Hiccups, Hiatus and the Featherless Bird

 

May 22, 2017

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Hiccups, Haitus and a Featherless Bird

Wow. The last six months have been quite a wild ride. My life went from laying the ground floor to becoming a licensed financial advisor to now working in web design, closet installation and a soon to be mortgage loan originator. I’ve never been one to be interested in one career or field of work and some may view that as a down fall. But I honestly think that the term ‘career’ may be a term that’s on it’s way out the door for most people. That’s not to say that someone can’t focus on one thing, I think we need that, but I’m a believer in having the freedom to make sure that one thing is what you really want to do. The time away also helped me prepare for baby #2 (who is here! ) and figuring out my next career steps and desires for my family.

As some may have noticed, during that time I took a short break from blogging and social media. Since this blog was finally up and running smoothly and I was happy with the design, I knew that now would be the best time to take a break and figure a couple things in life out. Keep in mind, this new experience of having freedom to choose my line of work, to stay home more often with my wife and kids, and to have financial freedom is quite a new experience for me.  I definitely learned a lot on this short journey that can help so let me share some of it with you.

Life Is About Hiccups

You will experience life changing moments. They may be short, they may be long, they may be beautiful and they may be terrifying. They can also be annoying like hiccups themselves that never seem to go away. The way that we handle these bumps in life determines what kind of person we are. I had a friend recently tell me that he feels that my life is always under control. That may be true now on the outside but my mind can be a flurry of feeling out-of-control most of the time. I’m always looking for the next fun project, the next solution, the next idea to tinker with and sometimes life tells me what I’m going to do instead. As most of you know, our seemingly biggest hiccup in life is income. I would argue that instead, it’s spending. We fight and fight and fight to make money only to let it slip through our fingers.

There is an intriguing and sad story of Josef Stalin on his deathbed as he makes an analogy of how to hold a bird so that it doesn’t fly away. You can read it on your own but the gist is to pluck the feathers from the bird and then open your hand. Doing so leaves the bird cold and helpless but the bird is thankful for the warmth of your hand and therefor doesn’t try to escape. I’m not sure that the story is true but I’d like to use the analogy for money instead. Money has a stronghold on us and often causes the most hiccups in life. But if you were to remove the ‘feathers’ of money then perhaps it would lose it’s stronghold on your life and allow you to live more freely. So what are the feathers of money and how do you remove them?

Getting Back On Track

Getting back to what you really want to achieve in life can be a daunting task. We are surrounded by distractions and the ever-present notion of escapism. When we’re done doing what we don’t want to do for something that we need; i.e.: working for money; we then spend that money to escape the thought of returning to that task tomorrow. It’s a cycle of personal depravity. You spend most of your life trying to catch the bird and when you clock out at the end of the day, you’ve finally caught the bird! Then by the time you get home, you let the bird go or you’ve crushed it because you’re exhausted and your motivation is spent on someone else’s great ideas. So how do you hold onto the bird, in this case finances, so that at the end of the day you control where it goes?

In order to get on track, you need to figure out what track you want to be on. Where do you want your finances? Do you want to follow your own great ideas? Do you want freedom from debt or creditors? Freedom to tinker in your mind or spend time with your family more? Then remove the feathers of money that causes you to stumble. Take it one feather at a time. Start cutting out small debts or small memberships that you hardly use. Start setting aside more savings every month to reach a goal by the end of the year. Start laying out a plan to remove the power that money has on your life so that you can control your own fate.

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Save Money on Honey – How to Move and Save a Bee Colony

14

NOV, 2016

Self-Sufficiency
Investing
Quitting Your 9-5

the swarm of bees

The Swarm – Here’s a picture of the largest swarm we could see

How to Move and Save a Bee Colony

I haven’t been one to seek out adventure. I mostly stick to what amounts to fellowship, work or family. But in this case I was heading to a friend to help around the yard when they asked,

“Are you ready to face your fears?”

Of course, I said “yes,” right? Actually, I said “Depends on what fear.”

