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Galina Serin: Enough is Enough!

This has been a pretty tough weekend emotionally. Galina, my wife of 3 years pretty much told me that she has had enough of this financial mess and my “irresponsible behavior”. Paying rent by borrowing from the corporation along with the brainstorming trip to Tahoe was the last straw.

I don’t blame her. We have NEVER really had financial stability in our marriage. Sure there was the time when our bank account peaked at $90 grand from the property cash backs sometime around April 2006. However, the repair cost overruns and the $20k/month burn rate on 6 properties and related bills ate through that sum pretty quickly…

And then instead of admitting that I’m in trouble and pulling the plug, I kept borrowing more and more via additional credit lines to keep feeding the machine a couple of extra months. I thought if I can finish the repairs and sell everything I can pay it all back. Then in August 2006 I ran out of money and started this blog

Let’s rewind further to the beginning of the marriage. I did make $35K from my condo sale in 2003 (mostly ‘cuz of appreciation), by the time we got married in April 2004, that money ran out. I bought the ring on a credit card and we went into debt paying for the wedding and honeymoon. Then we impulsively moved 90 miles away to Lake Tahoe. I had small website design / hosting business. I thought it can support us there.

My internet business wasn’t going that well and after 6 months living on credit cards I got a W2 job at Pride Industries as a Web Developer / Programmer so we moved back to Sacramento area. The job was good but we had a bunch of debt and I desperately wanted to pay it off to and get back on track toward my financial independence goal. That’s when we started going to RE investing seminars in late 2004 and started doing deals in October 2005.

After making $30K on the first deal and paying off all our debt, I jumped the gun and quit my Programming job in Jan 2006 to do real estate flipping full-time. Looking back, I quit that job too early!! I should have stayed and done deals on the side until the real estate business can reliably replace my job income. But because I was doing too many cash-back-at-close deals I got a little ahead of myself.

The equity that I juiced up from the properties was a false sense of profit. Yeah, if everything would have gone perfectly with the repairs and the resale I would have come out ahead. Depending on a perfect plan (or lack thereof) without a plan B was a disaster waiting to happen.

I’ve been trying to unsuccessfully stop foreclosure for the last 9 months hoping to put together some kind of a creative turnaround (a miracle?). I thought I was doing the right thing by avoiding bankruptcy and trying to pay back the lenders. I tried a bunch of different things but none of them seemed to come through.

Along the way, I had a tech job offer fall through. I was later offered a real estate related consulting job but I was so bogged down by everything else going on (including this blog) that I didn’t take it that seriously. Then I’ve been doing some odd jobs there and here but not stable enough.

Even my friend Ramit of I will Teach You To Be Rich called me the other day and told me to stop messing around, declare BK, get a solid job that puts money in my pocket today and stop chasing tomorrow’s opportunities. He thinks I should delete the thousand emails in my inbox because most of them are probably scams. I thanked him for being direct and giving me some good advice.

Aside from finances, Galina is understandably frustrated with following me along toward MY dream of passive income / financial independence. I’ve been at it since 2000 and don’t have much to show for it yet. She is tired of my entrepreneurial roller-coaster and is about ready to settle down and have a family. I don’t want to think about it until I reach my goal. Am I being too selfish?

It’s amazing to think that we’ve been more or less living on credit since January 2006. That’s over 13 months! I have a lot of good things going but it’s taking a while and I’m suffering from a lack of focused action in any one direction. I feel like it’s right there within reach. I just need to get my act together and survive a little bit longer. Some stable income might be good right now to buy me some time and create much needed stability.

Basically Galina said I must get some kind of stable income right nowor else. Her patience with me has run out. “Enough is enough!”

[That action plan and the mailing list update will have to wait until I get this fire taken care of. I have some job opportunities for part time or flexible full-time work that I may have to jump on right away.]

[Forgot to mention… Galina is looking for a full time job too and is cleaning houses on the side already to make extra income.]

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