As entrepreneurs, it’s common to focus solely on making as much money as possible. However, it’s crucial to be thoughtful in how we save and spend our hard-earned income to avoid falling into a spiral of debt and dissatisfaction. Being self-employed, you have the freedom to set your own hours and work on your own terms. But this also means that you are responsible for your own finances. If you don’t manage your money wisely, you could quickly find yourself in debt or struggling to make ends meet.
I invited Sarah Graham, founder of Faith Homestead, to share her expertise on frugal living. Turns out there’s a lot of overlap between homesteading principles and entrepreneurship. Be sure to watch the full interview on YouTube, but I’ve unpacked some of the key takeaways for you to read right here.
We discussed practical steps for spending your income wisely and achieving financial freedom. Topics included:
- Reducing waste
- Making your own food from scratch
- Adjusting your lifestyle
- Prioritizing your time
- Living intentionally
- Building a support system
One of the easiest ways to save money is to reduce waste. This means being mindful of how much food you buy and how much you throw away. Here are a few tips for reducing waste:
- Plan your meals in advance so that you only buy the food you need.
- Use leftovers creatively.
- Compost food scraps.
- Buy in bulk to save money.
- Avoid single-use items.
Challenge: Don’t go back to the grocery store until you’ve used up all the food you’ve purchased.
Making Your Own Food from Scratch
Food is one of the biggest areas where we spend money. Another great way to cut down on expenses is to make your own food from scratch. This is not only cheaper than eating out, but it can also be healthier and more satisfying. Here are a few tips for making your own food from scratch:
- Cook in bulk and freeze leftovers.
- Use simple recipes that don’t require a lot of ingredients.
- Invest in some basic kitchen tools.
- Experiment with different recipes to find what you like.
Although it may take a little extra time to prepare your food, it’s worth it in savings. Look for ways to cut costs without cutting quality, and consider investing in a deep freezer to store sale items.
Adjusting Your Lifestyle
If you’re serious about achieving financial freedom, you may need to adjust your lifestyle. This may mean temporarily giving up some luxuries or comfort foods, but it’s worth it in the long run. Here are a few tips for adjusting your lifestyle:
- Sell unnecessary belongings.
- Cancel unused subscriptions.
- Cook more meals at home.
- Walk or bike instead of driving.
You can still enjoy your life, and even indulge in some of your more expensive tastes. Just be smart and strategic about it, and guard yourself fiercely against lifestyle creep. Keep your eyes on the prize – by saying “no” to a few things now, you’re saying “yes” to something even better in the future.
Prioritizing Your Time
Being intentional about how you spend your time and making sure that you are working towards your goals. Spend more time producing than you do consuming. If there’s one thing Sarah has learned while growing he platform, it’s that consistency is key. But it’s down right impossible to be consistent if you’re just flying by the seat of your pants and letting the hustle and bustle of life determine when you’ll finally have time to invest in your business. Here are a few tips for prioritizing your time:
- Set goals and make a plan.
- Break down your goals into smaller steps.
- Schedule time each day to work on your goals.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Take breaks when you need them. (“All work and no play makes Jack Nicholson chase you through a hedge maze with an axe” ….or something like that).
In self-employment, living intentionally is essential for success. Without a clear vision and plan, it’s easy to spiral into a cycle of burnout and discouragement.
Building a Support System
Say it with me – “Self-employment is not by-yourself-employment!” It can be a challenging journey, but it’s much easier when you have a support system. This could include like-minded friends, family, or other entrepreneurs who are working toward a similar goal. Here are a few tips for building a support system:
- Join an online community of entrepreneurs (like Platform Launchers!)
- Attend networking events.
- Find a mentor.
- Talk to your friends and family about your goals.
As you surround yourself with other people, remember that success looks different for everyone, and being content with where you are is a good place to be. Entrepreneurship is a slow build, and success doesn’t always mean mansions and private jets. It’s about planting seeds that will bear fruit down the road.
Starting a business can be daunting, but it’s crucial to remember that you don’t have to have it all figured out. With patience and perseverance, you can build something sustainable and impactful.
But entrepreneurship isn’t just about making money. Spending and saving your hard-earned income wisely is essential for achieving financial freedom. By applying some of Sarah’s simple money tips, and making sure you are being intentional with your time and surrounding yourself with people who can encourage you and hold you accountable, you will drastically improve your chances of success.