“Bees!” was the reply.

If that doesn’t invigorate your day I’m not sure what will. I immediately thought wow, what am I getting into. I’ve been reading on the internet about our world-wide bee population problem and I’ve always wanted to learn more about them. If you haven’t heard, researchers and farmers are pretty concerned about the dying bee population. Not for the sake of the bees but more so for the sake of everything living; bees aid in the pollination of about a 1/3 of all foods! You can read more about that through a google search. Bees are extremely important to maintain our way of life and I’ve just been invited to relocate a nest.

But how does this relate to budgeting? Well as some of you know, Honey can actually be pretty expensive. Some of the cheapest honey is still about 65 cents an ounce. That’s roughly $20 a quart for cheap honey. But I know what you’re saying, it’s a lot of work to take care of bees just for honey but I’ll get into that more below. First, let’s see how it went.

The ‘Beesnees’

Alright, I promise not to fill this article with bee puns. Here’s the story: a new neighbor that is moving in soon saw a few bees flying in and out of the outside of his home near a drain pipe. He of course talked to the neighbors nearby to see what he should do. Enter my friend Michael and beekeeper Dave. This meant, time to suit up and see what we could do. Michael had previously kept a couple hives going to feed the family’s insatiable desire for delicious honey so he happened to have a few nice bee suits lying around. His hive is a bit dormant now but all the knowledge and materials were still readily available. We suit up and head over to check out the problem.

The problem with bees, is they can enter through such a small hole and start a nest in some of the most inopportune spots. That also means it can be extremely dangerous if it’s in or near a house. In this case, it was inside of the walls of a house between two bath tubs. Disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend trying to mess with a nest if you find one, call a professional. All it takes is a couple hundred bee stings to send someone into shock or worse. Just don’t risk it. And trust me, it may not seem like much but in this case there were thousands of bees.

Assessing the Situation

After checking out the entrance point we surveyed the area in the house and outside to see what the best course of action was. It happened to be from both sides of the wall unfortunately which mean drilling a hole from the outside and most likely breaking into the wall from inside the house. You can see the damage below in the gallery.

The Bee Experience

This was such a fun experience especially knowing how important bees are and how delicious honey is. I challenge you to venture out and connect with nature a bit in relation to food that you like.

After getting a good look at where they were nesting, we began our extraction. Now, Dave our LVBees guide had planned all along to relocate the bees. (He’s actually a software engineer by day and a bee keeper by hobby.) If possible, you always want to relocate the bees instead of exterminating them. If you do a little research in your area you can find someone to extract the bees for a price. But again, I can’t stress enough, make sure a professional does this. However, relocating bees isn’t as easy as just telling them to move, obviously. It involves the right equipment, a little bit of coercing and often a bit of time.

But let’s get back to the question at hand: why should you even consider raising, saving or moving a be hive? After talking to Dave a bit, he mentioned that one of his hives produced 150lbs of honey in one season. To put that into perspective with the price per ounce of honey, 150lbs at roughly 3 lbs a quart and at 65 cents an ounce is over $1000 of pure honeyBut that’s on the cheap end. You can probably sell it for more at farmers markets to people looking to have locally farmed and produced honey. Besides, who can eat 150# of honey in a year? Pretty neat right?

Back to the story.

Piece after piece, we tried breaking into various walls and began extracting the bees as well as the largest pieces of honey comb that we could grab. We tried our best to keep the hive clean and in the largest pieces possible so that relocating efforts would be more likely a success. After all, no one wants to move into the same house after an enormous earthquake or tornado tosses your house across the city. For the bees, that could just mean flying off and starting over instead. You can see from the pictures: there was some serious beauty in the swarming of the bees and the dripping of the beautiful honey. Even seeing a fresh honeycomb that was pearly white was extremely impressive. Bees are amazing insects. But grabbing the hive and bees isn’t as easy as just putting them all in a box and moving on. Did I mention there’s a queen to calls all the shots?

