Frugalfied is going on a financial diet
Can I handle a financial diet? Certainly
I need a financial diet which means another lifestyle change. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various lifestyle changes. Some just became adjustments, but most were filed away with my New Years resolutions.
I’ve become sort of an expert with my Law of Attraction lifestyle and I’m well on my way with my Paleo diet and lifestyle change. But now, I’m committing to a new lifestyle change and kicking it off with a financial diet.
Being frugal isn’t that hard for me. I’ve been a minimalist long before I even knew what that meant. I never liked spending money on myself, it was always spent on the people I care most about.
My frugal background
My parents divorced when I was only 7 and my mom raised me and my 2 sisters on her own with a very small income. Somehow, she managed to raise 3 kids on roughly $300 a week. Granted, it was the 70’s and mid-80’s but still an amazing feat.
We learned how to cut corners and do without certain luxuries that many people take for granted like cable TV or even a house phone, at times. When you never had it, you don’t expect it so it wasn’t a big deal.
We never went hungry, thanks to having a large extended family living close by and it was really rare if we ordered out, let alone went to a non-fast food restaurant. We grew up frugal and we were happy and healthy.
I had a steady paycheck since I was 15 and almost every penny went right back into our household. I purchased our first VCR and our first microwave oven and even helped with the electric and phone bills even though mom never asked for it.
Mom always wanted me to put my money in a savings account or purchase the clothes she couldn’t afford, like Nike shoes or Levi jeans since she knew how much I hated K-Mart blue-light specials.
My spending habits continued through my time served in the Army, then college, and most of my adult working life. While I was in the Army, and later college, my younger sisters started families of their own and for some weird co-dependent reason, I felt compelled to assist them.
I spent so much time and money assisting family members that I completely foregone having a family of my own. I became content with the idea that I would be a lifelong bachelor and minimalist that I am, puts a damper on my social life.
Why I need a financial diet
Lately, I’ve been thinking about relationships I should have pursued and things that I have desired but never followed through on. Foreign and domestic travel that doesn’t involve visiting a family member, old sports cars that I drooled over as a teen, and even a pontoon boat to spend some quality fishing time with my elderly and retired father that lives with me, come to mind.
Acquiring those things that I desire will take some effort on my part. Cutting some unnecessary expenses and being more frugal with how I’m currently spending as well as increasing my current income.
Like I mentioned, being more frugal will be the easy part. Increasing my current income will be a challenge but one I’m willing to take. My current income is derived solely from freelance writing which I have limited to only cover current expenses.
Dad has a retirement income but that will not be part of the equation even though he tries to participate. My feeling is that he spent his entire life, like me, taking care of everyone else that his retirement income should be spent on his needs and desires.
I recently purchased a book from Amazon titled ‘Minimalist Budget’ and I wasn’t expecting to find much more than I already know but I was wrong. This book is full of information on how to budget with a minimalist mindset. I had always ‘winged it,’ so to speak, but this really put things in a new light for me.
Minimalist Budget was written by personal development coach Zoe McKey and is well worth the few dollars to get things rolling.
How I’m starting my new financial diet
I have a few ideas on how to increase my income. I’m limited on what I can do because of my disability which I’ll talk about at a later time, but I’ve long been a proponent of using my brain instead of my brawn.
I was a CNC machinist before the big recession in 2008 and then I became a consultant to architects and general contractors and then I also started writing articles for a revenue sharing site which evolved into my freelance writing. Along the way, I became self-taught on blogging.
Naturally, my first inclination to increase my income is to increase my freelance writing and writing in general. I’m starting the Frugalfied blog to document my journey but also in the hopes that it will soon provide a small income.
I can increase my pitches to lure in more freelance clients and I have written a couple fiction Kindle books. They’re in a series which I hope to continue and hope to start earning from eventually.
My father has a hobby of going to local country auctions and yard sales. His thrill is in the hunt but there is real opportunity to resell some of these treasure finds. I have to admit, I like the thrill as well but within reason. I usually only make purchases of items I can use but reselling items can give my income a good boost.
Several years ago, I used the ‘Gigs’ section of Craigslist to find small income opportunities like helping someone move a dresser or paint a bathroom or help set up an event. It was a good way to earn a few extra dollars when in a pinch.
Lastly, I’ve heard of some people doing really well with online surveys so there is no reason not to do some research in this area.
But before I get too far ahead of myself, I need to set some realistic goals and set a budget with what I’m already spending and earning to determine just how much extra work I need to do. I’m not looking to become a millionaire but a thousandaire is doable.
What tips do you have for me?