QOTD, class & income, spending habits with barfy stats
August 17, 2007

10 second clip:

That really made an impact on my financial thinking.

—as have articles like this re: income growth rates & class. The article talks broadly on income, class, & happiness in the US yet these stats are what got me:

According to Census figures, the average inflation-adjusted income in the top quintile of American earners increased 22% between 1993 and 2003. Incomes in the middle quintile rose 17% on average, while the incomes in the bottom quintile increased 13%. Over the 30 years prior to 2003, top-quintile earners saw their real incomes increase by two-thirds, versus a quarter for those in the middle quintile and a fifth among the bottom earners.

This is telling & worth looking at. The issue of earning ability in the states has its place at the financial planning table.

Yet my expertise is not in that arena; it’s in my family’s ability to learn & recover from mindless spending habits. In 2006, we spent over $1k in banking fees (vs using our bank’s ATM exclusively), $2k toward retirement savings, and wait for it, wait for it, $11k in eating out + entertainment.

Puke with me.

And that’s during my sales commission manager job where many times I wouldn’t submit for reimbursement on those client lunches or staff rewards to protect those tracked margins. Imagine what the numbers would be if I had tracked that? I’d still be numb with liquor.

So cheers to new habits, conscious spending, all sprinkled with joy in between.

And may we all take time to cook cuz oh mercy — that habit really impacts the bottom line.

new videoblog, new reality: bringing business home
August 9, 2007

After years in sales and managing teams, I hit ‘the wall’ — that black hole thick fatigue which demands a life change.

Change I say, change!

My husband happens to love his work and agreed his wife needed to change situations. So I resigned last year as sales manager for an HR firm, plunging into online video production. Why? It’s a fun part of Web 2.0 and really just fun period.

Then after some video projects, collaborations, and client work I lost focus big time. Video was still fun but I wasn’t renewing momentum. Was I bored? procrastinating? or my favorite self-esteem ripping comment — just lazy?

It turns out my interests in business planning were crying out to my deaf ear. And it took me a long time to finally listen. I stepped back and observed the life with my husband: we were emotionally awesome yet the remainder of our partnership looked imbalanced e.g. clutter at home, no living will, neither of us knew how to cook or invested the time in learning, and why did that retirement account still look empty despite us philosophically supporting savings, retirement plans, etc?

After answering these questions more directly (…wasn’t pretty learning how much we sank on eating out), I knew that more urgent than learning how to be an expert video tech was learning how to balance my (our) home situation. Our future would have little options without this direction.

With a few months under the belt of analyzing what needs to be done & taking action, it’s clear my liberal arts degree and experience in sales have awesome challenges ahead. It’s really, really a blast.

Asset Management. Communications. Stewardship. Negotiation. Networking. Cooking (yes it’s fun, necessary-duh!, and a preserver of the bottom line). Retirement savings. Retirement savings for parents.

This egotistical-feminist-video-producer has had her reality check of what a strong home life is — and is not.

That’s what this blog is about.