The last 6 weeks have been CRAZY in my house so I haven’t had time like I have wanted to update 2 Broke Girls and Me like I’ve wanted to. Anyways, my mother, my sister and I have been on a health kick. If you may recall, studies show that skinny people are more likely to be rich. Healthy body leads to healthy mind which turns into fat pocketbook. In the last 7 weeks I have lost 17 pounds! Lots of exercising and eating right. Unfortunately that means my focus has not been on making extra money for my business. If only I was able to concentrate easily on more than one endeavor at a time. Just not that talented. As part of my slimdown, I haven’t been watching as much television or been on the computer as much. My eating out is down to once a week. So I save alot of money there and have been eating healthier choices at home.
The good thing is I have gotten my radiator fixed so now I can go garage saling again during the weekends. My stock of Amazon books is down to nothing. Really quite pathetic to look at. This week I hope to set up more things to sell on Ebay.
I did try one new way to make money 2 weeks ago. I submitted photos to Shutterstock.com which is a website that sells photos to companies. In order to start selling you need to have 7 of 10 photos approved and I got …drumroll please…nothing approved! Oh well, I have a new camera from Christmas that haven’t got the hang of and shutterstock wants you to do lots of editing before submitting. In my rejection email, they do give helpful pointers as to why each photo was rejected. “Limited commercial value” is a bit vague though. I can resubmit in 30 days so I will try again. Might as well since it can be good passive income and I like taking photos already. Most of the websites say I can make a dollar or two per photo every month almost indefinitely if put them on the top 6 stock photo agency websites.
“I always carry a tampon and lighter. Everybody likes to feel like a hero.” -Oleg
Thank goodness 2 Broke Girls is back from the holiday hiatus! The first episode back has Max fighting with Han over him rising the price of tampons in the women’s restroom. She feels he is taking advantage of women and Han think it is good business sense. Meanwhile, Caroline becomes obsessed with extreme couponing at the expense of her morals.
I really like the idea of extreme couponing if I can get a hold of 40 circulars. This week I think I will give this idea a try. My usual grocery bill for 3 people, a dog and a cat is $65-$90 a week. Every week I could save the difference. Yes, yes this plan is coming together. Must watch Extreme Couponing this week to get some helpful hints.
Caroline does well enough at the couponing that she saves some money for the business this week. I have my usual automatic contributions of $15 in my brokerage account and 401k.
2 Broke Girls- $644.25
Every year on January 1st millions of people vow to quit smoking, lose weight, etc. Every year on January 2nd millions of people start back smoking, gaining weight etc. Hopefully this won’t happen to me this year. In the spirit of this blog, my resolutions will be held accountable to the internet community. If I fail, everyone will know. Those are high stakes!
The first resolution is to save $10,000 for my bakery. Every week I update with my total. I’m already at almost $1,000 so really I need to come up with $9,000.
Another resolution is to apply for at least 5 different grants for my business. I am the most nervous about this because I am setting myself out for rejection possibly. Who like’s rejection? Not me that is for sure.
This year I would like to place paying off my student loans as more of a priority. I have about $6,000 in loans that I have been avoiding paying off for like 3 years. That was even painful to admit out loud. I want to pay about $1,000 this year. If I make my payments on time for a year, my credit will start to improve.
My last 2 resolutions are more personal. I would like to lose 20 pounds this year. I read Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success recently. One of the principles to put your health as a priority. Healthier body means your mind works better at making money! At the very least, I figure the exercise will help me relax for free. The last resolution is to start dating again this year. I have not been on a date in 2 years. It’s true that I am 24 years old and have not been out in that long. After my whole car accident and college dropout thing, I have not felt like I was worth much. That means I have avoided going out with friends and dates. With my goal for the future and finances more in order, I feel more confident in letting someone into my life.
Have a safe and prosperous new year for all my readers! What are ya’lls resolutions this year? Write them down in the commets below. Nothing like a free support group!
