I cannot believe just twenty days ago I wrote about achieving my goal for Financial Independence. Unfortunately, the achievement was shortlived. Since the major drop in the markets, I’m back to where I was back in December 2019.
The weirdest part is that while I always knew that everyone’s expecting a market drop, including me, I always felt I’ll freak out when that happens. And yet I haven’t really thought much about it. I’ve lost almost 6 months of my expenses in the market crash. To think about it, it’s because I’m optimistic that the market will bounce back. In fact, I was looking at some of the stocks, not necessarily from my portfolio, and some have already started to show signs.
You can clearly see the market uptrend. Please note that this is not a stock suggestion. I’m only pointing out what I feel about the market. If I had some liquid cash in hand, I would have loved to purchase some of these at a discounted price. I still caught some of them at what I feel is a discounted price.
However, the larger point is I don’t necessarily feel panicked for my stash. I do feel a little stressed out about the uncertainty though. I work in sales and if this continues for a longer period of time, it’s going to hurt our company targets, which would translate into more stress for the sales department. And I know for sure that for the next 45-50 days we’ll do very little sales. I’ve been thinking of how to utilize this time as I have been barely working for 3-4 hours each day with very little salesy stuff to do during these times.
Start a Hobby Project
As I have more time on hand, I’ve decided to start a hobby project. This isn’t a hobby project to make money and I no way want to be reliant on the cash from this project. If you’ve been reading my blog you know what I feel about having a second source of income. The new project I’ve planned to take up is something I’ve wanted to do for a long period of time, in fact I had tried doing something similar right out of college and failed miserably. And it will help me in my current job. And thus possibly help me becoming a better sales person.
I’ve launched a T-shirt store to learn about marketing and advertising. This is a tough time to sell as people wouldn’t spend money on unnecessary items in trying times. I’m using this time to create designs and understanding more about Facebook & Instagram marketing. I might start running paid ads only when I feel the economy is driving up again.
The last time I tried selling t-shirts, a friend of mine would make the designs. Our plan was to sell the T-shirts offline. We sourced the Tshirts and prints from a friend of mine but the end result turned out to be pretty bad. I lost some INR 5000 back then, which was a great sum of money right out of college. This is why I’m super excited to re-do things.
You might notice that I’ve tried to merge it with my other love – Coffee. I have wanted to do something about it and I run offline meetups for coffee lovers. Turning that love into another project is just fantastic since it will keep me motivated.
Eliminate Home Loan
Since I have achieved my mini-goal, I also had to think about what should my next target be. I have an extremely large debt on a home loan and I’ve decided to double down on it. While I’ll continue to contribute to my retirement fund, it will only include what’s required but I’ll max it –
1. I’ll contribute to my EPF
2. I’ll continue to contribute to my PPF
3. I’ll continue to contribute to my NPS
It might take me a few years to get done with the home loan but I’m excited to work towards this target.
Not increasing my expenses for 2020
In my last post, I talked about loosening up a bit in terms of spending. However, I have dropped that plan and have decided to stick to my budget of 2019.
This crisis situation has been an eye-opener for me. Even though, I don’t spend a lot, compared to my colleagues and friends, I have realized I still have a lot of scopes to save. This entire month, since we’ve been on house arrest — I haven’t shopped, I haven’t ordered food and I haven’t gone out drinking with friends. I still ended up spending the same amount as I always do as I ended up donating a large sum to buy masks for healthcare workers.
It’s a cruel realization, honestly. Since the lockdown, I’ve also been binging on the Tiny House Movement and realize it’s so easy to live minimalistic. It clears a lot of unnecessary clutter and frees up bandwidth. I want to do more instead of hoard more.