Why I Switched My Email Marketing from ConvertKit to Flodesk

This summer, I switched my email platform for the blog from ConvertKit to Flodesk. I have been loving creating emails ever since! What once was a chore is now a fun activity for me. I look forward to creating pretty emails for my readers, without the stresses or hassle of complicated platforms. There are many pros to switching to Flodesk, and today I will share with you why I ultimately made the switch! I did it, and personally, I never want to go back.

But before we jump into email automation systems, perhaps you are just starting out your blog? Or you are considering whether blogging is for you? If that’s the case, check out these popular posts on my blog.

Flodesk Made Emails EASY

I am not a techy person and I did not get a degree in marketing. To be honest, when I started to create emails, I signed up for ConvertKit because it was recommended by another blogger. But I never got around to creating content. The ConvertKit platform was too technical for me. It was boring, designed mostly with code, and had complicated automation workflows that had me feeling lost. I spent a ton of time trying to figure it out, and never getting anywhere.

This year, I came across Flodesk. After being frustrated with my email experience, I decided to take a chance on Flodesk. I now love it! Flodesk took out the complicated stuff and made email creation easy. Pre-designed templates provide me with inspiring ideas. Customization is as easy as swapping out text and photographs. And making emails from scratch is also a breeze with the blocks that Flodesk provide.

Workflows Are Clear

Flodesk is a very visual platform. Workflows are clearly outlined by trigger labels. Each subscriber can be automatically assigned to an existing workflow. At the end of the series, they can then be subscribed to the next workflow. Automation is wonderful. All I have to do is select the number of days between each email drop. And on Flodesk, you can see the flow easily! In ConvertKit, I was always wondering where my subscribers were going and how to get them to the next email. Now I can focus on the CONTENT and send out beautiful emails without the headache of figuring out automation systems and workflows.

Flodesk is Cheaper

At the end of the day, Flodesk saved me money. To subscribe to Flodesk is only $39 a month (although it is $19 a month with my affiliate link here!) Unlike other platforms, Flodesk does not charge based on the number of subscribers you have. You can have an unlimited number of subscribers and still be charged the same fee. While ConvertKit is only $9 a month for a Creator Subscription, they charge $25 a month once you hit 1,000 subscribers. And the price only goes up from there.

Flodesk is a fairly new company, so of course, they are still growing and figuring a few kinks out. It is not as advanced as a more established platform such as ConvertKit, but to be honest, that’s what I like about it! It is simple and easy to use. Those with more experience may find Flodesk to be too elementary, and that’s totally okay! As always, I recommend choosing what works for you.

Personally, I have been enjoying using Flodesk, and I just wanted to share it with others who may be hoping to start a blog or an email list for their small business or company. I seriously think that Flodesk is the best email marketing platform for beginner bloggers who don’t know much about the technical side of marketing. You can always do a free trial to see how you like it.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I only share about companies that I truly believe in.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

5 Habits I Do Every Single Day To Grow

I’ve built a life structured around daily habits. Habits help remove the challenges that I would otherwise face to reach my goals. I like to imagine my goals as being on the other side of a wall. Habits are steps that I stack on top of each other, which eventually become tall enough to allow me to climb over that wall and get to the other side. I have multiple habits that I do every single day to reach my goals. One of my main goals, though, is progress. I want to continually grow, learn, and become my future self. Here are the top five habits I do every single day in order to grow.