Merry Day After Christmas! I know every one is out there shopping and returning bad gifts so this week’s update will be short and sweet. This week was spent getting last minute Christmas presents and food for every event. At work, it was absolutely crazy in the bakery with someone even quitting the week of Christmas. No attempts at side money were even made so I just had my automatic contributions.
On the flip side, I did look up my old defaulted student loans at the National Student Loan Database website. Hopefully, I work up my courage to call them to start arranging to pay them off. Yes I am like Max on 2 Broke Girls. Avoidance of debt is what I do best but I need to improve my credit to deal with suppliers and creditors later for the business. There is almost $6,000 in student loans and $10,000 I owe the school I went too. Was on scholarship but had a car accident so I dropped out and now owe them for that semester. My net worth is in the negative. How depressing that I am worth more dead than alive. :/
There was no new episode this week. 2 Broke Girls returns in January from hiatus to film more. In the mean time, I am getting some buffer money for when they start up again!
2 Broke Girls- $621.25
My mother this year was disappointed with our Chrismtas. She gave my sister and I $100 to spend. I went to Goodwill, spent $30 and was ecstatic. I bought a pair of jeans, pair of shorts, a dress, 3 tank tops, 2 cardigans and 2 shirts. Happy dance! They were having a sale on alot of the items I bought too! $2 shirts are the best kind of shirts. At Target, I got a new memory card for my camera,a pair of sandals, a book and another shirt for a whole $30. I regifted with the rest spent on my mother’s Christmas presents. She was happier with my little sister’s clothing choices that were more expensive as in full price. All in all, I was really happy with my lowkey Christmas. My closet has had an almost full makeover.
In a side note, tummy is so full. There is an over abundance of chocolate that was laying around the living room that is now gone. I ate a Snickers, half a container of cordial cherries, half a bag of Lindt chocolates and a third of a batch of chocolate coconut bars in 24 hours. So sick of chocolate. Those are words I never thought I would utter…
Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope it was great and be careful on the roads tonight!
Math is a business owner’s best friend. Adding, subtracting, multiplying… there really is no way to get around it. Fancy algorhythms are not necessary skills. However, some simple common equations will help you figure out if your business is a viable option to make money before you invest the money and time into the venture.
The most important equation you will ever make is a breakeven analysis. Add up all your expenses for the entire year. Make sure to include insurance, utilities, advertising, rent, employee wages, supplies, licenses and a little extra to cover possible repairs or other unexpected expenses for the year. These are set costs that don’t really change. You will need to make at least this amount of money a year to breakeven. To get accurate estimates for everything call up the local utility companies for averages for a location you like and an insurance company. They love to help you because you may use them later as a customer. Divide your total by 365 because that would be your daily goal amount to make every day. If you don’t plan on being open every day then make a weekly goal. Divide your total by 52 if this is the case.
Everyone makes a product whether is a counseling session or a popsicle in business. Add up all the costs associated with each specific product you plan to have. If it is a counseling session, figure out how many sessions you can schedule realistically during the week. It is better to guess on the very low side to be safe. At first this will probably be your normal amount. Take your weekly set costs amount and divide by the number of sessions you plan to have. This number will give you what you need to charge for each session to breakeven for the week. Anything added to this would be profit. If to breakeven you have to charge more than your competitors without adding any extra value to your product, more than likely you will not be a success.
Next add a 3 year cash flow analysis for your plan. If you work in an industry where it more seasonal this is especially important. Anything past 3 years is really hard to estimate. For 36 months show what your monthly expenses and income would be. If your electric is more expensive in the summer or winter show that. If your busiest time of the year is around the holidays show that. Include a brief description of why the expenses or income is different during that time of year. Put in when and how much you would take in owner withdrawals. At the end of your accounting period show your estimated taxes paid also. Anything left over would carry over as cash for the business in the next month. It is very good to have at least 6 months of operating expenses always saved in case of emergency.
If you are going after a formal loan, add a liabilities and assets chart over the next 3 years. Show your gross margin, debt ratio and other miscellaneous ratios to prove that you would have a healthy operating budget and profit margin before taxes. There are excellent examples of these charts at score.org and bplans.com. Bplans.com had industry specific plans too! While writing my own plan, I had to Google alot of the terms but it was worth it. If a bank loan officer asks a specific question, you will be able to answer intelligently.
