NMHD Budget Clinic – Episode 5 – Budget Baseline: Choose Your Own Adventure

Now that we’ve identified Max’s discretionary  costs, it’s time to set up a few potential budget scenarios for Max to consider. The four scenarios are:

  1. Status Quo – change nothing
  2. Fighter – cut back in certain areas; sell some junk Max has that he’s not using for extra income
  3. Warrior – cut back more in certain areas; sell junk and do some odd jobs
  4. Destroyer – cut back aggressively; sell junk and get a part-time job

Here’s a summary for each scenario (click to zoom):

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 8.37.18 AM

It’s worth noting that the Destroyer scenario involves a bit of luck. For example, Max might not be able to find a job near the city where his parents live, and/or he might not live in a city where he can use a bike and public transportation instead of a car. Accordingly, these scenarios aren’t mutually exclusive; each line item is a la carte. Max should think of this as a single menu of options rather than four discrete scenarios; this is an adventure and Max is in the driver’s seat.

From Trash to Cash
A huge part of paying off loans is sooner is to increase income in addition to cutting back expenses. One way to do this is to sell junk that’s just lying around collecting dust. However, those who’ve been following along since I started blogging know how much I hate dealing with Craigslist. Well, From Trash to Cash changes all of that. I actually wrote the foreword for this book because it makes so much sense when it comes to selling stuff online. Max would be well served to check this book out before he starts selling his stuff on Craigslist.

This is the foreword I wrote:

Unless you’re living a strict minimalist existence in a 300-square-foot dwelling, you have untapped revenue-earning resources at your disposal. It’s your trash and it’s ready to generate some serious cash.

41gbc-x6JdL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-69,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I paid off $90k of my MBA student loans in seven months, due in large part to the stuff I had sitting around the house that I wasn’t using and/or could easily do without: ski goggles that hadn’t seen snow in ten years, a torque wrench that had torqued a bolt only five times in its two-year life, and glasses that hadn’t seen the light of day since grad school. I sold all of this stuff and more on Craigslist. However, after reading From Trash to Cash, I realized (with much regret) that I could have made more money and experienced less frustration dealing with potential buyers if Alex’s book had been available during that sell-off period of my life.

Alex teaches from experience and he does a masterful job of guiding the reader through the complex do-it-yourself selling maze from start to finish, offering helpful hacks along the way designed to facilitate more lucrative transactions and make selling your stuff a downright enjoyable experience. As I look around my house for things to sell off in an attempt to pay off my mortgage early, I’ll definitely be using the guidelines from From Trash to Cash to maximize my upside.

Fine print: Details aren’t finalized as neither Alex nor I are doing this for the money, but I’ll probably get a small percent of sales of this book due to mentioning it here. This isn’t finalized, but I want to be very transparent with you. I still think the book is a valuable resource, regardless of my stake.

Reminder: For best results, view this clip in full screen and set the resolution to 1080p.

Episode 5 Materials


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2 responses to “NMHD Budget Clinic – Episode 5 – Budget Baseline: Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. Great post! I love the whole theme of getting rid of stuff to pay off debt. Congrats on your debt. That’s a TON of money to pay off!!!

  2. Michelle

    This is really helpful, even for those of us who already have given these matters some thought. Thanks for using what you learned to help others!

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