Monday, October 20, 2008

Green savings.

The fact that I'm in over a million dollars of debt means that I need to examine my expenses and make cuts where I can. I am always looking for ways to lower my utility bills while being "Green". Not only is this better for our world, but it also puts a little extra money in my pocket.

The electric bill is one that I know I have some control over. One of my friends that works for Southern California Edison (SCE) recommended that I gradually turn things on (such as lights, coolers, fax machine, etc.) when I open my business in the morning and unplug all appliances and electronics that are not in use at night. She's not the only source I've heard this from. I also saw an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show with a "Green" guest speaker that was talking about ways to cut electricity costs.

Vampire energy is when electronics or appliances are not in use but still consuming low levels of energy. The easiest and most convenient way to cutoff the energy to devices is to use a surge protector. All you will have to do is hit the switch before leaving home. This is a great way to completely turn off your computer, printer, monitor and other computer peripherals. A surge protector should also be installed in your kitchen for the toaster, coffee maker and can opener.

I used the same if not more energy in my business in September versus August, but my bill was $60 less because I have been turning off all of the surge protectors and unplugging all other items. Millionaires need to save money too.

Being "Green" is cool now. With small changes by the individual, we can make a large difference as a community.

A productive day off.

I decided to take a day off after working for 45 days straight! Yesterday was my first day off in a month and a half and I was fairly productive. I decided to do laundry, vacuum my townhome and fix the toilet. I became a certified plumber (at least in my mind) yesterday fixing the toilet. I shut off the water supply to the toilet when I moved back in because my tenants received a $200 water bill due to the water running even when not in use. First, I went to Home Depot and purchased a new seal because it was obvious that the toilet needed a new one. After replacing the seal there was no improvement so I returned to Home Depot. The same associate assisted me in deciding to replace my old school fill valve with newer technology by Fluidmaster which eliminates the ballcock. Went home, replaced the valve and it was better, but water was still going into the toilet bowl. Three's a charm, so I returned to Home Depot and spoke to Dean my plumbing counselor again. Now, there was only one other part to replace and it was the flush valve. I bought the Fluidmaster flush valve and went to work. I had to take the tank off of the toilet to install this valve. I wasn't nervous at all and everything seemed to go smoothly. At last, my toilet is now functional without any leaks! I am always amazed at how much dirt and other unidentifiable objects my vacuum picks up from the carpets.

A busy schedule with minimal downtime means more productivity during your freetime.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sometimes I wonder.

Everyday I think about where I'm headed in life and if I am going to succeed in creating the lifestyle I have envisioned for myself. There is not one day that goes by without it crossing my mind. Sometimes I feel motivated and know that I am going to make it regardless of any obstacles. Other times I feel down and out, doubtful and slightly depressed.

I know that I am only 25 years old and have a lot of time to accomplish my goals. On the other hand when I hear about other successful young entrepreneurs, I feel less accomplished and inferior to them. I know that I have the potential to do more and that is what drives me to keep going everyday. I have been working 90 hour weeks for over a month now and still do not feel tired or exhausted. The feeling is fresh and this is another chapter in my blessed life.

I have been through a lot that nobody knows about, but I am determined to never let the dark clouds of my past get in the way of my future. There are many people out there who are mad at the world and blame everyone and everything for their failures in life however, I beg to differ.

Everything thus far has happened for a reason and I have conditioned myself to look at it all as lessons of life.

My attitude is the most important factor in my life's equation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I'm taking it easy while running my business today. I haven't taken a full day off in the past 30 days and have been working about 90 hours each week. I started listening to XM Satellite Radio as soon as I opened the shop through DirecTV but something wasn't right today. I began to think about where I am in life and where I would like to be. The next decision was to find some inspiration, so I searched for millionaire blogs on Google.

The first two results were "The Millionaire Blog" and "The Millionaire Mommy Next Door". I looked at these two and found some inspiring words that helped alleviate my concerned mood. The fourth search result was a "Young Millionaires - Blog Toplist" where I found Ephren Taylor. He's a 25 year old successful entrepreneur who designed his own video game at the age of 12 and had a company in high school worth a few million dollars! I watched a few of his videos on YouTube including his appearances on the Montel Williams show and The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.

It was very inspiring to hear him talk about his humble upbringing to where he is now. He currently manages over $250 million in assets and is relocating from San Francisco to New York City where he accepted a job as a Hedge Fund Manager.

My prayer has been answered.

So, the currency exchange rate rose to above $1.40, almost reaching $1.50 Australian for every American dollar yesterday! This is going to be very helpful in purchasing this home because our money is worth a lot more over there in Oz (nickname for Australia).

I chose my solicitor which was referred by my real estate agent. I am going to contact my loan officer at Westpac Bank today to keep her updated on where I'm at in the process.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My offer has been accepted.

The builder of the home in Sydney, Australia has accepted my offer of $511,250 for the home I am purchasing for my mother. The home was listed for $569k when I was there in August of this year. It's a beautiful home and definitely too large for my single mother, however we're getting the most for our money on the property versus all of the other ones for sale. Now, I have to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in Australia before I can enter a sales contract on the home. I have contacted Solicitors (basically an escrow company) to help me through the process. I have been quoted $1,500 for their services which is reasonable. I am really happy to see that the exchange rate has improved drastically for the U.S. dollar (USD) to the Australian dollar (AUD). Currently on, it's showing that I will get $1.38 AUD for every USD which is much better than last week. I am praying for a rate over $1.40 AUD which will be really helpful in the amount of USD that I need to wire over there for the purchase.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Purchasing a $500,000 home in Sydney, Australia

However, it's not for me. The home I'm purchasing in Sydney is for my mother. After living in the United States for roughly 30 years, my mother has decided that she wants to be with her family in Sydney. This move isn't going to be easy by any means. The home costs half a million Australian dollars, shipping the furniture will be another $10,000 and this is just the beginning. I'm sure there are going to be other costs that we overlooked.

It's a tough call. What I mean by this is that I want to make my mother happy and buy her the home of her dreams. On the other hand, I could possibly drown in debt. Not only will I be responsible for the mortgage in Australia, but also a couple of mortgages over here in Southern California.

I need to analyze all of my debt and monthly obligations to see if this is even going to work.