Next week check back for Competitor Analysis the second most important part of your business plan!
Sad Monday with no new 2 Broke Girls episode tonight. Just don’t know what to do without one. A new episode does not air until January I do believe. To help keep me accountable with saving and let all my awesome viewers know how I’m doing, I’ll still do updates every Monday.
This week was “pay electric to keep it from being shutoff” week. I got a lovely automated message this morning warning me to pay my bill or else. Else they’ll break my legs. So I paid $20 more than my actual monthly bill but I am so behind for past months. Hopefully it is enough to keep the lights on for Christmas. (Fingers crossed) I’m dreaming of a dark Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…
Friday I want to do like $50 worth of Christmas shopping just to have something under the Christmas tree. So I won’t pay my cell phone bill till the week after. Bill juggling is a favorite pastime of my mine. Also I noticed my AT&T internet bill went up by like $30 the past 2 months. WTF?!? AT&T this is not the time of year to be pulling this crap on me. That is almost double what it was. I heard if you call you can have your rate go down so maybe I will give that a try or dump them.
On a plus side, the first of my new pay raise paychecks are coming in now. It is only an extra $10-$15 tops each week so I upped my automatic deduction to my brokerage account to $15 starting now. Yay! My total should go up a little faster! So excited I can hardly stand it.
In the spring, I hope to get promoted to cake decorator at my bakery. There is a fairly large pay increase of an extra $2 a hour. I have been practicing decorating at night when I work. This weekend I made my first sellable cake and today I got asked to help decorate some more for our birthday cake case. I’m becoming a decorator slowly but surely! They were beautiful! Not really but they were definitely passable It pretty much made my whole day just to let you know.
With Christmas this week, my goal is to just to save an extra $10 in my bank account. My bank if you keep below a $100 daily balance they charge a $15 monthly maintenance fee. I would like to slowly add my bank account full of untouchable money so I will save that $15 a month.
2 Broke Girls- $621.25
Not having a plan is like traveling across the Atlantic with no map. You might end up in New York, Brazil or an uninhabited island. When it comes to your business, that unexpected plan might be a bankruptcy court. In the planning stages it is very important to make sure your idea is even profitable before investing time and energy. Business plans help put your ideas and potential financial information in a clear, manageable format. Even a rough plan written on the back of a napkin can tell you whether that plan is worthwhile.
Every business plan consists of
- Cover Page and Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Business Environment Analysis
- Industry Background
- Competitor Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Plan
- Operations Plan
- Management Summary
- Financial Plan
Check back every week, I will add a new post on every part of a business plan to help with your writing. Next week, we will start with the financial plan since most of the numbers will have to be used elsewhere in the plan.
“My tats bought that ding!” -Caroline
Max has an oven on the fritz, as in toss a match sort of in the direction of the pilot light and look away to save eyebrows from possible fire bad. Caroline kept a secret stash of TAT rings from her rich days in case of emergency. Since Caroline won’t get full price from a gold buyer and she can’t return them, Max and her try to hold a pop-up sale in the ladies bathroom.
This week’s money-making idea of a pop-up sale I will never try. Just being honest. I have no designer anything other than a Kathy Van Zeeland purse bought on the clearance rack at Ross’s. Holla! Selling my jewelry to a gold buyer will not work either unless they accept Claire’s knockoffs. In that case I’m a millionaire! A millionaire I tell you! My first job was at Claire’s They instilled a love of cheap jewelry early on in my development. Selling designer anything on Ebay I hear does do well. Easier to search for online than generic items. Must keep that in mind in case of a large amount of designer wear being sold very cheap comes around.
Caroline and Max spent their money on a new oven this week and not saving. This week I only added my automatic contributions and no extra money making on the side. I hope to get my radiator fixed by one of my sister’s friends to go garage saling this weekend. Get to use my new camera and make money on Ebay! .:Fingers crossed:.
2 Broke Girls-$621.25