The Bearded Budget Movement – Grow a Beard. Get on a Budget.

16

SEPT, 2016

Budgeting
Investing
Quitting Your 9-5

ways to save money

The BeardedBudget Family

“Don’t you have to shave for work? I can’t grow a beard, my job won’t let me.”

I know you’re tired of hearing other people tell you what to do, what doesn’t work and how to live your life. I know, because I’m sick and tired of it. It’s driven me to the brink of exhaustion and defeat. I’m tired of the 50-hour work week that gets you nowhere and cares nothing for you. I’m ready for a life beyond the 9-5, beyond constantly being away from my family and relationships, beyond the way the world has taught me to live. We’ve been led to believe we need more money, more time, more of everything when that journey leaves you drained, defeated and devoid of life. It’s time for the Bearded Budget movement.
This blog is about doing what you’ve always wanted to do because you finally have the drive, the means and the ability to do it. If that means starting a business, then get out there, find a way to make it work, and start your business! If that means quitting or changing your soul-draining job and preparing for a more balanced life, then find a way and DO IT! For me, it means working smarter with less, having more fun and building deeper relationships with the people that we love.

This blog creates a clear vision of how life would look if we were not chasers, but doers, not consumers, but creators, not drained but filled. The BeardedBudget life is about connecting yourself to the world around you in a more extraordinary way by making the decisions you’ve always wanted to make, through deeper relationships, more rounded skills and a schedule that doesn’t revolve around the consumer lifestyle. Cash is but one tool in our arsenal of skills, relationships and products. Let’s stop treating it like it’s the only way we relate to the world.

“That’s great, beard man, but how can I get from the mess I’m in now to that glorious lifestyle?”

Listen, I’ll do the heavy lifting and bring the articles, podcasts, interviews, recipes and ideas for success, you focus on taking the baby steps needed to live the BeardedBudget lifestyle. The path to extraordinary living will be bumpy, but I know it’s going to be worth it. Let’s consider our goals:

• Drastically reduce your expenses
• Live off of a smaller percentage of income
• Spend more time with family
• Learn new life skills
• Constantly leave room for self development
• Eat better foods, have healthier bodies, exercise
• Find fun and unique ways to earn more money

Wouldn’t it be worth it? This is the journey I’m on and I can never look back. I’ve seen the light and from here on out, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. I’ll never feel like I’m missing my kid growing up. I’ll never look back and wish I’d been closer to my wife so she wouldn’t feel lonely. These priorities in life are much deeper and stronger than any cash I can earn today.

Change Your Family Tree

Our family life has changed drastically over the last year. Some of the circumstances were unexpected and some of it was a product of self-pursuance. Either way, we’ve grown to cherish the priorities we’ve made prominent over the last year and I want to share that process and strategy with you. We’ve always been frugal and lived well within our means. However, now we have a vision to live on less and to continue to challenge our spending, learning, reading, earnings and to develop new skills so we can enjoy the abundant God-given gifts of this life.
We’ve all heard it said before: my priorities are God, Family, Work. But what do those priorities actually look like when they’re actually lived out each day? Does it mean spend 50 hours at work during the week, come home and kiss the wife, put the kids to bed and say a prayer? I think that is the exact opposite of those priorities.

“When your actions in life do not reflect your vision and priorities, you need to change your actions before your true priorities disappear.””

I want to cast the BeardedBudget vision not because everyone needs a beard or a budget but because doing what is mainstream leads to the same stuck lifestyle that the world has been pitching to us for centuries and it’s failing our families and our lives. You know the lifestyle that I’m referring to, it’s the one that attempts to keep up with the Jones’s, that needs a bump in salary every year, that needs to pay for higher education for their kids because the public school system stinks. What if we were instead empowered and invigorated because we had the extra time to spend teaching our kids valuable life lessons, skills and knowledge? These typical, mainstream worldly ideas that are shutting us down are kindled by our high consumer lifestyle. Think about what we’ve created: Fast food so you can work more. Daycare, so you can work more. Coffee shops on every corner, so you can work more! (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a coffee addict but we don’t need it on every corner.) The time to truly live the life God has called you to live is now!

“When your actions in life do not reflect your vision and priorities, you need to change your actions before your true priorities disappear.””

