We Should Stay In Our Financial Lane

   

financial lane simple money man

 

If you’re new to personal finance blogging or fairly new, you’ll quickly realize that many of your readers are well – other bloggers. You will also realize that you have a lot in common. You’ll also realize that there are some things you don’t have in common. These may include how you grew up, the steps you took to save more money than some of your peers, ways you have generated passive income and, steps you are continuing to take in order to save and invest. The ultimate goal as many writers have put it is to reach something called FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early.

 

Sometimes I read other sites and think WOW people have really worked hard and are continuing to do so to reach this FIRE thing. There are people out there saving up to 90% of their income. There are people out there earning tens of thousands in dividends per month. There are people out there who can go for more than a third of a month without spending a single dime. Most of the time it’s inspiring, but sometimes I’m like well I don’t think I can do all of those things. But then I say that’s fine. I don’t have to be able to do every single thing. I should focus in on financial activities that work for my specific lifestyle.

 

In my reading, I’ve come across the following creative ways to save money and generate more income actual writers have and are continuing to deploy:

 

Saving Money:

  1. Buy and wear ONLY second-hand clothing,
  2. quit eating any kind of meat,
  3. shopping in the kid’s section for their own clothing (for people who can fit into them)
  4. didn’t travel at all, not even a weekend getaway for three years
  5. Ate questionable, exotic and sometimes slightly expired food
  6. didn’t go out to eat a SINGLE time for an entire year
  7. maximize days in a month without spending on anything

 

Making Money:

  1. investing in exclusively dividend paying stocks
  2. renting out a room or apartment via Airbnb
  3. renting their car via Turo when they don’t use it
  4. selling stuff on Craigslist or Offer-Up
  5. driving Uber or Lyft
  6. tutoring
  7. taking surveys or shopping online (like we would anyway) and earn cash back
  8. planting and selling fruits and vegetables

 

All, well most 🙂 of these are great ideas and as a result, many writers have achieved early retirement. As a result of the early retirement, some of these strategies have become habits and part of their lives, which is a fantastic end result. But not all of them may work for everyone. And guess what that’s ok. We all have our own separate and sometimes common path to financial freedom. We all don’t want to worry about money, but at the same time don’t want the lack of money to become a worry in itself either.

 

The point is that we’re all humans and naturally we’re going to compare ourselves to one another every now and then. But we shouldn’t because everyone is custom built to handle their own specific set of variables and uses the tools they see fit to achieve their financial goals. I myself don’t plan to retire in my 40s or even 50s. Presently I enjoy going to work, interacting with people, learning new systems, procedures while assigned on various projects. I like the team atmosphere at my job while at the same time being able to think and work freely as well.

 

 

Create Your Own Financial Lane

 

Staying in your own lane here means establish and working towards your own path for financial freedom.  Maybe you can only do number 3 in saving money and number 6 in making money. Don’t stress out if you can’t do any of the other things or become disheartened when you read about others who can. Instead, try doing some of it. For example, if you have a business or overseas trip or vacation coming up and you really don’t need your car, try putting it up on Turo. If you get a renter, great, if you don’t it’s ok at least you won’t have to buy gas because you’ll be out of town anyway.

 

If the motivation or desire to achieve financial freedom increases, most likely we will find a way to implement more saving money strategies and more money making strategies. Our circumstances will enable us to work harder and spend more time in our jobs and side jobs to achieve our financial goals.

 

And finally, one of the most important things is to have a plan and stick to it. This is basically a prerequisite or requirement in my book….or in this case website 🙂

 

Can you answer yes to all of these questions?

 

  • Do you have a savings goal and are you following it?
  • Do you have an investing strategy and is it working effectively?
  • Have you cut back on discretionary spending on anything and stuck to it?
  • Have you automated savings?
  • Do you view savings the same as paying a bill?
  • Do you know how much you may need to have at the time of retirement, how much you plan to spend during retirement and how much you may or may not want to make during retirement from a side job?

 

 

So how do you determine which personal finance saving and investing methods will work for you? Have you read a personal finance recommendation in a book, magazine, or website that you thought may not have worked but were surprised when it actually did?

