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Tag Archives: cash flow

Why a Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

A Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

The terms “budget” and “financial plan” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, in my mind, there are differences between the two. I have a budget for each month, along with an over-arching financial plan. To me, a budget is more of a short-term spending plan and a financial plan is long-term with multiple goals and steps along the way. Here are some of the differences between a budget and a financial plan. Budget First, let’s talk about what makes up a budget. A budget is a listing of your expenses and financial obligations and is a guideline for your spending. It may contain categories, like housing, utilities, groceries, etc. In addition it is usually for a specific time period, such as a monthly budget or a weekly budget. Generally your expenses are broken down into a budget and then totaled so they can be compared to your income for the same period of time. In this way, income and expenses can be compared so adjustments can be made to help you achieve balance in your personal finances. Financial Plan Now let’s examine what a financial plan is. A financial plan helps you to evaluate your financial state using your budget as ...

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Rental Property Adventures

Multiplex for commercial and residential use.

For those of you interested in becoming landlords, I thought I’d share some progress and problems from our latest rental property adventures. It’s not all roses and monthly checks, but rental property can be very worthwhile if you have the stomach for it. Four Units For the Price of Three When we purchased our latest property, we tried to imagine it as buy three units get one free. The fourth unit was unfinished and about as livable as a bomb shelter.We got a deal on the property, but it needed lots of work to achieve full potential. The property came with two buildings, each divided into two apartments. There were three finished apartments that were rented when we took ownership.  Now, we are working to make that fourth unit a nice two bedroom apartment. If you can imagine a 760 sq ft open space with cement walls, a dirty half bath, and no duct work whatsoever, that’s our place! It needs everything; walls, flooring, a functional bathroom, closets, lighting, windows, doors, a whole kitchen with appliances. It’s a huge project. We are two weeks into an estimated six week time line. (I’m betting closer to 12 weeks, but we’ll see). It’s expensive and ...

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I Bought A Building This Week

being a commercial landlord

It’s been a fun week. I did some laundry, got a haircut, and, oh yeah, bought a commercial building. Before you think I’ve lost my mind, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I’ve owned half of the commercial building that holds my optometry practice for almost ten years, and this was just the other half of the purchase. Commercial real estate is a bit different that residential. It has pluses and minuses, but it makes sense if you are your own tenant. Keeping the Tax Man Away One thing I didn’t really understand or ever think about before owning a brick and mortar business was that you can own your own building and still pay yourself rent. It is a good way to take income out of the business without having it taxed as part of your salary. In reality, smart business owners would like their net income to be zero or even show a loss. That doesn’t mean you aren’t making money. It just means that you are running as many expenses as you can through the business so that it helps with income taxes. For example, I use my cell phone to take emergency after hours ...

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Should We Buy Another Rental Property?

About this time last year, we purchased our first residential rental property. We hit a few snags with getting it renovated and rented, but for the most part, I would call the effort a huge success. We had hoped to add another rental property this year, but with our other investment project bogged down, we decided to wait until next year after the everlasting house flip finally sells. Things never seem to happen on my timeline, though, as a house I have been watching for months recently had a large drop in the sale price. I really don’t know what to do, so I’m asking my readers if we should buy another rental property. Let me be honest, I am getting a bit ahead of myself. I don’t have financing secured. I have been churning credit cards, which is not a smart thing to do if you are applying for a mortgage. We originally though that we’d use money from the flip and our HELOC to purchase the next property, but that is not available right now.  We do have amazing credit scores, no debt except for mortgages, and a good cash reserve. If we can get a loan, here ...

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