Stop Listening to the World

We can’t keep implementing how the world has taught us to live and expect better and better results. Make a commitment today to stop the cycle and live life abundantly.

The Journey

We’re going to go on a journey that will challenge your thinking in almost every area of life. As BB followers, we’re going to go through how we can make major changes over time to our attitude and our schedules to accommodate the priorities we truly feel are important. In addition, we’ll talk strategies on how we can escape from Corporate America and build the freedom that we were originally created to experience. This is a big challenge and for some of us, we have a long way to go. But keep these goals in mind, that here at Bearded Budget we’re going to envision a more fulfilling life and we’re going to take the steps to get there every single day. I’ll see you on the other side.

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Inverse Investing – Seven Easy Ways to Save Money

26

AUG, 2016

Budgeting
Investing
Quitting Your 9-5

ways to save money

Investing In Yourself Will Yield More Revealing and Immediate Results

It’s Your Future

Financial Advisers will talk a lot about how we can all do better about investing for our future. “Invest for retirement.” “Find the right mutual funds.” On and on. That’s important, I agree. But what advisers should talk more about is the idea of ‘inverse investing’ or more directly said: different ways to save money. Part of our cultural issues stem directly from our spending habits. The banks and institutions have setup countless products that allow consumers to get into debt for any reason or for no reason. Consumers can actually pay off credit cards with credit cards. But what if we could invest in our lives in an way that provides immediate and constant returns?

The Ebbs and Flows

Nearly everyone goes through times in their life where finances are tense and we start looking for ways to save money. Perhaps cash isn’t coming in as quickly. Maybe a family member was laid off or their hours were reduced. An accident or disability could just as easily cause a family to lose a significant portion of income or savings. If any of this happens, what do we often do? We tighten our belt, reduce our expenses, stop eating out as much, etc. But once the money flows again, we let loose and catch back up to the high-consumer life. Ahh, feels good to be back on top right? Maybe for a while, but it’s a cycle and it will happen again. You’ll look back and wonder how nothing has changed. Let’s take some time to think about how we can divert this problem.

Inverted Thinking

I’ve heard the question quite a bit when someone has a nice chunk of money that they’d like to invest. They don’t want to lose the investment, but they want X% return within a certain time frame. Yeah, they could dabble in the stock market and watch their money grow at a snails pace. But I love the idea of Inverse Investing in that we invest in the things that give us an immediate return by saving us money over time. Think of it this way: everything is going well, money is flowing in, Starbucks cups are piling up in our trash can. When trouble hits the fan, perhaps Starbucks is the last thing we want to cut out? What if we instead invested in making our own great coffee at home or work? Coffee isn’t rocket science. If instead, we put the $5 a day toward a nice coffee maker and invested in our knowledge of how to make that frappe or delicious latte we could save at least $5 a day and we’d be proud of ourselves for learning a new skill. I did this exact thing since I loved drinking latte’s every day. Instead, I bought an AeroPress from Amazon and a milk frother to start making my own latte’s at work. Think about that. Less than $50 of product used daily could save me over $1500 a year. Do you know how much money you need invested at say a modest 7% return to make $1500 in a year? Roughly $21,000. Saving money daily on a habit like coffee is just a starting point. Think about where else you can invert your thinking to invest in ways to save money and also enrich your life in the long run. Check out a small list of examples below.

Investing in your future through knowledge and skills will pay more dividends than the stock market ever could

&

Your Future Depends on What You Change Today

Every single day you have the opportunity to invest in your own life through skills, knowledge and relationships. Don’t let a day slip by that you haven’t asked yourself about how, who and what you’re investing in.

Inverse Investing

Cooking Utensils – Learn more about cooking at home and save money from eating out
Car Wash Kit – Wash your own car and enjoy the fresh air outside, maybe get a tan if you’re as white as I am
Spice Cabinet – Invest in spices that make your home-cooked food taste delicious
Water Dispenser – Fits 5 Gallon jugs, saves you from constantly buying those small bottled waters and you can also get a little exercising filling and carrying them home. (It also doubles as an environment saver by reducing plastic garbage)
Recycled Toys – If you have kids, check the second hand stores or people who have older kids and see if they have extra toys they aren’t using. Our son will literally play in a box from Costco instead of some brand new toy we bought him.
Home Exercise – Save on gym memberships by finding ways to exercise at home. Borrow DVDs from friends, use YouTube. Run to a local park and bring the kiddos! Or lift the kiddos, man they get heavier by the day.
Movies – Did you know your local library may have a lot of newly released movies for rent for free? Yeah. Check it out.

