The Spreadsheet

My personal year of 2017

I’m just your weird upper lower class american citizen who needed to get his money in order. I also want to change a stigma around personal income.

I’m from a small town in east Texas where the median household income is $38.5k/yr). There’s the one guy who owns the car dealership in town, besides him and a few of our doctors, most of the residents are middle class or lower.

I tell you this, so you know where I’m starting from. I made the mistake of going to a private art college, dropping out before the end of year two, and I’ve been climbing up ever since. No one told me how money actually works. I didn’t take a high school class on it. I moved to Houston, TX, a week after graduating high school with no money. (I got some gift cards to Chili’s as graduation presents) I just expected that getting a job would be easy and that I’d get paid right away. It wasn’t until after 2 weeks of applications and interviews that I finally landed at the most stolen from Office Depot on the planet, and then a week later to get put on the schedule, and then a grueling two more weeks until I got a small paycheck.

Thus began my beautiful relationship with adulthood.

So naturally, here I am today at 25 years of age, a millennial who “life hacks” his way through life, and I’ve fallen in love with analysing my life with numbers. I started this spreadsheet to help me focus on my budget. This budget had a magic number. If I could make $100 for every day of the gregorian calendar year, my bills will be paid, I can pay down some debt, and I can go out with friends every now and then. So let’s see how I did.

Finally, the numbers.

The median male american at 25 makes $40k/yr. So I’m not quite there, but I’m getting closer. As much as I would love to make more money, I do try and balance my mental health and my job. I realize most don’t have this opportunity, so I’m taking advantage of it while I can. I work about 4 hours a day on average, I’m out the door by noon and back before 6pm at the latest, and those days are rare, most days I’m home by 3pm. I trade hours for days.

It’s important to maintain your mental health and your work. I was a salesman for AT&T and T-Mobile over the course of about 3 years. I didn’t pair well with the mindset you have to have in those jobs. But one of the financial quirks I picked up was how I had to focus on daily goals. If I make x everyday, I’ll hit my goal. A bunch of little steps make a big journey. You get the picture. This year, the goal was to make $100 / day. 365 days in a year, so $36,5000 seemed like a good goal. Some days I’d make $170, some days I’d make $36, and if you look closely at the overview of the spreadsheet, you’ll see in December there was an $1,100 day. That was a good day.

Just missed the goal by $4,745. I think this proves I’m not meant to be a rocket scientist. My accuracy was off by the exact amount of credit card debt I’ve got. These numbers also tell me that a majority of the year was under performing. In fact, only 2 months out of the year did I make more than the quota I set for myself. (June and August)

This wasn’t my best year financially. It is the first year I’ve gone full “Gig Economy”, working almost exclusively with Amazon and their Flex program. The scheduling is so flexible, I wish everyone could have a job like that. I wish there were more shifts and that the sun didn’t set at 5:30pm. I can’t deliver anything in the dark.

With that said, I have a few new goals for 2018. I didn’t hit it this year, but for 2018, I’d like to hit or go above my $100/daily goal. I’d like people to talk about their money like they do the weather. And I’d like to win the lottery and make all of my crippling debt go away.