Checkmate

The actual extraction process involved a bit of soft vacuuming, relocating large hive pieces and searching for the queen bee. In this case, we couldn’t find her by the time we were done and it was getting dark. It also would have been extremely damaging and difficult to excavate the entire area where the hive was to search for her because it would mean damaging multiple studs and bathroom tubs. Dave’s first instinct when looking for the queen was that we might have already vacuumed her up with the swarm and she’s in the box already. That would be ideal actually. The hopes were that we didn’t accidentally squish her in the moving process or drown her in honey. Or even if we did vacuum her up, did she survive the vacuum?

Without knowing much information, and since the light was waning, the strategy was to then leave the box with the relocated hive outside and near the old gutted hive to give the queen some time to join the swarm. This isn’t unusual but the queen may decide to relocate somewhere else in the area and not join the swarm. She, after all, is calling the shots. But if she wasn’t with the hive already we decided to give her some time to join her little workers in hopes that she was willing to take her work elsewhere. Also, as you can imagine, relocating a hive can be stressful for the little insects. There hard worked for honey is in multiple places and as much as we tried to be careful, their hive is roughly in shambles. Leaving them for some time to recollect their honey and settle down is a good idea. We decided to check back tomorrow.

She Lives!

After leaving the swarm for a day, the queen joined the hive which means a job nearly well done enough. In just about 8 hours time most of the bees had already gathered up the potentially lost honey to refill their new hive-box. All that was left was to spray a couple squirts of some revolting bee-repellent inside the open house cavity to make sure the stragglers leave and then relocate the hive to a safer location.

Dave has over a dozen bee hives already so this will hopefully be one to join the mix that will in turn help our crops and provide some delicious honey! Dave mentioned that it’s already doing well at his house. He’ll eventually move the hive from a 5-frame box to a 10-frame box as they settle in and expand. What’s neat about the box is that once the queen is inside you can extrude her from leaving for a time to avoid her running out immediately to start a hive in the neighbors yard. Once they’re settled in you can turn the excluder to allow her free reign and she’ll most likely stay. If you want to get in contact with Dave, he has a website here with additional info.

img_3915

All in all the experience was amazing. The bee suit is an incredible piece of tailoring that really makes you feel safe around the little insects. It’s a mutual safety issue as you don’t want to hurt a lot of the bees but you also don’t want to be stung by trying to help them to a safer place. Dave was stung a couple times as somehow a bee or two got into his suite but beyond that, we all left relatively unscathed. I couldn’t help but want to eat the honey while I was near the hive but that would have meant taking off my mask and risking multiple stings. I’ll just look forward to starting my own hive in the future.

Starting a hive may take some resources in gathering proper equipment and learning some of the strategies but the goal here isn’t to fall in love with bees. The goal is to have the freedom through proper budgeting to do the things you love or want to do and also have the chance to make money at it.

For those who are ready for the jump into beekeeping, I found a neat resource online. Check out Discover Beekeeping Here. If you do decide to get into Beekeeping I’d love to know and I’ll do my best to be a resource from my own knowledge and the people around me. Toss a comment below so I can check it out and possible setup an interview in the future!

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With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.

Finding Ways to Replace Your Income

12

NOV, 2016

Quitting Your 9-5
Budgeting
Planning

ways to save money

Fun BeardedBudget Family Fact:
We often pet sit for extra spending cash. It may not be a specific skill but it takes time to build relationships with people that will trust you with their home and animals. When people go out for holidays, we stay in, save money and make money. (We also eat their groceries!)

Finding Ways to Replace Your Income

Replacing your current income may be a task too daunting to overcome. Or at least, it may seem that way immediately if you were to attempt to replace it today with some combination of self-employment. But replacing your income doesn’t need to be accomplished over-night and in most cases it will never be. There needs to be a combination of replacing income, reducing expenses and having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Right now, due to a matter of will and circumstances, I’ve all but replaced my income with multiple free-lance jobs that have helped sustained us over the last year. Given that my wife and I are both working part time, it hasn’t been all roses and some months we’ve resorted to dipping into our savings to make ends meet. But if we hadn’t saved enough, if we hadn’t reduced our expenses, if I hadn’t developed transferable skills and built the relationships that I had, I’d be looking for that next full time, hourly job to help compensate.

