Here's the plan I've come up with...
I'm not sure if the condo situation is going to work. I don't want to rush into things just for the sake of moving out. The current plan is to save up cash to buy a condo within the next year. I think I can easily save $1000 a month for a year. If I can do that, that's $12,000 on top of the $14,000 I already have in savings which is $26,000 total. I'm hoping that in a year from now, I can find a condo in a surrounding city for about $20,000 with a maximum of $400 condo fee (which I think is doable). If I can get a mortgage another way and my business is doing well, even better. I just don't think I can get one on my own. So the only other option is to borrow money from someone or see if someone can cosign for me. I'm not holding my breath though.
Here's my estimated budget for when I do move out. Mind you, I budgeted high for some categories because I'm not entirely sure what my costs will be...
Necessities (HBC, cleaning, paper)-20
The total is $1200. I'd like to also contribute at least $200/month to my savings account. Obviously, more is better. However, that's the minimum amount I'd feel comfortable saving. So, the total income I'd like to have is $1400/month.
I'm going to open up a retirement account when I turn 24 and contribute $100/month to it. If I calculate things correctly, I think I'll have enough income to last until my last day on earth. Hopefully.
Now, in terms of my business... I think I've finally decided what sort of items I'm going to sell. I'll be starting with ebay, then gradually adding some inventory to etsy, and then eventually starting my own website if things go well. I've done my research and I think I can easily make my $1400/month income. In fact, my lowball estimate is more like $2100/month post taxes.
In order to make $1400/month post taxes, I would have to sell 133 items on ebay. There are about 5 or so other sellers on ebay that sell the same sort of item I sell. I checked on goofbay.com and the lowest amount one of these sellers has sold in one month is 204. Mind you, this person had about 400 items listed. I'll have 1000 items listed. I've noticed that the more items you list, the more items you sell. Still, if I sold only 200 items per month, I'd be making almost double my needed income. Score!
So here's the current plan. I'm going to the other house (the one I am renting with my ex roommates) next weekend to bring my stuff to my parent's garage. I have my computer and desk there. The laptop I'm currently using is so darn slow. There is no way I could keep up with my business on this laptop so I need my other computer. I will start listing some items I have around the house as well as some things I bought a couple months ago that I planned on reselling for profit. I will need to buy a high quality printer as well as some other startup supplies in order to start my "real" business. Then I have to make some selling templates, setup my ebay store, and I have to do some research and figure out a few things before I actually get things going.
I plan on having 4 accounts, 2 checking and 2 savings. One checking will be my spending account. The other will be my business account. I will have a buffer of $500 in each of these accounts just to be safe. My savings accounts will be used to hold my estimated taxes and the other will be used to hold my savings. I signed up for a program that will calculate my profits and such as well as my estimated taxes. For those who don't know, people who are self employed must pay their taxes quarterly. This program even tells you when you should send in your tax payments. It's great! I will be using my business account to buy supplies, to pay for shipping, and to hold all profits made. At the end of every month, I will see how much profit I made. I will then take the amount of money I owe in taxes for that month and transfer it to my taxes savings account. I will also transfer $1200 (which is my bill amount) to my spending savings account and any extra money I have leftover will go to savings. If I need extra money for some reason, I will just transfer that amount from my savings to my spending checking account.
Now, I'm not naive. I have thought about what would happen if in 5 years, ebay doesn't exist anymore. Or what if in 5 years, ebay is saturated with the type of item I'm selling and I can longer make as much as I need. If that were to happen, I would need to get a "regular" job. Although I wouldn't be as happy as I would like to be, I'd have to suck it up because I would have no choice.
Thanks for letting me think out loud.
Thinking Out Loud
Here's the plan I've come up with...