 

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I use Personal Capital because (1) it’s free, (2) it tracks all of my accounts and overall net worth, (3) my account balances automatically update, (4) it shows how my investments are diversified and allocated in various sectors, and (5) can use built-in tools like “Investment Checkup” to get….wait for it…free personalized advice!

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Money Man (SMM)

12 Comments

  1. I can’t answer yes to all of the questions, but I do agree that personal finance is not one-size-fits-all. For example, I don’t think I could handle the extreme frugality that works for some people (and good for them, I just don’t think it’s for me). At the end of the day, I think it depends on each person’s evolving goals, needs, and wants.

    Regardless, it’s great to read and learn every day, since knowledge is always helpful!

    • True; if we could answer all the questions yes than the argument can be made that we are not really living life to the fullest either right? I also think it’s all about balance and doing what’s important to you now to prepare for what will continue to be important for you in the future 🙂

  2. Excellent advice!

    It is amazing how many of the people that leave comments are also fellow PF bloggers (I’m one of them!). I didn’t realize how much of a community feel there is until I started blogging and joined the Rockstar Finance forums.

    • Yes; it makes us feel like we are part of something. I mean we actually are and of course great bouncing ideas and thoughts off of one another. There is so much information available to us as a whole community and Rockstar Finance serves as the perfect hub! 🙂

  3. Wow, not travelling at all is a big no no in my book. I would agree we all have different ways of accomplishing things. Some are amazingly frugal and that life just has no appeal to me. I am always seeking abundance, some of the best times of my life have been because I was willing to spend money. I delayed going to college and went and lived in Australia for a year after high school and it was a fantastic decision. I came back and most my friends still graduated after me because I had my head on straight. Life is to short to save every penny I think those folks need to focus on increasing their income! What are your go to’s?

    • Definitely! I think it’s all about keeping a healthy balance. It’s important not to deprive ourselves especially of things that provide us lasting happiness. If traveling is one them, then yes by all means. I’ve traveled for work many domestic and international places in the past when I was single. Now it’s easier to be at a job that doesn’t require much traveling due to a family. 🙂

  4. Great points. I think being successful at anything relies to a certain extent on being true to yourself and finding your own lane or path. That said, your bullet point questions at the end of the post are timeless truths for anyone seeking personal finance best practices. Tom
    Tom recently posted…I Have Lost My Compass (Part 1)My Profile

    • Thank you! They (the questions) can be tough for some people and that can, in turn, be eye-opening. We all can use the same financial tools, but we all have different paths and it’s important to stay in our lane as to not be distracted 🙂

  5. When I first started reading PF blogs, I felt like I wanted to do everything! I wanted to make up for the years I hadn’t done certain things by trying every financial strategy I read about. That was overwhelming! I eventually realized that it’s okay to pick and choose the strategies that fit my life and my goals. Personal finance really doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.

    • The more I read, the more overwhelmed I felt too. I had to take a step back and see what really works for my “personal” situation. Yes, it’s nice to have benchmarks and goals and drive off of other people’s success stories. But we have to be realistic and honest with ourselves too 🙂

  6. Yikes on the no travel one!
    When I dated my ex we went to events for our hobby on some weekends, but didn’t take vacations. In 7 years he visited my parents’ cabin maybe 5 times. We went to California for his grandmother’s 80th birthday, Michigan for his brother’s wedding and Florida for a last Thanksgiving with his mom.
    But we never did the get away, even locally and explore with new eyes. No day trips to the beach, or picnic lunches and hikes wandering.
    After the break up, just in how things worked, there was a family trip to Alaska. A few years later, my aunt, mom & I went to a guest ranch in CA. Through my cousin’s travel group we did a family (+ her coworkers) Caribbean cruise. We are a frugal family and the gaps between trips are when I save up vacation days, and the $ for the next one.
    Last year Christmas week, my teacher friend and I went to a museum in NYC for the day and made great memories!
    No travel is not something that would work for me. To each our own. 🙂 or as the youngin’s say”You do you.”

    • Yes the travel one is tough to do. Especially these days when we have so many travel rewards and incentives provided by merchants. There are always flight deals to certain places and hotels as well. I’m glad travel has worked out well for you and thanks for stopping by 🙂

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