5 Habits I Do Every Single Day to Grow

  1. I prioritize the top 2-3 tasks for that day. Every morning, I wake up and sit down with my planner and morning coffee. I write down specifically the top essential tasks that would catapult me forward the most. I used to write down a whole to-do list (to be honest, I still do) but I focus on the top few that would have the most impact on what I am trying to achieve. I like to tackle these tasks early in the day when I have the most energy. All other tasks get pushed back to make way for these things. The key is to be mindful about how many to choose. If I know I will have a busy day at work, I will only write down 2 things. It makes it way more doable!
  2. I write for 30 minutes, usually in the morning. Writing is important because it’s the way I organize my thoughts. I do my best thinking, reflecting, and organizing when I write. It is crucial for my personal growth and learning! Finding time to write used to be difficult for me, until I realized that I needed to create the time. I also have difficulty writing when there are distractions around. Even the drop of a needle can cause me to lose focus, which makes it complicated since my husband has been working from home these last two years. I finally realized that what worked for me is waking up insanely early, at the cat’s first meow. Typically, I force myself out of bed around 5:45am, before my husband gets up for work. The coffee helps! The real secret, though, is having a game plan for success. I make it easy on myself by prepping my coffee the night before. I charge my laptop and set it on the table. I go to sleep early. I give myself a time to wake up by (5:45am) and a place to be (at the dining table). I create a routine so my body just goes through the motions. I make it EASY for myself. I now dedicate 30 minutes every day to write.
  3. I read for 20 minutes. It shocked me to learn that most adults stop reading books after graduating from college. To this day, I still say that reading is my number one super-power. I not only learn from non-fiction, but I also understand people and the world better through fiction. I read self-help books, science books about health and the environment, life-style books about slow-living, autobiographies of famous people, you name it. I never miss my reading. I challenge myself to read at least 24 books a year, but end up reading around 30 books a year.
  4. I initiate a positive interaction with someone. I have a tendency to focus inward on myself and my goals. Even though I consider myself a giving person, I sometimes find that I have blinders on. When I am focused, I ignore what’s around me. In the past, I have even ignored my own health and body! As I got older, I realized the importance of focusing outward, keeping relationships, and helping others before myself. Every day, I initiate a positive interaction with someone, via text, email, phone call or in person. If it weren’t for the people around me, I would never have gotten to where I am today. I recognize that investing outwards is an important way of investing in myself.
  5. I reflect on what went well today and what can improve tomorrow. I gratitude journal by writing down three things that went well that day. Then I think about what I struggled with and why. I can either choose to improve tomorrow on what I struggled on, or to improve further on something that went well. It is not the experiences that make us wiser, but the take-away we get from our experiences. Therefore, reflections is a key part to growth!

Of course, the key to creating good habits is setting yourself up for them. I like to choose a planner or journal that would trigger my good habits. One of my favorites is Monk Manual. This planner really outlines an intentional lifestyle. I highly recommend it! And if you liked this post, you may want to check out what I do to become 1% better every day. I have multiple goals and personal growth is just one of them.

Forest-free Flushing with Cloud Paper

We started our green journey back in 2018. If I am being completely honest, our efforts are as much about reducing waste as it is about saving money. I have talked before about nixing paper towel use altogether, as well as using bidets to clean bums without paper. But 100% abstinence from waste is simply exhausting. Despite my environmental efforts, I have learned that grace is a big part of sustainable living. So although zero one-time-use paper products are ideal, perfection isnt the goal. Risking talking about paper ad nauseum, I want to revisit with a new option for a forest-free flush: Cloud Paper.

What is Cloud Paper?

Cloud Paper provides soft, strong, and sustainable paper that can withstand the toughest of jobs. Their paper is made from bamboo, the fastest growing plant in the world. It grows up to 3 feet per day! In addition, it is efficient at sequestering massive amounts of carbon during its growth. Bamboo reaches harvest maturity in just three years, unlike trees which could take decades. And unlike trees, bamboo does not need to be replanted once harvested, as it continues to grow just like grass does!

Why is Cloud Paper Better?

Traditional toilet paper companies source their paper from old-growth forests. These trees are essential to existing eco-systems. Deforestation of these areas affect more than just the trees themselves. Not to mention, big trees are crucial for storing enormous amounts of carbon. Switching to bamboo keeps these forests intact!

Cloud paper arrives at your door in fully compostable and recyclable packaging. Each toilet roll is individually wrapped in paper, protecting it from the environment during storage. The box does not have excess plastic packaging or bubble wrap!

And Cloud Paper makes it easy with their subscription system. You never have to run to the store for ’emergencies’ ever again. Managing a subscription is as easy as going online and signing into your account. Once you place your first order, they will send an ‘account activation’ to your email. After that, it will automatically ship to your house at whatever interval you choose. If you worry about receiving an unwanted batch, rest assured. Cloud Paper will send confirmation emails three days prior to shipment.

