Selling More Stuff to Bridge Anticipated January Shortfall

Day 127 | $57,116 paid | $33,601 till freedom

I’m only one week into fiscal January and I’m already anticipating a shortfall in my budget. My student debt is at $33,600 right now, and I budgeted a pay-off of $4,705 in January. However, John moved out of my house and into his new house a couple of days ago and I haven’t found a new roommate yet, so that’s costing me $13/day ($400 over 31 days). This time of the year is possibly the worst time of the year to find a roommate because of the holidays, but I’m hoping to find somebody by the middle of Janary. I’ve also already spent $235 on entertainment, or $185 over my $50 budget for the month. While doing chores did help me abstain from spending money on entertainment during my week-long  company-mandated holiday (staycation), it clearly wasn’t completely effective. Some of this overspend can be attributed to the New Year’s Eve festivities which came in at $45 for a ticket to a hotel ballroom party and $20 for a bottle that the host, my good friend, let my friends and me sneak in.

I’ve talked about my lack of spending discipline in prior progress reports, and while the roommate issue is clearly not an issue of spending discipline, the entertainment overspend definitely is. Right now it’s a matter of either A) fixing the entertainment budget to more accurately reflect my lack of spending discipline, or B) getting disciplined.

Since I don’t have a solution yet, I’m just going to sell more crap to make up for the overspend.

While I’ve already sold off the second car, motorcycle, and roadbike, I’ve decided to dig deeper. A funny thing has happened–I find myself not missing the motorcycle nearly as much as I thought I would. In fact, I don’t really miss it at all. The same goes for the roadbike. Now, I might feel differently about things after I finish NMHD and accrue some savings and am not maniacally focused on saving money. Once I have some money burning a hole in my pocket, will motorcycling regain its appeal? The same goes for cycling–am I going to go out and buy a bicycle after NMHD is done?

(Of course, these questions are part of a much broader question–once I complete NMHD and accrue some savings, will frugality lose its appeal? Or will that be my new way of life?)

When I sold the CBR, I was convinced I would get an R1 as soon as I had enough money for one. I also assumed I would go back to cycling, so I held onto my my motorcycle and bicycle-related accessories. However, given the pending budget shortfall and the fact that I just don’t miss the motorbike and bike as much as I thought I would, I’ve decided to sell the accessories.

It doesn’t help that we’re in the off-season for these sports, but I’m going to see what I can get.

Motorcycle Accessories

  • Helmet
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Cold weather helmet liner
  • Torque wrench
  • Rear stand

Bicycle Accessories

  • Water bottles and cages
  • Bike bag
  • Headlight and tailllight
  • Jersey
  • Multi-tool
  • Lock
  • Helmet
  • Floor pump
  • Hand pump
  • Cold weather gloves

While I was in the getting-rid-of-stuff mode, I hunted around my house for other crap to hawk. I found the following:

  • Burberry frames — I wear contacts, but I bought these suckers for job recruiting at HBS because one of the “interview experts” at HBS said that we should wear glasses because they would make us look smarter. I went out and dropped several hundred dollars on some Burberry frames. I haven’t worn them since the interviews three years ago. I have no idea if  there’s even a market for these things, but I’m going to find out.
  • Oakley snow goggles — I last used these when I was on the ski team in high school…12 years ago. They look practically brand new.
  • Fishing poles and tackle box — Over a year ago, I went out and spent $100+ on poles and a tackle box and lures so my then-girlfriend and I could fish at the pond that is a three-minute walk from my house. We went once, didn’t catch anything, and while it was peaceful and relaxing, we never went back. They’ve been sitting in my garage untouched for over a year. Who wants ‘em?
  • iPod Shuffle – I’ve found that I actually run better without aural distractions. And, in case I ever find myself wanting to run to music, I have an extra Shuffle. Really, there was no point in having two iPod Shuffles. I’m still not sure why I had two.
  • Fan — I bought this to cool me down whenever I used my rowing machine that I bought for my apartment in 2009. I sold the machine a year after I bought it due to neglect, but I never parted ways with the fan.  Time to go.

A guy already came by to get the floor pump, and while he was here, I sold him the jersey and water bottle cages. I made $55. Another guy is on his way over to pick up the gloves.

Dig Even Deeper?
If/once I get rid of all of this stuff, any extra income will have to come from work–I don’t think I can dig any deeper, unless I start selling furniture, my TV, or my surround sound system, which I’m definitely not interested in doing.  

Speaking of extra work, an RFQ landed in the inbox of Michael’s and my landscaping company today, and we’ve scheduled a visit with the customer for next Saturday. We’ve also given a quote of about $1,550 to the guy whose side-yard we did a few weekends ago after he asked us to do additional work for him, and we’re waiting to hear back from him.

If I continue to go over my budget every month and the landscaping business doesn’t pick up (this is definitely the off-season), I might have to go back to looking for an extra job. Or get disciplined.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Selling More Stuff to Bridge Anticipated January Shortfall

  1. Sarah

    “Once I complete NMHD and accrue some savings, will frugality lose its appeal? Or will that be my new way of life?”

    I’m thinking frugality will slowly lose its appeal and you will slowly return to the old days of bottle service and high maintenance girls, the temptation will be too strong not to and with the extra money freed up, why not?

    Regarding your landscape business, have you tried putting up fliers at Round Rock library, Pville library? I think you said you live up north.

    • Dang! Ye of little faith! Of course, you might be right.

      Good call on the flyers–I’m just wondering if it’s even worth it…is there any pent-up demand out there that would be prompted to give us a call if they saw the flyer, or are we so out-of-season that attempting demand-generation would be a waste of time? I’ll discuss with my partner.

  2. yosnowden

    Whenever I take a good look around my place I’m always amazed at how much random stuff I have that I rarely/never use. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (since the beginning? Pretty close anyways) and I’m pretty impressed with what you’ve done so far. Kudos and keep it up! And thanks for the link to Mr. Money Mustache; super interesting.

  3. brian

    “bottle service and high maintenance girls” sounds good to me :) If I had his income and already had a home, was single and in my twenties. That’s what I call living the dream.

  4. On the other hand, you may have made a break through and now realize that frugality is not poverty and will never go back. Or at least not all the way back.

  5. Sarah L

    Just read a really interesting paper arguing that we as young, twenty-something-year-olds do not make decisions that accurate weigh our future selves in making decisions that affect our future. They used virtual reality software to show participants their 70 year old faces and were then asked to allocate a windfall of $1000. The group that saw their aged selves allocated more than twice the amount for retirement than the control group (they just saw their current selves). The discrepancy was attributed to the theory that we don’t associate our future selves to be the same person we are; we treat our future self as if they are strangers, which is to say, we don’t give them much if any influence over our decisions, even when the decisions will greatly affect our future selves.

    Here’s the link to the paper, if you’re interested: http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Documents/JMR_Forthcoming/increasing_saving_behavior.pdf

    Perhaps your evaluation of how much you’re willing to spend on entertainment post-NMHD will change if you can project yourself and your needs in the future. Or it may not. Regardless, I thought it was an interesting paper that would give you some more food for thought. :)

    • That is super intersting. Quick, somebody age a pic of my face by 90 years so I’ll stop my reckless spending habits!

      I think this paper makes a lot of sense–it’s very difficutl for me to think about a 70-year-old version of myself…way too abstract. Hell, I can’t even think of a 30-year-old version of myself. 29 years old, yes, maybe. 30 years old? Nope. 70? Not a chance.

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