Harness, Develop and Pursue Your Unique Skillset

The focus of replacing your income should be based on the unique skillset that you have to offer. You are an extremely unique person with different skills, abilities, resources, relationships and passions. If you start to imagine and think of the ways people would pay you to use your abilities, you’ll come up with a list over time. You’re already being paid for the skills that you provide whether it’s writing, supervising, selling, driving or promoting. The only issue is, you’re capped at your current earnings and your amount of free-time because of your ‘boxed’ hourly or salary earnings. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to be the best that you can be at your current job. We should always work with the highest character and ability as if we are working for more than just the boss. Colossians 3:23 states:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”

If you’re already working the hardest and to the best of your ability at the job you’re at, then you’ll continue to develop your personal skill-set in order to continue to be marketable. The competition out there can definitely be strong especially given technological advancements and our age dilemma. Use all of this to your advantage. That may mean instead of sitting on the couch or going to bed early you should read, develop, research or get out there and try something new. Even if it’s just in spite of that younger generation that is up and coming to try and take your job in a few years!

Diversify Your Skillset

Even though your job may be specific, make sure you are diving into new and other transferable skills. We can easily get stuck in a rut by collecting a paycheck for the one skill we have but don’t be fooled. Most companies are not loyal enough to their employees to keep you around if you stop producing for some reason or if a cheaper and more productive option comes along. You should always be looking for ways to develop new skills that are related to your abilities or even learning completely new skills if you find something that you’re passionate about. I’ve always made it a point to try to enjoy what I do, find out how to be the best at it and learn along the way. If I’m at a job where I’m not learning anything new, then I become complacent, bored and may eventually leave or retire that job. Often though, you can always find something new and interesting about any job that you’re at or have been at for a while so use that to your advantage. Are there some free-lance or consulting jobs that are similar to the job that you’re at that could provide you a comparable income? If so, what skills do you need to develop to do it? Start taking the steps now to get where you want to go.

I understand what you’re thinking. It’s hard to think about what you could offer other people and get paid to do it. In fact, you may think it is silly that someone would pay you for your skills but listen, they already do! One of my biggest struggles is that when I learn a new skill, I have such a short memory on how long it took me to learn that skill so I feel bad charging people a premium for me to do it for them. We just have to get over it! Can you help people with advertising consulting? Are you a fireman but really passionate about personal training? Are you in social media marketing for another company or love browsing, posting and connecting on social media? People will literally pay you to do that and some times they pay a lot of money. Find what you want to do, connect it with your skills and make the jump.

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You are unique with a your own particular set of skills and character. Use that to your advantage. Follow your passion. Develop your skills. Set forth into independence.

k

Write Your Future By Working Today

Everyday we have the opportunity to develop our skills for our future. Develop yours daily through small steps of progress in the right direction. Write down your skills, goals and opportunities. Capitalize on them one day at a time.

When to Jump Ship

After you’ve developed your skills, and you see the vision, opportunities or market openings to advertising yourself, start taking leaps of faith into those opportunities. You may still have a full time job but you’re working a little bit on the side to build your ideal work-lifestyle. Some people call this a ‘side-hustle.’ The ultimate goal is to not have a full time job and a side-hustle permanently but to make your side hustle be your passion that you’re ultimately trying to use to replace your current work-a-day job. If your side-hustle isn’t your passion, then you may have to rethink it. You’ll know when to jump if you’re simultaneously reducing expenses, saving and earning income in other unique ways and your side hustle is making nearly enough money to overtake your current job. By saving and investing in yourself, you’ll have “room” to make the decision that you’re done working for the ‘Man’ and you’d like to work for yourself. And you know what, we will all be grateful for it because you will most likely be more passionate about your own work than you are about someone else’s dream. We would be thankful that your passion can be lived out in service to us and others because un-passionate people do not build great products or services. Passionate people achieve amazing and noteworthy accomplishments. Be passionate and build something that we can all appreciate.

