Living A Better Life Interview – The Frugal Fellow
In our brand new interview series, we are interviewing various individuals from across the web. This interview series focuses on how they are living a better life. They can be living a better life by pursuing financial independence, minimalism, simplicity, and many more aspects. Are you interested in being interviewed? Continue reading!
Want to be interviewed?
If you want to be interviewed about how you are living a better life. Contact us at TimLifeForTheBetter@gmail.com and tell us why you’d be a great candidate!
Give us your best elevator speech!
Elevators are terrible for my anxiety! But seriously, I’m a personal finance blogger aggressively working toward financial independence. The main reason for this is to not only reclaim my time but to never have to worry about money again.
To make this happen, I am working to increase my income while decreasing my expenses. That has been a bit slow-going so far, but it’s a work in progress.
In the meantime, I am working on travel hacking so that I can see as much of the world as I can for as cheap as possible. Currently I’m planning a trip to Europe!
How are you living a better life than you were last year? 5 years ago? 10?
We’ve almost made it to 2019, but I’m going to assume that “last year” means 2017. In August of 2017, I finished repaying my student loans shortly before turning 30. That was the only debt I had left, so I became debt-free before my 30th birthday. Sure, some did it even faster, but I was proud of it nevertheless.
5 years ago, I had just moved out of my parents’ house. I was starting a new job in a new city. I ended up getting fired from the job 4 months later (which is a long story of its own) and had to move back in with my parents for a few months. Since then, I’ve been living on my own for a few years, so it’s safe to say my living/job situation is a lot more stable now. Phew!
10 years ago, I was still in college. I’m not sure things are better now than they were back then. 🙂
What would you tell your younger self?
Join more activities/clubs. Read more. Stop hanging out with kids who bully you. And most of all, do whatever is necessary to avoid paying the full cost for a private college! Get scholarships, go to a community college or state school, whatever!
What made you want to change the way you were living?
I realized my student loans were steeply holding me back. If I were ever going to work toward financial independence and make the life I wanted for myself, I would need to eliminate my debt.
I was paying nearly $1,000/month on my loans (minimum payment!), so I knew I had to get rid of them. Luckily, I was able to do that!
Does financial independence play a role? If so, how?
As I said, it very much does. I would echo what many have said in that it is about reclaiming my time. When working full-time I tend to feel “stuck,” as though I can never do what I want, when I want.
Financial independence will allow me to change all of that for the better.
What advice do you have for others in living a better life?
What I did is a great first step: eliminating debt. I did that mainly by lowering my expenses, but some combination of that and increasing your income can work
If you have a certain skill that can be marketed, you can leverage that. Or maybe just pick up the odd side hustle. Either way, getting rid of your debt should be the first step for everyone who wants to improve their finances.
What books/podcasts/blogs have you consumed that lead you to this point?
This was really by chance, but ChooseFI was the first time I really started to understand financial independence.
I say it was by chance because my sister just happened to tell me about it. Once I started listening though, I was hooked immediately. I was already working on repaying my debt, but I didn’t really know why I was doing it.
Once I heard about financial independence, I had my answer. Reclaiming my time and my freedom.
What’s one area in your life you still struggle with?
Because financial independence is such a focus now, I’m trying to get there as soon as possible. But accelerating the journey has been difficult. I don’t have a reliable side income at this point, and I’m still trying to make that happen.
It would be much easier to make it happen if I didn’t have a full-time job, but that is a bit of a catch-22; there are bills to pay, so not having a reliable income would only make things worse.
If you had to give just 1 tip that you’ve learned along your journey, what would it be and why?
Other than eliminating debt ASAP, I would say save as much as you can. And save NOW. Don’t wait. Especially if you invest your money; the more you save now, the sooner you will be able to reach financial independence.
And even if you don’t want to retire early, you should still aim for financial independence. That’s because you never know what could happen with your employer or with the economy in general.
Where can readers get in touch with you?
There are lots of ways you can get in touch with me:
Check out other interviews here!
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