that it is time to plan my way out, to be my own boss, and set up my own business. This weekend has seen a lot of brain-storming and I've done a lot of research. It looks like I have a partner, and the serious work must now begin. I don't want to reveal the details yet, but they will one day come! In the meanwhile, this will have to suffice as my excuse for infrequent posts.


Anonymous MomG said...

You go girl..Follow those dreams and make it happen.You and Dan are adventurists and although Dad and I have lived that suburban life we know you two have other dreams.I can only imagine the talks you and Dan have had.We are behind you all the way and if you need a listening ear we are here for you.Be sure to keep us posted.All our love,d&mG

12:06 PM  

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