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Showing posts from 2013

Escape from the Cube: Financial Independence - Being a Rental Lord

It's middle of month 4 of the Landlord Challenge, and so far so good. PROs: 1.  I've  cleared about $300 or around $100 a month!   Doesn't sound like much except that $300 is on top of the renters paying for all of my maintenance costs savings ($200 per month), all of the manager's fees, property taxes, all of my mortgage interest, the mortgage itself and building my equity - about $150 per month. 2.  I'm only making $28 a month on a savings account of $28,000.   I've got $50,000 in equity in this town home, so I'm thinking making  $100-$250 a month is good return. 3.  My utilities at my new place are only $50 a month for electricity and $21 for water/sewer/trash.  I'm living in a luxury condo in the middle of the city, within walking distance of coffee shops and grocery stores, for about the same cost as living in my suburban town home with the long work commute. CONs 1.  Rent is coming in as expected, although it is a little later than I wou

Escape from the Cube - Financial Independence: Rental Income Big Gamble Part 2 - Decluttering

Prepping to Rent and Move: The last week has been all about decluttering and staging.  I'm decluttering because I'm going from 1200 square feet to 697 square feet.  I'm staging because I'm putting the townhouse on the market July 1st.   The property manager has been hired (cost 1/2 first month's rent, 8% thereafter per month). Decluttering has been emotional -- but freeing!  My declutter Go-tos for inspiration have included the book "Get Organized:  the Clear and Simple Way " by Marla Dee, FlyLady.net, and any resource for ADHD organization such as the National Association of Professional Organizers .     washroom after removing mini-trampoline Dee approaches organization from an emotional purging/mental envisioning and mapping perspective.  She suggests taking photos of the space.  It worked better for me than most other approaches such as, "do you love it? use it?  No?  - then toss it."     For example, throwing out the old mini-

Escape From the Cube: Financial Independence Next Steps - Rental Income Big Gamble

You may have followed my last downsizing saga to improve my financial situation.  I moved from my 2500 square foot beautiful family home in lovely university area with 100 year old oak trees....to an apartment.   Traumatic?  Seemed so at the time.   As someone, maybe like you?  Who is  more left-brained than right-brained, my environment is very important to my creativity -- and hence my sense of well-being and safety. The move was scary.  Here is a from back then with helpful moving tips if you are moving soon.  But I pocketed $50,000, helped pay off $5,000 of my daughter's school loans at Ivy League University, and had a 1 and 1/2 year vacation in a luxury rental condo.  Instead of desperately searching for handymen while trying to finish reports at work?  I went to picking up the phone to say  "Hello, maintenance?  Could you change my air conditioner filter today?  Great, thanks!"  I'm now a BIG fan of renting. From that apartment, thought, I bought a town hom

Google Adwords - Advertising Dream for Your Small Business

If you are dreaming of escaping the cubicle and building your own small business, you'll need a website or a blog.  You may already have one.  And the best, easiest, cheapest way to get your business advertised is via Google Adwords. Yes, even liberal arts graduates can use Google Adwords!  www.Google.com/adwords www.Google.com/awexpress If you have a chance to go to the GYBO Google Seminars coming to your area, grab the opportunity.  The Small Business Development Administration is partnering with Google to offer free small business seminars across the country.   Every state has a department of SBDA...so check out your areas! I'm attending a seminar today and will post more tips as the day goes on --

Tax Info 2013 Made SoMe Easy from IRS

Love the new IRS Tumblr blog !  Maybe it's because the IRS headquarters is in Austin, TX, home of the the SXSW digital media and music festival and thousands of young tech savvy workers?  All I know is that the IRS is now using social media to deliver easy-to-digest filing information beyond just www.irs.gov , and it worked for me -- so I know you will probably find it to be simple and useful as well.  For example, I found out that I can e-file taxes for free, even if I make more than $57,000 -- just by watching a minute and a half video! And a graphic on the Tumblr blog links you directly to a site that gives you an online application to order historical tax information necessary for your federal student aid application (FAFSA).   It only took 3 minutes for me to   read, digest, follow and order.  Wish I'd had access to that when I was filling out my daughter's FAFSA forms (i.e., spending a Saturday in paperwork misery justified by motherly love). Lost your W-2?  O