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You May Also Like…

Hiccups, Hiatus and the Featherless Bird

Wow. The last six months have been quite a wild ride. My life went from laying the ground floor to becoming a licensed financial advisor to now working in web design, closet installation and a soon to be mortgage loan originator. I’ve never been one…

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

With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.

Funding the Dreams of the Bearded…or Un-Bearded

07

NOV, 2016

Dreaming
Budgeting
Funding

ways to save money

A Community of Believers

Funding the dreams of the bearded… or un-bearded.

So, you’ve got a dream. You want to use your gifts and talents to pursue the things you are passionate about and generate income at the same time. You have finally resolved within yourself that you are going to make it happen. But there’s that one thing that you just have no idea how to piece together…the financial stuff. How are you supposed to go after this dream and also have a steady income?

Unless you grew up with parents who are accountants, you are just like all of us, and probably have no idea how this works. No shame there.

There are 2 different extremes when it comes to funding your dream: the go-all-out and get a gigantic loan, then hope and pray that everything works out OR the woe-is-me I will never have enough money to make this happen, maybe one day I will figure this out.

Obviously the best place to start is right in the middle. You really only need 3 things. A plan, action and everything you currently have available to you. I’ll elaborate.

Start with what you have.

Right now. Right where you are. With whatever you have.

For example: If you are wanting to start a handy-man (or handy-lady – no discrimination here) service, you do not need every single tool that exists. A handy-man will encounter all types of jobs that might require unique tools. Not every tool. There’s no way you would have the foresight to know exactly what you need until you need it. However, you can begin to take on jobs that you know you do have the necessary tools for. The point is, you can get started NOW. You don’t have to wait until you have a truck full of equipment and thousands of dollars invested. Especially, since it’s likely that you hope to have some type of income stream from this endeavor. Starting off by spending tons of money is counterintuitive to making money. Brilliant stuff. I know.

While we are at the point of starting with what you have, it’s very important to know exactly what you have. Specifically, how much money you have. If you are anything like me when I was in my early twenties, you avoided opening your monthly statements because actually knowing your credit card balances could cause a slight ulcer and induce insomnia at night. Yes. It’s true. You’re not alone.

But guess what? If you are on a true mission of purpose to pursue your passion, do yourself the honor of doing it the right way. You deserve to set yourself up for success. That means it’s time to be honest with yourself and where you are at financially. When you know this very important information, you have a much better understanding of what your needs and goals should be. This can not be understated.

So, in getting started by looking at your finances, here are a few must-ask-yourself questions:
How much debt do I have? What are my current living expenses? How much do I currently make? What are bare minimums I need to survive? How much will I need to get started? How much do I want to make this year? What is my dream income? How much do I want to invest over time? How much time will I need to invest to make this happen?

You will need a budget for your finances. If you don’t have one now, it’s time to learn to open up your mind to the “B-word.” If you want your dream to be a reality and eventually be successful at it, a budget is necessary. Start with your personal finances. If you are hoping to get investors and hope others fund your dream, what makes you think you will be more disciplined with somebody else’s money if you aren’t currently disciplined with your own hard earned income? Take control now. You will not regret it later. Or you could just learn the lesson the hard way, like Dave Ramsey did when he went broke after becoming a millionaire because he had no idea how to manage his finances. Luckily for him and for us, he finally got it together and told others how to do the same (Check out the Total Money Makeover if you need some guidance).

Ok. Now that you know what you have it is time for step 2.

The Plan.