There are a lot of little ways to save a dollar here and there. If you save a dollar a day in 10 different ways you’d be saving $300 a month. That’s $3,600 a year and you’re better off because of it.

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If Cash is King, Trade is Queen – How to Trade For What You Want

08

AUG, 2016

Budgeting
Investing
Quitting Your 9-5

how to trade

Trade Can Involve Skills, Products or Even Time

What is Cash?

Since the beginning of civilization there has been an abundance of unique ways that people have exchanged goods or services. Of course, this originally can be boiled down to the example of a wheat farmer and a cow rancher. We could go further back but let’s talk about that. You’re a farmer, growing wheat and it’s time for harvest. The problem is, you can only eat so much bread, crackers and tortillas before you’re ready for a glass of milk. But you have no cows. Your neighbor has cows and he’s grubbing on butter and cream and milk. You then think, I bet that rancher would give me a gallon of milk in exchange for a loaf of bread. Bingo! A local currency has now been establish. One loaf of bread now equals one gallon of milk. The problem with this is when another farmer moves in and starts selling a different product; say goats milk. Well, the wheat farmer decides he likes the goats milk better, the goat rancher wants cows milk, and the cow rancher still wants some bread, so neither of them can trade directly for what they desire. We are at somewhat of an impasse. This is an oversimplification of where fiat currency comes into play to provide for the means of exchange.

Fiat Currency and Trade

Cold hard cash has become a means of exchange because not all of us can trade directly with each other. We’ve instead created fiat currency, or a product with declared value, that allows all of us to value our goods or services to one generally acceptable item of trade. Of course, this is a solution to the problem above but it also causes other problems. Like the Dollar, the item has no intrinsic value beyond the paper it’s printed on and is only valued through the declaration of the issuing party; in this case the US government, and may lose value over time depending on the carefully managed supply and demand. Ok, so what are we getting at. How does this matter to my budget?

The Value of Time, Products, and Services

The point is, you don’t always need cash to get the product or service that you want. All of us have products, services or time to distribute and there are people out there who are willing to trade us for it. Your very job or career is the agreement that your time, work or knowledge is worthy of trade for a pre-determined number of dollars. The problem is, work typically ‘caps’ us on our earning potential based on the number of hours we work during the week. This is different if you produce a product and can increase your production or sales through different means, but let’s say we can’t and our only income is based on a standard work week. Money is tight but at the end of the week or workday, you still have some time to spare. Does the value you provide to your work end the moment you walk out the door? I hope not. Perhaps you can provide that same value to your community, friends or family in trade for other products and services.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

-Luke 12:6-7

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Trading Can Also Help Develop Your Self Worth

Trading can not only make parts of your life easier, it will also improve your skills and abilities and increase your self worth.

You Are Valued

Budgeting isn’t just about putting numbers on a piece of paper and making sure it all ads up. Budgeting is a way of life where we can be frugal, understand our worth and use the resources we have available to us to balance our life because we know that we have value and we deserve to be better than just another line item in the largest banks balance sheet or credit card companies. We put money toward that which we value. If we want something, we can use our skills and knowledge to increase our income so we can save and/or trade for that which we seek. Look around and evaluate what you can provide and who needs your service. Do you do art? Hair? Web design? Cleaning? I bet there’s more you can trade with someone else than you think. Maybe someone else knows how to clean and service a pool and you know how to nurture a lawn and garden. You can save money by trading with friends and your community who already professionally do the work you desire. It also gives you a new perspective on what trade is and what trading your hours and services are really worth. When I worked for an hourly wage and I wanted to make a large purchase, I’d ask myself: “Is this purchase worth 40 hours of work?” Would I trade hours of my life for this? Put that into perspective when you’re making new purchases and you’ll think differently about the trades you’re making, the value of products, and your budget.

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What is an Hour Worth? – Making the Best Use of Your Valuable Time

23

JULY, 2016

Vision
Creating Space
Quitting Your 9-5

ways to save money

What is an Hour Worth?

