I’m a big fan of Chris Guillebeau and his Unconventional Guides series. I love his unflagging optimism and his appreciation for the weird and wonderful ways people find meaning in their lives. Recently, he teamed up with J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly (GRS) fame and put out a GRS Guide for purchase on his website. I had been in a funk lately and was sort of aimlessly surfing the internet one day when I found this guide. The program includes access to interviews from key people in personal finance; budget calculators and goal-setting sheets; and weekly emails for the next year. It was an easy decision to buy it: I wanted to focus on making some positive changes in my life and this seemed like a good place to start.
Check here for last week’s installment.
Welcome to my second week’s installment with Get Rich Slowly’s (GRS) Unconventional Guide. When I bought the GRS Guide a few months ago, I wanted to make some changes but I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to start. So I wanted to give it some time while I sorted through everything,
I think my biggest challenge with money was that I had some coming in and way more going out. While I get paid fairly well, I only work four days a week and once I did the math, I realized I was losing about $15,000 a year. I needed more money coming in – Me, Inc. needed to be making a profit. The GRS guide had this to say:
People need profit too, although we usually call it “savings”. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck — or worse, sinking into debt — you’ll find it impossible to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself. Plus, today’s profit (or saving) acts as a safeguard to protect you against an uncertain tomorrow. It also provides flexibility, giving you more options and allowing you to seize more opportunities.
Sooo, something needed to change. I started out by looking for a part-time job that could help with bringing in more money. I researched some options, I wanted something flexible that paid me a fair wage and was interesting to me. I ended up tutoring for an agency and have been working there for the last few months! I enjoy what I do and it brings in an extra $350 a month.
This was a great beginning and once I settled into the role, I went looking for other ways to bring in the moola. An opportunity came up at work to take a three month full-time contract and I took advantage of it – this brings in an additional $400 a month. It gives me time to look for other full-time gigs while bringing in a little more money.
So, I have increased my monthly cash flow by $750 to date with plans to increase that with renting our basement; picking up some freelance work; and looking for another full-time contract (or permanent) position. The extra money coming in has been really helpful for some of the out-of-pocket expenses like a new dishwasher (the old one exploded) and the insurance deductible for repairs to our hail-damaged house. It’s also been great for funding my trip to Vancouver and a new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.*
I have to say of all the things I’ve done to help my financial situation over the years, I have to say I’m most excited about these moves I’m making in my career. I’ve always had it in my head that I had to go back to school to upgrade my credentials to create more cash flow. Challenging that assumption has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life. Leveraging my current education and experience has been the most empowering way for me to increase my net worth.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by and see you next week!
*I realize the insanity of bragging about buying expensive sunglasses on a personal finance “debt blog”. Trust me I know. One thing I’ve realized is that all pay and no play turns me into a bitter and twisted troll who ends up burning out on a restrictive budget. Maybe it’s just easier to plan out my extravagances instead of binge spending because I’m angry and deprived.