My New Website is Live
I'm still going to be writing my about my progress towards a million dollars at my new website: dmossop.zeeblo.com (please note that this is different to the address previously posted). I've also decided to expand the range of topics that I write about. I will still be writing a lot about personal finance, but added to that will be topics such as financial and computer security and blogging.
I hope you'll take the time to check out the new site. Please be patient as I set up the template and move things around.
If you link to the million dollar blog, please consider updating your bookmark to point to http://dmossop.zeeblo.com
The Million Dollar Blog is moving!
You can check it out at: The NEW Million Dollar Blog. Please note that it is currently undergoing construction and a) looks crap and b) doesn't work brilliantly. That will be changing soon!
Changes I'll be making to the site:
* Categories, so you can focus on the information you are actually interested in.
* More of a professional focus. It will be less about me and more about making, saving and spending a million dollars.
* Case studies of current millionaires to help the rest of us learn their secrets.
If you are currently linking to this site, please feel free to update your link as you like. I will be contacting everyone who is linking to me when the new site officially goes live (i.e. when it works). I'll be leaving this site up so that people can still access the archives if they like.
Thanks for everyone who has been visiting this site. I hope to see you all over at the new site soon!
Make money... selling pixels!
The Million Dollar Homepage is selling pixels on a 1,000 by 1,000 pixel homepage. At $1 per pixel, you can choose an image (and link) to be uploaded onto the page. If all the pixels are sold, the site will make one million dollars!
But surely no one would buy into something like that? Not true. In the two weeks since it has been live the site has already sold $7,100 worth of pixels! I don't know how long it will be able to sustain sales (I guess the value of the pixels will diminish as the site gets more crowded), but it has already brought in more than most websites ever do, and for significantly less work.
I had actually been thinking about adding something similar to this blog. I figured a 1,000 by 1,000 pixel page would give me a nice way of visually showing my net worth. I was even considering allowing people to donate/buy pixels (more as a bit of fun - I didn't realise there was a real market for them!) for a dollar a pop. I may still do it, but I think making real money this way is pretty much a one off thing and I reckon I've missed the boat on it.
Increasing your net worth - the basics
What is net worth? Basically it is the value of a person (or company), and can be figured out by subtracting liabilities from assets. If you sold all your assets and repaid all your liabilities your net worth would be the amount you had left over.
As an example, suppose you have $100 in cash, you own a TV which you could sell for $80 and you owe your friend $30. If you sold the TV and repaid your friend you'd end up with $150 in cash. This is your net worth.
So how do you increase your net worth? You have to make sure the total value of the cash you have and the assets you own increases more or decreases less than the cost of your liabilities.
How can you do this? There are two ways. You can increase the amount of money you earn, or decrease the amount of money you spend (or both, of course).
To increase the amount of money you earn, you could work longer hours, change jobs or ask for a raise, take on a second job, get a better rate of interest on your savings, etc.
To decrease the amount of money you spend, you could buy cheaper alternatives or do without certain things, decrease the rate of interest you are paying on debts, etc.
For many people their assets and liabilities are in balance, as they spend all the money they earn. Their net worth isn't changing at all. For others, they are spending more than they earn, so their net worth is decreasing (and probably negative).
Some people, however, have an increasing net worth. They will find over time that they become richer and richer. By working hard and setting myself a suitable budget I have managed to put myself in this category. You can too, you just need to make sure you spend less than you earn. It may take a bit of work and discipline, but the end result is that you'll build up a pile of money that is yours to do with as you please.
Short-term financial goal
By April 2006 (when I'm due to finish my Ph.D.), I want to have saved $5000 of my scholarship income (my main source of income). At the moment I have just over $1000, leaving me with $4000 to save in about 32 weeks. This means I need to average $125 per week. To achieve this I have to come in at $15 under budget on average per week. As my last post indicates, I've been doing this so far.
This should hopefully be relatively easy to achieve. If I carry on my current circumstances, I think I would do it comfortably. However, I will be moving out of halls of residence in December which should save me something like $30 extra per week. I actually don't think saving $6000 is out of the question. But I'll stick with aiming for $5000 as something unexpected will probably crop up.
It's been quite a busy week, so I'm nowhere near the $90 saving I had two weeks ago. Instead I'm currently sitting at $35 under budget. I think I can probably stick it out and finish the week at this level. That will make this a pretty typical week, savings-wise. The fact that I'm consistently hitting this level is good. I would be happy with the amount I would save per week ($110) if I actually spent all of my budget. But being able to get my savings upto almost $150 a week is particularly good.