As you may have noticed, I stopped posting much here on HIMMB. Mostly I was overwhelmed with my online business and decided to concentrate on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. A ton has happened over the last year or two.
The biggest news is that my husband and I have negotiated more than $1,000,000 in blog ad deals since I first started making money online back in mid-2010. The vast majority of that money has been from deals closed for our blog advertising clients. I am astounded and proud. I never thought I would create a business of my own, much less one that makes hundreds of people money. I am very content with this. Here’s to another $1,000,000 negotiated in the next few years!
A Look at Our Money
I went self-employed in July 2011, Mr. BFS joined me in January 2012, we bought our long-term home in October 2012, and we paid off our first house/rental property in April 2013. So it has been a hectic few years. We didn’t just change our way of making a living, we changed how we live. But we still save for our future. Here’s a quick rundown of the accounts that have changed the most since 2011.
- Savings – We keep way more padding in our CapitalOne360 accounts since self-employment equals uncertainty. I used to aim for 3 months of money, but now I need 6 months on hand to feel stable.
- Two Roth IRA’s – We continue to fully fund two Roth IRA’s each year, so our contributions and the market rebound have helped these look way healthier.
- Scottrade – We do still invest a small amount each year into high dividend yield stocks on our own. This account will hopefully help us bridge the time between when we retire and when we can touch our retirement accounts.
- Home Equity – Paying off our first home was a huge relief. We still owe a little more than $200,000 on our current mortgage, but we have about $60,000 in equity already thanks to putting down 20%.
We seem to be in a solid position. We aren’t saving as high of a percentage of our income as before we went self-employed, but we are saving enough to feel safe.
Given that we do want to save more or be able to splurge in slow months too, I started a pet sitting business and work another 20-30 hours a week with it. My husband takes more sports officiating too. Overall, that ends up bringing in an extra $1000-$1500 a month. Woot!
Our cash padding came from saving whatever we had left each month after paying our bills. That ranges from $500-$3000 and we aren’t really ever done.
When we hit one cash target, we have another to aim for. Eventually we may even have enough to spend on smaller priorities like better furniture in our home or a backyard deck. Those are lower priorities to us than being able to pay for our next car in cash since both of ours are 7 and 9 years old and each have a few of their own problems.
How have your finances changed in the last few years? If you are self-employed, are you saving more or less now compared to when you worked for someone else?