I grew up with a Business man. I learned early in life, that if I were to have a desire or venture and needed my Step-Dad’s support (and by support, it was probably money or for him to pay for something I couldn’t afford) I had to present it to him as a plan. I’m not kidding. A break down of what I needed, why I needed it and its potential return on investment. He never asked me to present it in those terms, but the questions always led to that sort of information. So eventually, that’s how I would always bring it to him and when I had clearly thought out all of those things on my own and still knew I needed/wanted it and articulated it with clarity, he generally supported me (as good Dad’s do). Investors are the same. They tend to also work off of probability. Your likelihood of success probably isn’t high if you have not mapped out your plan yet (your actions, or lack thereof, demonstrate that you’re just not that serious about it). Somebody is not going to just give you money for a great idea (unless you actually go to have your ideas patented), they want to see the skeleton. They want to see its purpose, why it would be successful or beneficial, how long will it take to get a return, who your target market is, how you will get it out to the world and even who is doing something similar. These are all things you should know about your dream. If you don’t, you have work to do. Put a plan together. If you need help, here’s a simple template to start.

Start with what you have.
Right now. Right where you are. With whatever you have.

I

Press Play

Fear of failure, fear of success and most other fears you can think of resolve after you simply press play. Don’t wait to start living your dream.

Do it.

Ok, you’ve mapped out a plan. Now it’s time for action. I’m going to be very upfront with you. This is the hard part. We can talk about pursuing our dreams all day long, but what separates those who are living their dream from those who are just dreamers, is this. The action. The hard work. The failure. The moments of hopelessness in the midst of uncertainty. It will take grit, consistency and getting up again and again after being knocked down.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that the Big Break mentality is a unicorn. Real life looks a lot more like, “gradually and then suddenly.” Gradually you will try, fail, learn over and over again. And then suddenly, when you put best practices into place, find consistency and utilize persistence, you will arrive at your mapped out goals.

Resolve within yourself that it is going to take hard work and discipline to achieve your dream. If it’s anything other than that, it will be a wonderful surprise. Although, don’t forget that the long paved road to success is necessary to build character. Don’t anticipate it happening over night. Don’t waste your energy and resources looking for a break when you could be investing it into your dream and building an actual plan. That brings us to one last point.

Don’t quit your day job. Sure, dumping your day job will give you more time to focus on your big dream. But it also may cause you to settle. Let me esplain. If you have kids, (in my case, cats and dogs) and a mortgage and a car and health insurance and need to buy groceries, keep the power on, use AC in the summer time, you are going to need to fund these expenses. They don’t go away when you quit your day job to pursue your dream. So when things get tight and it’s nearing the 1st of the month, you may settle for the quick (and not so fulfilling) jobs to sustain your living. Keep your day job, fine-tune your craft, have margin for error in your finances and when you have surpassed a consistent and sustainable income, then maybe it’s time to part ways. Be wise. Also, your day job could give you the financial support you need now to fund the beginning stages of your dream. Don’t take that for granted.

At the end of the day, your biggest commitment will need to be to yourself. You either want to pursue the dream or not. Yes, financial support is necessary and there is plenty you can do to take control and get to where you need to go. But for now, start with what you have.

Just start.

dominique elise
writer
morethandreamers.com

Dominique is a solid friend and guest poster here on BeardedBudget.com. I love her enthusiasm for helping people follow their dreams. Check our her free eBook by subscribing to her blog that will help you start living your dream one day at a time.

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

With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.

Start With Why – Why Do I Need a Budget?

01

NOV, 2016

Budgeting
Life Change
Vision


Start With Why – Simon Sinek, TedX

Why Do I Need a Budget?

I’ve discussed before the importance of having and keeping a budget but ‘to start with why’ is truly the most important factor in creating, keeping and maintaining a budget for the long game. It’s not a coincidence that I use the title to match the book from Simon Sinek. In fact, you should watch his nearly decade-old video from Ted on youtube about how great leaders inspire action. Here it is to the left for your viewing pleasure. (18 minutes in length, grab a cup of coffee, its’ worth it.)

