Sunday, April 19

Finding a New Path

My tagline is "pursuing a simple, frugal life."  The truth is, it isn't simple enough, and I might be taking this frugality thing a bit too far.

The mystery shopping industry is so fragmented and competitive that it requires a daily regimen of logging into multiple sites, browsing job boards in search of opportunities.  Hanging onto a perennially deadbeat tenant has meant spending at least some time every single day debating whether I should start the eviction process.  Another tenant is paying vastly below-market rent because I've wanted to avoid the possibility of losing them. Meanwhile, our kitchen has been in various stages of demolition for the last three months while the carport and one of the bedrooms is full of construction supplies.  I've neglected to keep up with my stock investments, which are an excellent source of passive income (if I could focus on finding undervalued opportunities, I probably wouldn't need to be chasing $12 mystery shops).

Am I wearing so many hats for the sake of feeling busy?  Would greater focus lead to more success with less hassle?  

Refocusing

It's time to make some changes.  First, no more putting off the home remodel.  That has to be high on the list.  While we are doing this, I will fulfill the work obligations I've already committed to, specifically the hospitality jobs and mystery shops I'm already assigned.  I will spend far less time searching for new jobs.  After we finish the kitchen and bathrooms, my attention will turn towards optimizing the rental properties.  I imagine I will be evicting the deadbeat tenant, so this attention will be on getting that house ready to turn over to a management company.  At the property I am renting below-market, I will propose a rent increase even if it means losing that tenant.  Finally, I'll take a look at streamlining my finances.  Managing my money is something I enjoy, and it doesn't consume much time, but I've allowed the number of accounts I have to creep up, and consolidation is probably in order.

Frugality vs. Comfort

The last few years I've been a little too focused on cutting costs and have sacrificed comfort.  Last summer we set the thermostat to 87 during the daytime, with a 4 hour window in the evening and 1 hour in the morning where the thermostat was programmed to 80.  I'm not going to get this house remodeled if we are working in that kind of heat.  My body just can't handle it.  We'll adjust the temperature to a comfortable level, and incorporate as much energy efficiency into our house as we can to mitigate ongoing costs.

It's amazing what a week on a tropical island has done for my state of mind.  Time to strap on my boots and blaze a new trail.

1 comment:

  1. Your plan to refocus makes a lot of sense. I need to do some simplifying and refocusing myself. I don't think I have your current email or phone any more. Send me an email sometime this week so we can make plans to meet in Omaha.

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