My early to mid-20s have been spent travel around Latin America, living cheaply, and enjoying life to the fullest. I’ve had experiences I never thought imaginable and did things I never expected.
But I was never frugal. Every penny counts? Nah, fam. We ’bout to buy a bottle tonight. Weekend trips to the beach? Let’s goooo.
I made enough to live off and then spent it. I had the mentality of a mid-2,000s rapper. It was fantastic at times and stressful at others.
But I’ve changed. I suppose that’s expected. The only constant in life is change, and change.
Recently, I’ve started to focus on my finances more than ever before. I’ve set financial goals and began diligently working towards them. One of my biggest changes? Realizing every penny counts.
It’s time for a change.
Now, often people talk about earning more instead of spending less. I wholeheartedly agree that earning more is the only way to earn and save the type of cash I’d like to, but every penny still counts. Why?
Well, I began looking around me at the people who’ve had financial success. None of these people are blowing big bucks frivolously. In fact, the majority of individuals I’ve met who make tons of cash don’t act like mid-2,000s rappers. They’re more than frugal.
For example, the wealthiest person I personally have met and know has hundreds of millions. This individual is richer than anyone reading this will ever become.
Yet, he’s still frugal. Incredibly frugal. I heard a story about the guy. He didn’t want to cook ever again. He had no desire to have a live-in chef. Going out to 5-star restaurants was never his thing. So, what does he do for food?
He researches meal delivery services in his city. Instead of going with the premier offering or even the one that looks best to him, he tests out the two cheapest options in the city (out of dozens).
After concluding the quality levels were acceptable and similar, he went with the cheapest option. A man with hundreds of millions of dollars in net worth, orders his food from the absolute cheapest meal delivery service he could find. Every penny counts.
The cheapest place I’ve ever lived. And it had a beach!
Does Every Penny Count?
This wasn’t the only example of frugality among individuals who I know personally that have achieved their financial goals.
Some of my wealthiest family members are also incredibly frugal. Despite saving and investing more than they’d ever need, they haven’t made a big purchase in nearly a decade.
No lake house. No beach vacations. Just frugal living, cooking their own meals (95% of the time), and a simple life. Zero waste. They still cut coupons from the paper every single week and eat at the horrid fast food chain known as KFC on occasion.
One of my best friends is looking to buy an apartment complex. He’s under 30 years old. His savings allows him to put a down payment on a multi-million dollar building. Despite making six-figures, he lives with three roommates and hasn’t even bought a new car.
Maturity and stuff.
What Can You Do?
The reality of the situation is some of us have the ability, mindset, and skills to make millions of dollars each year. Other do not. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply don’t have the skill set to make millions of dollars right now. It could happen in the future, but currently, I don’t have it.
If you don’t, then saving and adopting a frugal mindset can be incredibly beneficial to your bank account, crypto-currency wallet, and 401K portfolio.
And that’s nothing to be ashamed of!
Personally, I’ve made a few minor changes that have allowed me to earn and save more the last few months.
The key here is that I’m focusing on earning and saving. These changes allow me to make more money while saving more, too. The focus isn’t just on saving.
So, here are a few of my favorites:
+ Custom Sidebar Widgets & Exit Intent
I’m still working on this one, but by the end of 2018, I plan to make every click and visitor on my website count. How? By attacking exit intent and optimizing sidebar widgets.
First attempt at exit intent popups. New PDF popup coming soon.
Not that many people click on sidebar widgets. I know this. But every penny counts. If you can get a few people to click, that’ll add up overtime.
By using popups to attack exit intent, I hope to increase my email list. I’ll offer free giveaways and PDFs to entice signs up. All PDFs will have affiliate links, too.
Thus, I’ll increase sales and add to my email list with this simple change. The traffic is already there. Why not optimize it?
If my site get 30K viewers per month by the end of the year and I can convert around 0.3% of viewers to email subscribers, that’s nearly 100 extra subscribers a month. Not a ton, but definitely worth the effort.
But the biggest benefit? That’s 100 extra people each month that have a PDF filled with affiliate links, too. If you create something of value, those people will continually use that PDF as a guide when researching the subject matter.
+ Every Affiliate Program Counts
The little stuff adds up quickly. While we know which affiliate programs and products will make us the big bucks, sometimes we forget to max out the smaller stuff.
Personally, I have a number of products on this site and other that I recommend that are not affiliate links. Why not switch those to affiliate links?
I always figured a few clicks a month wouldn’t do anything, but I decided to switch things up and add a few affiliate links. Just to see what happens.
Within a month, I’d made an extra $55 from one program and an extra $30 from another. $85 a month isn’t much, but I have no doubt once I add all links that number could be over $200 a month.
Stop leaving money on the table. Every penny counts. Don’t promote a product without adding an affiliate link. It’s 2017, there’s no reason not to.
+ Cancel All Memberships
I couldn’t believe how much money I was wasting on monthly charges and memberships for stuff I didn’t even use any more.
I looked through my credit card bills from the past six months and noticed I was wasting way too much cash.
In total, I was spending nearly $140 a month on stuff I programs and memberships I never used. Reoccurring billing. Month after month. Over the course of a year, that’s $2,100 flushed down the toilet.
In reality, that’s living expenses for a whole month of fun in Colombia.
I canceled them all and cleared up my monthly billing. Now, I’m only paying for things I use each and every month. A simple fix, yet something that often slips through the cracks.
But I ain’t got Netflix no more 😉
+ Sell Your Old Stuff
Finally, I’ve been home for a few months due to a illness and minor surgery. I had time to go through my old things. I had tons of stuff I hadn’t used for years.
Old smartphones, GoPro camera, clothing, unopened supplements, luggage, and more.
I sold it all. No need to let it sit at home and depreciate any longer. Just throw it on eBay and the items will nearly sell themselves.
I pocketed a quick $500 after fees and shipping. Nothing to sneeze at! While I wouldn’t have made the effort to sell these items had I not been home, the extra cash certainly doesn’t hurt.
Every Penny Counts…Right?
People preach about earning more. They’re right. You must make more money. I must make more money. I’m striving to make more each and every day.
But in the quest to earn more and more, I sometimes let small stuff slip through the cracks. Optimizing existing content, paying for things I don’t use, and the like.
By paying attention to details and optimizing, you can earn and save more cash. With the minor tweaks I’ve made thus far, I should add an extra $500-600 to my bank account each month.
While that’s chump change to some, that’s rent to me. What small details are you letting slip through the cracks? How can you optimize your business to make just a little more each and every month? How can you add a little more income to your business this month?
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.