Yes, believe it. But listen. I already know my logic makes zero sense.
If you feel like you must tell me how disgusting that is, unsanitary, or how that really will not save me money because I will use the toothbrush twice as fast and have to replace it more often, then feel free, but I already know all of this stuff.
I never claimed to be the smartest person in the room, but I certainly was one of the most frugal.
When my wife and I got married we were broke. I did whatever I could to bring my expenses as low as possible, even if it was a convoluted idea of sharing toothbrushes or getting all of my coffee creamer and condiments at restaurants.
I have never shared this story with anyone because it is kind of embarrassing. I was happy to be married, but it was one of the lowest points in my life feeling like a bum, having to pinch every single penny, and not feeling adequate enough because I did not want to provide my wife with her own toothbrush.
Through the entire experience I learned a few things:
1. Frugality only gets you so far
2. What the real purpose of money is
3. How to love my wife amidst the difficulties
I am going to share with you why I abandoned frugality and what I focused on instead.
Why I Do Not Focus On Frugality Anymore
Money was like a drug to me.
I loved counting money, handling, and making sure I kept as much of it in my pocket as possible. I would look for deals, coupons, and buy only one toothbrush to keep that money where I felt it belonged.
But what I realized is that I adopted a scarcity mentality that caused me to be protective of money. I thought I was going to have a finite amount of money so I needed to save and pinch every single penny. Every transaction I made felt painful because I thought I was losing a dollar that I would never get back.
This scarcity mentality led me to do desperate and weird things like sharing a toothbrush. As long as I was locked into this mindset, I would never open myself up to the ability to earn more money.
The main reason I gave up frugality is because it can only get you so far. There is a limit to how low you can decrease your expenses. For my wife and I, that meant spending less than $1,000 per month.
Yes, that is an absurdly low number. We did not have any debt or loans that needed to be paid off, and as I said, we did some desperate things to save money.
I was working hard to keep our expenses at $12,000 per year, but it was never going to be able to go any lower. If we wanted to save more money the solution was simple, we had to make more money.
I am all for saving money and being conscious about our spending, but there is a point where the return on efforts becomes really close to zero if not zero. Your time could be spent better elsewhere.
So I gave up frugality and the scarcity mindset to adopt an abundance mindset.
I began to reframe my mind to the idea that money is infinite, more can always be made, people pay me for the value I create, and money is simply an exchange for the things I value. I started working systematically to increase my income.
Some argue this is impossible and a flat-out lie. I cannot make more money and the economy is crap. Yet in reality, there are three main ways that you can increase your income:
1. Start a Side Hustle
2. Get a Higher Salary
3. Build a Scalable System
Start a Side Hustle
I originally started increasing my income by freelancing. I eventually took my freelancing and turned it into a full-time pursuit.
Starting a freelance side-business is one of the easiest ways to get started in business, and the work that is involved is clear compared to other business opportunities such as building scalable systems.
The only downside of a freelancing business is you are still trading time for money. In this case, you might be decreasing the time you have available for your spouse. Freelancing may not be the best option if you are not spending intentional time with your spouse.
Freelancing can still get you caught up in the rat-race if you do not know how to generate a consistent base of leads and raise your rates.
Getting a Higher Salary
This is a straightforward solution, yet very few of us do it. Most of us earn our primary income from our jobs, so this will probably be the best solution for most people.
In order to get a raise you need to spend time developing your skills and taking on more responsibility. Then you can leverage your skills and value that you have provided to increase your income, switch jobs or entire industries.
The disadvantage with asking for a raise is that it is out of your control for the most part. The decision is up to your boss, the budget, and the question of whether or not your skills actually create more value for the company.
This is one of the easiest solutions for most people, but can be nerve-racking when people tell us, “We should be lucky to have a job.”
Build a Scalable System
This model is my favorite, but least recommended due to the complexity of it. It can be learned, but it takes massive amounts of time compared to freelancing or getting a raise, because we are least familiar with this concept.
Building a scalable system is built on the idea of learning how to create massive value, then figuring out how to automate that value so you can earn while you sleep.
This model includes ideas like selling e-books, building a business that you are removed from, building a blog and selling affiliate links, or stock investing.
This model can be extremely hard because it takes a different mindset. It can be challenging to find the right business idea and attract potential customers.
What Model Will You Choose?
These are the three most basic models for generating revenue, and none of them involve donating fluids, unless of course you freelance as a phlebotomist or something.
Now that you know the basic models of making more money, which models will you choose?