Simon went on to write a book about the concept and although it’s been seen and read by millions, we still don’t give it enough weight. If you don’t start with why, you’ll never finish the race. So again, “Why Do I Need a Budget?” You need to answer that question for yourself in order for you to reach your goals. For me, I have many reasons and I think others will relate.

What Do I Want Out of Life?

In this life, when I look at my family, my career, and this world all through the lens of Jesus Christ, I can’t help but be reminded of how we are to be good stewards of what we are given. And we are given much, aren’t we? So what do I want? What is my “Why?” I want to be a light and to make a difference in the world. I want my life to live loudly to exemplify the freedom and grace we’ve been given to show others that there is hope among the destruction, the bad news, the disgrace and sadness. There is hope. I want to raise my kids in a safe environment. I want to spend more time with my family, more time in thought, more time living in this beautiful world that God has given us dominion over. To enjoy the scenery, to appreciate the flavors and smells and to do all of this with the people that I love. I want to help provide heaven on earth through the spreading of the message of Christ. That is my big W-H-Y. It’s a bit all encompassing and the tid-bits may change on a daily basis but there is no other reason that I do what I do.

How Will a Budget Get Me There?

You have to think about what has brought you happiness in the last few days, months, and years. For me, it wasn’t money. In fact, money delivered sadness, disappointment, futility and more. It wasn’t until I decided to quit the chase that I began to feel freedom from the oppression of the American dream. But a budget is what got us there. We had to pay off a pile of debt. We had to reorganize our ‘wants’ into basic ‘needs’ and evaluate the cost of maintaining and minimizing our current standard of living. We had to downsize our expenses, upsize our values and look sideways at the world’s many enticing offerings. It has taken time, but our vision has changed. We don’t see value in early adopting technology at a high price. We don’t see value in eating at restaurants as much as cooking some seriously tasty and different foods at home. And as you may have read in my previous post, we don’t value an abundance of expensive and often mortgaged living space.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” -Simon Sinek

t

Live Out Your Why

We may already know our ‘Why’ but does our job, actions and relationships reflect our why? It probably doesn’t. We tend to make decisions more often based on money when cash may be the last thing we choose in the ‘pile’ of family, love, relationships and happiness.

How to Get Where You’re Going

Obviously, starting with ‘why’ is one of the most important steps you can take. But you do have to actually start. So how do we even start? I talked about ‘intentional budgeting’ here but I’ll give you a couple additional key points in starting your budget today beyond that. I can’t stress enough to take baby steps and concentrate on them. No one wakes up one day successful. No one wakes up and has a complete change in their budget, life and schedule unless outside circumstances dictate it. We are already filled with previous habits so let’s create new ones slowly.

  • Find a way to start visualizing your spending. If you need an excel sheet there are plenty online. If you need a program, check out YNAB, EveryDollar from Dave Ramsey, Mint.com or plain old Excel. Visualize your spending daily if you can. You don’t need to change it, but take note of where your money is going. Even just looking at your bank account or statements at the end of the month or week will give you a better vision of what’s happening to your money.
  • Make a small change in your budget in something you’re already aware of. This could be deciding not to eat out because you’ve become aware of the cost. Or perhaps, being more careful of the ancillary purchases you make that add up to hundreds of dollars at the end of the month. This could include sodas at restaurants, gas station purchases when getting gas, grocery store extras that are not value adding or nutritional.
  • Take a look at your bank statements to see what you’re still spending money on that isn’t being used or adding value. A great example is cable television or subscriptions. Make sure you’re actually going to the gym if you’re paying for it. If not, just drop it. Don’t even think twice. If it’s not being used, lose it. (Beware of contracts, don’t make bad decisions that may cost you later. That means, don’t cancel a subscription if you’ve committed and will be sent to collections)

I hope these few ideas will get your gears rolling in the right direction to make some minor changes that could lead to major changes. It could take years to start ‘living your why’ but it’s worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for a job at the best company in the world.

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

With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.

CAUTION: Income Not Guaranteed!