This week I had a couple of sobering thoughts regarding the amount of time we spend working for somebody else. Working for myself has been quite freeing, somewhat frightening, and ultimately invigorating. Even given a couple of outside job opportunities, I couldn’t help but imagine myself back under the slave driving requirements of an 8+ hour work day 5+ days a week. Since I’ve been blessed to spend more time with my family this year, I’m beginning to imagine how differently I now value my time. For some of us, an hour is just a fleeting moment that we can spend on social media, browsing the web, working or sleeping. Our work labels us with an hourly wage that we can easily let define us as a person but we are blind to the actual value of an hour of life given the alternative. So what is an hour worth?

Supply and Demand

I asked Ariana this week what she would normally charge for an hour of work. That’s a difficult question since she’s a hair stylist and everyone’s hair is unique and different but we could narrow down and calculate what she charges per hour on average. But you see, there is a difference between what you can charge per hour and what you believe an hour of your time is worth. I then asked the actual tough question; if we were to lose our son, how much would you be willing to spend to experience another hour with him? Whoa, right? The value of an hour is extremely different depending on a varying number of external factors. If you lost your job tomorrow, how much would you being willing to pay to go back to work at the same job for another hour? We are talking about the same unit of time but the activity that we experience during that hour has a significant impact on its perceived value. An hour of extra work at our day job we would pay very little for, but an hour with someone we love that we may have once lost is priceless.

The Challenge

I want this blog to be a challenge to us. I will mention a lot of ideas that will make some of you angry or frustrated but that’s the point. Often we need to be frustrated or angry before we decide to make change in our own lives. Think about this: most of us don’t have the time, energy or the education to create and maintain a budget, to understand how to invest for retirement, to research unique ways to save and earn money, to develop and challenge ourselves to learn new skills or to even spend quality time with family. And these things are what’s arguable most important in our lives but they are largely ignored. Men and women are working 50+ hours a week even if they have a family to care for. Day-cares and nannies are raising our children so we can spend a little extra money, or have a little more house, or have that brand new gadget. Don’t we understand the impact we are having on the next generation? We’re led to believe that we need all of these things but it’s all a facade to happiness and it doesn’t pay dividends years down the road. I think it’s worth pursing change at the cost of telling that little child inside of us, “No” from time to time and by telling each other no. Can we try that? Can we hold each other accountable even if it hurts?

“Be careful what you trade your time for. Time is finite. You can’t retrieve it and leisure is deceitful.”

Making a Choice

The rub is what we decide to do from here on out with the resources we have. Budgeting and finances are not about making money and investing as much possible. It’s about changing the way we live our lives in order to make room for the things we truly label as priorities. If working those extra hours at work means we can buy that nicer car or bigger house, or next new phone but we’re sacrificing current quality time with our family, maybe that nicer car or bigger house or next new shiny object isn’t really worth it. If I would fork over an obscene amount of money to spend another hour with a loved one that I had already lost, maybe I should find a way to make more time creating memories now with the ones I still have yet to lose. That may mean we spend less time working for other people, making less income that we may not need anyway and spending less money on superfluous things that we don’t truly value.

“Be careful what you trade your time for. Time is finite. You can’t retrieve it and leisure is deceitful.”

The Tick-Tock of Free Time

The next moment you come across an extended period of free time, ask yourself, where would I be in a year if I spent these moments in leisure versus enriching my life through learning or self development.

Space

Time and again I talk about creating space in our lives for the things that matter. Right now, a lot of us may have our noses just above the water of the ocean, struggling to breathe because our finances are so out of order and they are demanding our extra hours, health and attention. And then a wave comes. But what if we had space? A bit of extra breathing room to float higher above the ocean when the waves of life come. What if we spent the time to build a boat? Let’s envision a different future. In the next 20 years, maybe we can have a paid off mortgage. Maybe our monthly expenses can be less than two thousand dollars. Maybe we can enjoy living on a smaller income because we’ve planned ahead and created the space in our lives by reducing complexity. We’ve quieted that screaming inner child who always wants what’s new and expensive and often pointless. Instead, we invest in that which grows and matters; relationships, people, our spirit and health.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” – Matthew 6:19-21

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Living Intentionally – How to Start Budgeting Like You Mean it

 

June 27th, 2016

This Post may contain affiliate links. For more information please read my disclosure.

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Read also: The Secrets to Applying for Life Insurance blog post.

h2 here

Read also: How to Start When you Fee Like It’s Too Late.

