I get asked a lot of questions on my YouTube channel with the most common theme being, "Financially, how are you able to do what you do?". I recently received a version of this question and thought it would be good to post the question and answer here on my site for those who are interested. With topics like this regarding finances and lifestyle there are a lot of opinions due to the many different perspectives people are coming from. This is my take on things and what I've been doing so far. Read with an open mind and do not make assumptions. Consider your own life and what you have done in the past. Nothing is as easy as it seems. I just copy and pasted the question and answer, right off YouTube, misspellings and grammatical mistakes included. Enjoy.
Nice work. How does one pay all the bills at the end of the day? Lotsa people would like to do this but can't afford to. Is there a trick?
That is a big question, or at least requires a big answer. The "trick" if you want to call it that, is limiting the amount of bills you have and the amount of money you spend on unnecessary purchases. That's the shortest way I can answer it. For me personally, both me and my wife work, neither of us making all that much but combined is enough for us to pay our way and still save some money. But again, that is due to making decisions that have set us up for a very low cost lifestyle. I bought our house cash for a very small amount of money and over a year did a full renovation on the house. I did all the work myself except for about $5000 dollars worth, saving me around $50,000 or more. In the end, I have less money in my house than most spend on their car. So we do not have a house payment and the taxes on the house are very low. We do not have car payments, my truck was $1000. We do not have children or pets. We barely go to restaurants. My cell phone is $30 a month. No cable/satellite. I made most of the furniture in our house. Her health insurance is through her work and mine is the cheapest I could find. So that's a rough idea of expenses, which is where most people lose, they just spend all there money on stuff that gets them no where. For income, I do a lot of different stuff, but luckily just about everything I do has some way of making money. The biggest key again is not spending your money on stupid stuff, for example most people work a job, get paid and immediately spend it, and a lot of times it's on things that will cost you more money in the future(pets, cars, phones, boats, etc). If you make money from your job, you've worked for your money. Instead of spending it, you should put your money to work for you, and then put the money your money makes to work for your, and so on and so on. Do that as much as you can afford and you will lesson the amount of hours you have to physically work yourself. Along with not spending money, making as much as possible is the other general rule. Even if it is not that much, you can still put it to work for you. So far everything I have done has come from woodworking, If I had only done my woodworking, and saved money I would not have been able to do what I have done. Instead, I have used the majority of my money to do or buy things that will or have made me money. For example, my house, the plan is to sell it after a while and repeat. I also have a youtube channel that makes some income, not a lot but I'm already doing the projects and messing around with cameras is already an interest, so I enjoy it. The channel has grown and created other opportunities for income, an Ebook about how I make money, selling sets of plans for furniture and selling t shirts. All on my website, www.thehomesteadcraftsman.com. Before I got married my cost of living was even lower and I bought two houses a year apart from each other, again for prices lower than most are aware you can buy houses, I fixed them up and rent them. One is rented and the other one is being prepared to sell. I've also bought and sold some other random stuff along the way, ebay stuff. So as you can tell, the key is to have your hands in as much stuff as possible. If your assuming incorrectly, you may think that this requires a lot of money, but it did not. It just required that I have some on hand for when opportunities popped up. That's why you don't spend your money on dumb stuff. Now if I didn't want to go anywhere financially in life, I could just make and sell furniture and be fine but I would not be able to achieve what I want long term doing so alone. All this has occurred for me over a ten year time period for reference, and has not been easy at any point. I make far less that most people and work a lot more, but it's a long game for me that is starting to pay off. The biggest advantage is the learning that has taken place and the mindset that I have developed. Most people are two overwhelmed to even begin doing the right thing for themselves and are too single minded at first. You need to go into things with an open mind and a willingness to work hard and adapt as things develop. I hope this answer helps, if you are just starting out, this stuff is not going to happen overnight, but time will pass no matter what you do. Dave Ramsey, a financial radio show host, has a good quote....it's roughly, "Live like no one else and later you can live like no one else" Meaning if you sacrifice the things that others are not willing to now, you can live in a way they can not later. This is not meant as a one upping someone, but a way to put it in perspective. Don't live your life according to others, instead choose your future. The last thing, is a book, there's many but one that I read years ago that got me excited was Rich Dad Poor Dad, I've read it twice and listened to the audio book about 5 times, you can find it free online. The book is like many others, but it was the one that got me. I've also read books by others like Tony Robbins, Trump, Zig Ziggler, Dave Carnegie, and many more. I'm not a goofball that gets all pumped up over motivational books, but I feel if you fan get something out of just a few lines in a whole book that get you moving they are worth it. I'm not a big reader, luckily most of these can be found free online to listen to, I just play them in my shop when I'm working and do it a couple times each to get it all. I think the shortest answer to your question is you have to develop a winning mindset. This requires you to develop discipline and the skill of recognizing opportunity. I hope this answer helps, even if it over answers you, perhaps some part of it gets you what you need. If I can help with anything else, just let me know. Good Luck!
Knowing what to do and acting upon it can be very hard but it is as simple as just doing it, or at least taking the first step. For me this was made possible through woodworking, but only because of having a positive attitude and a willingness to do the work. You have to pick something that you are passionate about or you won't be motivated to work hard and still be happy. Thank you for reading.
For more on specifically how I make money woodworking, I am writing a series of eBooks on the topic, here's the first one. http://www.thehomesteadcraftsman.com/p/book-1.html
I also go into different details in my "Craftsman's Corner" videos, here's a link to the playlist. I do these videos every so often as a way to update and talk about several topics in one video. Many of the topics covering how I live the life of a furniture maker. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnemozQ8Gg10END75Y1Gi4sPlO2mssJZ8
If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org