24

OCT, 2016

Income Solutions
Self Sufficiency

income not guaranteed

Your Future Income Depends on Your Ability to Appear Employable

Job Loss

Eventually, I’ll do a post on the number of jobs I’ve had over the years. With a rough first count, I’d say I’ve had over 15 different jobs or sources of income, depending on how you categorize it, over the last 12 years. That’s more than a job change every single year. However, it’s very rare that I’ve been laid-off or quit a job outright without first having a better opportunity to transition into. I’ve always felt the need to never burn bridges and to always be thankful for the opportunity to learn, grow and experience different jobs. But there is one thing I learned during this time when I experienced a couple layoffs or unexpected job changes. It’s that your income is not guaranteed. This also means your job that you depend upon now could up and disappear in the morning. I’ve experienced it myself. Now, I’ve been a part of a lot of private companies and some start-ups that may depend on private funding or revenue but that doesn’t mean your public job will last forever either. Don’t let job loss take you by surprise. It’s definitely something to think about before you commit to that 5 year or 30 year loan right?

Hedging Your Risk

Every job you have gives you the opportunity to learn, build relationships and new skills that you’ll take with you no matter what happens. We may spend all of the money we make at each job without putting a significant amount of resources in saving or reducing expenses along the road but no one can take away what you’ve learned and experienced along the way. This is essentially the best way to hedge your risk in preventing the significant impact an unexpected job loss may have on your financial and family situation. By thinking ahead of time about the skills you have, the resources you’ve developed in relationships and knowledge, you can plan ahead for what your next steps would be if and when your current job ends. Every single day we have the ability to create value in ourselves through education and relationships. We build a figurative brick upon our mind each time we invest in ourselves. If we don’t, we tend to become stagnant and then the potential job loss is like jumping into a stagnant, mosquito ridden puddle. Except, that puddle is you. That’s right, you lose your job and then you’re mad that you’re ‘stinky and rancid’ self doesn’t know what to do because you haven’t spent the time to develop yourself, plan for the future or build your brand. If you did spend the time to develop yourself in the public light, you could be one Tweet away from a new job.

The Long Game

I just recently finished the book “Crush It” by Gary V. If you haven’t read this book, get on it. It’s a quick read and it’s entertaining. One of the biggest take aways from this book is that you are your own product. You will sell yourself at your current job, your next job, to your future spouse and to your kids. We sell ourselves every single day in so many ways that it’s really second nature to us. But since we may seldom change jobs, we don’t sell ourselves often enough to our next potential employer. That’s when we cram to prepare for an interview, pay someone to write our resume and hope for the best. But as you’ll read, that’s all going away. Gone are the days that you can just hand someone a nicely organized piece of paper and say ‘hire me.’ Instead, new employers are searching Google to learn more about you. They’re looking for your Facebook and Twitter posts. They’re seeing what pictures your posting and what your friends are like. They are viewing your character in a way that a resume will never display. At this point, isn’t it better for you to control and optimize those search results than to leave the results in the hands of Google? You better believe it is. So how do you do it?

“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”
Proverbs 28:6

You Are Your Own Brand

We can no longer get away with our private life being separate from our public appearance. You can run away from this, or use it to your vantage. Your next tweet will be visible forever.

Build Your Resume

As we’ve seen from the 2016 election, our popularity can be the product of what dirt can be dug up from our online history. Of course we won’t be under the same scrutiny as a presidential candidate but what’s important is that you control your destiny through being quick-to-think, slow to speak and by controlling your public display of information. You are building a brand by putting out Tweets, posting pictures to Facebook and sending images through Snapchat. That brand is out there for people to see, research and reference. That brand is where your future income may come from. As I mentioned, your income is not guaranteed but your brand can help ensure that your income stays somewhat consistent and that you are a valuable commodity in a constantly changing and struggling market. How are you moving your brand, aka yourself, into a better and more visible direction? Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it.

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Subscribe to our BeardedBudget Newsletter.

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

With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.

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