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When you’re ready, check out my post on My Experience Applying for Online Life Insurance.

Question for you:
Question Here

Being disciplined with your money is hard but trust me, it's worth it. ~The Beard

Being disciplined with your money is hard but trust me, it's worth it. ~The Beard




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Do You Really Need Life Insurance?

 

June 27th, 2016

This Post may contain affiliate links. For more information please read my disclosure.

Remember, We Aren’t Bulletproof

It’s quite the human condition; feeling that we are invincible at times. This obviously happens most in our late teens and 20s when we feel that we now understand the world and how it works and that nothing can stop us.

What’s interesting about maturing and getting older is that we tend to realize that there is an abundance of information and knowledge out there that we don’t know and that tends to cause us to live life just a little different.

Like getting married, or having that first child, or getting injured or sick, or even just getting bad news from a doctor. We’re inundated with the fact that we don’t know nearly as much as we had originally thought we did. One of those questions may rise when we hear from afar, the constant salesman’s call of life insurance.

Do I really need life insurance? Without the need to read further, probably. But here’s my story.

Diet and Healthy Living Can’t Prevent Everything

You can see from my Instagram posts that I’ve taken a recent liking to some different and often more healthy foods. Back in March of 2016 my wife and I decided to reapply for our life insurance for a longer term; 30 years.

We each had about 15 left on our 20 year term policy but life just hit us a few times, like having our first baby, so we felt that we needed a bit more time until we could save enough to be eventually ‘self insured.’

What came as a shock to us is that my new policy was denied due to extremely high liver enzymes. I could go into detail but the truth of the matter was, the insurance company felt that I was too risky to take on for the next 30 years.

Uh, What?…

I’ve seen other people who were in much worse health and much older during the year get approved, but I was denied? We could jump to conclusions but the point that is important to make is that you never know when life will hit you.

Read also: The Secrets to Applying for Life Insurance blog post.

It’s Part of Building a Solid Financial Foundation

This was a serious wake up call to my family of the importance of being protected and planning ahead of time for our future. I already wanted to make sure I ate well and exercised since I started to realize that the advice of the sages (old folks) actually started coming true.

We were already taking steps in this direction but it was overly disheartening to think that my son or children would grow up without a father and that my wife would care for them alone with one income.

That lead to the planning of a new diet, more focus on health and making sure that my family tree changes from here on out no matter if I live long enough to see it happen.

See, the problem with our finances is that we usually can’t see past this week, this month or this year. But there are inexpensive ways to make sure we plan for catastrophes, retirement and high value expenses.

This is the ‘one brick at a time’ approach that leads to a solid foundation. It’s also knowing that setting down the figurative ‘bricks’ in your 20’s or earlier will lead to a quicker and more solidified foundation to build upon by the time you’re starting a family or just experiencing the many nuances of life.

However, It’s never to late to start.

Read also: How to Start When you Fee Like It’s Too Late.

Don’t Risk Which May Be Inevitable

Let’s be real for a moment.

We have seen a number of families this year devastated by terrible car accidents or diagnoses. I pray that they had a plan in place to take care of their family financially so that these burdens could be just slightly lighter.

While I do agree that there are some people, churches or programs that can help hurt families but those programs aren’t meant to replace a family member. We shouldn’t expect them to bear our burdens due to our lack of planning.

I’m blessed to know that my family is covered for at least another 15 years should anything happen to their father or husband or my wife as well. It’s really as easy as sitting down with your family once a month, or someone you trust, and coming up with a long-term plan to becoming financially independent and plan for catastrophes.

Reign in your spending. Plan for the unexpected. And don’t trade your long-term goals for that night out during happy hour.

When you’re ready, check out my post on My Experience Applying for Online Life Insurance.

Question for you:
Have you had any close-call or dangerous experiences that made you think twice about life?

Being disciplined with your money is hard but trust me, it's worth it. ~The Beard

Being disciplined with your money is hard but trust me, it's worth it. ~The Beard




Recommended

Domain Names
Namecheap.com
Blue Host Web Hosting

Host Gator Web Hosting

Elegant Wordpress Themes
Divi WordPress Theme
Increase Website Conversions
ConvertKit

©2017 BeardedBudget - All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclosure | Disclaimer

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