Embracing the Frugal Mindset
I struggled to find the true meaning of life after graduating from college, constantly wrestling with this tainted vision that society has painted for us all.
What was my life going to be like? Who was I going to become? I was not satisfied with the idea that I must follow the predictable path that most follow after graduating from college.
We are all told to “study hard and graduate” so that “you can get a good paying job and save for a good retirement.”
But after only a short time of working in Corporate America, I realized that this was not where I wanted to spend the next forty plus years of my life.
Are we seriously destined to work Monday through Friday?
40 hours a week…
Giving the next 40 years of our life to make someone else money?
Is this all there is?
Graduating from college to get a corporate job, saving in a 401K, getting so used to the rat race, yet always feeling that something is still missing?
For me, this was not the definition of “living the life of my dreams.” I had bigger dreams than this. Bigger Fantasies. I wanted to chase the American Dream and become an entrepreneur. I wanted a life that I could design, a life that is full of experiences that I could direct.
So at 23 years of age, I walked away from the security of a full-time job.
…and started a company of my own.
I did it…I stepped into this unknown world of creating income from nothing, or as they say “creating money from thin air.” This path, as many tend to discover, is not an easy path. It is one that challenges you. It makes you look deep into your very core and ask yourself WHY? Why am I doing this?
For my husband and I, the desire of being free from the “Rat Race” was stronger than our daily wants.
We both had good, stable jobs and we had recently married and had purchased our dream car. We had everything we could ask for, yet we still were not satisfied with the life that Corporate America had to offer. We set out on a pursuit to find this “self-directed” life. We began listening to podcasts, reading books and attended multiple meetings and investment seminars. It was these events that began to teach us the path of this “dream life” we were so eagerly searching after.
Next, my husband and I were challenged to take a look at our lifestyle. The concept of “Frugality” was introduced to us.
So we took a step back and looked at our budget.
Where were we spending our money?
What were we spending our time on?
Where should we start cutting back?
Not able to afford luxurious items.
This thought process is the typical, negative connotation that people commonly associate with FRUGALITY, and regrettably, this was my current mindset. However, one thing kept ringing out to us at each event. To change your life, you must have a “Shift in one’s Mindset.” Also, where you are in your life is a result of the small choices one has made, or are continuing to make every day. We were taught to focus on what we could control.
I was willing to do whatever it took to make my newfound lifestyle and business work for me. Getting another job in the future was just not an option. So we began to switch our focus to the immediate areas in our life that we could control and started to make small changes that would soon define the path of our new life.
We let go of everything we did not need to survive on.
We lowered our wifi bill, cut out our cable bill, began to track how much we were spending monthly on food, gas, and utilities. We looked to see if we could find better insurance rates and cut out anything and everything we could. We had three cars, and downsized to 1 (yes, we sold the beloved dream car) and moved out of our luxurious apartment and bought an older house. We had one goal in mind, and that was to see how low we could get our monthly expenses. We wanted to add freedom to our life by subtracting unnecessary spending.
This transition took us about a year to fully implement, as we would reason with ourselves, “well I sold the car, so now I can spend more on food.”
“we cut this bill out so now we can go on this high-end date.”
We still had not fully grasped the true meaning of “living frugally,” and we were still making small choices that were not leading us towards our frugal, self-directed life.
However, about one year ago, something clicked.
All of the books, all of the training, all of the mentorships we had gone through over the last year on how to be successful and truly live a life by design were now falling into place.
We were now down to our bare minimum.
Yet for some reason, this is where the joy began to creep in, and one of the most significant mindsets shifts happened for me.
Frugal= Freedom, Time, Simplicity
By being budget aware and conscious of the money I spend, I now understand what true freedom looks like.
By being frugal, or by using my money carefully, I am beginning to carve out and start the painting of my new lifestyle.
I can use my business to create a life that I LOVE.
I can start spending my time where it matters most.
I am starting to do things, and give to things that make me happy and have worth to me. I am able to begin living this self-directed lifestyle that I have dreamed of for the last three years.
So I challenge you.
I challenge you to take this concept of Frugality.
Take it and use it to measure your life.
Are you happy with your job?
Are you satisfied with your income?
Are you satisfied with the number of years you are going to have to work to reach Financial Independence or a secured retirement? Are the choices you are making daily adding up to bring you the desired results of this Self-Directed Life?
If the answer is yes, then I applaud you. Keep doing what you are doing, and take the path you have already designed for yourself.
If the answer is no, I challenge you to begin searching.
I challenge you to look at your budget.
I challenge you to take a look at your lifestyle and see what you can change.
I challenge you to follow this blog and see if I can help guide you along and if I can help lead you to the Life that You Will Design.
In no way is this blog here to tell you about all the things I have achieved.
No, I have not reached the level of freedom that I am working for. In no way do I have everything fully figured out…but, as one of my mentors once said…
“I have to take responsibility for my choices – even the little ones that don’t seem like a big deal – they add up. These little decisions can be the hardest ones of all because they are so easy to blow them off as not counting.”
This blog is here to help me express my thoughts and the life-changing concepts that I am learning throughout my journey. It is here to be a word of encouragement for you, a path that you may begin to follow as you are carving out your Self-Directed Life.
This new search, it is going to take Commitment.
This new life, it is going to take Consistent Effort.
You are going to have to set expectations for yourself and stick to it. You are going to have to hold yourself accountable and face the fears that are holding you back.
You are going to have to stay Persistent.
Yes, it is going to be hard, scary, and frustrating at times. Yes, there will be times when you want to “throw in the towel” and give up. But I challenge you to dig deep. Keep Pushing. Go as far as you can see, and when you arrive at that point, you will then be able to see further. I hope my words will be here to inspire you, teach you, and shape you along your way. And I can promise you this; If you take this seriously, and honestly push yourself, you won’t be disappointed as you begin to live a life by your design.