Cloud Paper’s Impact

As a young paper company, Cloud Paper has already saved 17,208 trees and planted 6,912 trees. They work with One Tree Planted to fund reforestry projects in the Pacific Northwest. They also have partnered with CarbonFund to 2x offset all carbon emissions from transportation through reforestation programs. The Natural Resources Defense Council releases an annual report that ranks toilet paper brands by sustainability. This year, Cloud Paper got the highest score possible for bamboo-based paper. Lastly, they have partnered with Food Lifeline to distribute over 120,000 donated rolls to food banks and shelters throughout their community.

If your community is in need, you can always reach out to them at hello@cloudpaper.com.

And if you shop Cloud Paper in July, you can receive 10% OFF with the code CLOUD10. This offer is valid 7/1/22 to 7/31/22. Purchasing through my links could result in me receiving a small commission. Cloud Paper kindly gifted me their product to try, but all opinions are my own.

Top 10 Easiest Things I’ve Cut Out of My Budget

The biggest push back I get when I talk about cutting costs and saving money is that it’s difficult. People fear the word ‘budget’ because they associate it with negative implications. As a writer of intentional living, I can tell you that is not true. The point of budgeting is not to deprive yourself of things that make you happy. Rather, it is a curation of activities that you choose to engage with in order to prioritize that which makes you happiest. Because of this, budgeting is a personal task. There are some things that may be easier for you and your family to cut out than others. I recommend you start there! Today, I want to share my top 10 easiest things to cut out of my budget.

Top 10 Easiest Things I’ve Cut Out of My Budget

  1. Alcohol
  2. Shopping for clothes
  3. Beauty Products
  4. Personal Maintenance (manis, pedis, haircuts, etc.)
  5. Certain groceries like snacks, bars, soft drinks
  6. Paper towels (went fully green in 2018 and never looking back)
  7. Fancy restaurants
  8. Entertainment (Bowling, Movie Theatres, Theme Parks, etc.)
  9. Cable TV
  10. Buying books (yay for libraries!)

As you can see from my list, I can easily give up food, activities, and goods for myself. I wrote an ever-growing list a long time ago, but these ten were the easiest to let go by far. It’s been a while so I do have a caveat that some of my thoughts on the items on the ever-growing list have changed. But in exchange are other things current me won’t spend money on. Of course, everyone is different. There are things I would not sacrifice, such as good coffee and quality goods. That is totally okay! The point is not to deprive, but to thrive.

With current inflation at a high, I think we all need to practice what I’ve been preaching for the last five years. Which is, to flex our frugal muscles as best we can. We may be in it for the long-haul, but the better we are at managing spending, the more we can shoulder the weight of rising prices. If you’re new to the space, do check out my course, Mastering a Budget. It’s helped a lot of people get started!

Photo by Amol Tyagi on Unsplash

Staying at the Banning House Lodge in Catalina Island, California

Staying at the Banning House Lodge in Catalina Island, California is a mystery, as far as internet research goes. An archaic website was all I had as reference prior to our stay. Even the booking site reminded me of the 1990’s. It is such a shame. The Banning House has now become one of my favorite getaway spots. It is appropriately isolated. The beautiful home has a great view perched atop a hill. The vibe is truly relaxing and the history of the house really transported me to a place back in time – one without the rush of technology and progress. I thought I’d share everything one needs to know about staying at the Banning House. Just so the interwebs can have a taste of this great vacay spot.

History on the Banning House Lodge

The craftsman-style house was built by the Banning brothers in 1910, who owned Catalina Island since 1892. It was their summer home and they hosted soirees, dinner parties, and celebrations on their large property. It took two days to get to their summer home from Avalon. The Santa Catalina Island Company was created to attract visitors to their summer house.

In the early 1919 they sold the Island (and eventually the Santa Catalina Island Company) to William Wrigley Jr, known for Wrigley gum. Over the years, the Lodge served as the U.S. Coast Guard officer’s quarters during WWII, as a private girls camp in the late 1950’s, a hunting lodge, and as employee housing. Today, the Banning House is a twelve room bed and breakfast with a historic and warm feel and beautiful panoramic views of Two Harbors.

Getting to Banning House

The Banning House lies on the Northern end of Catalina Island. It is the only bookable stay, aside from campgrounds. To get to Banning House, one must take a boat ride to Two Harbors. The only straight shot from the coast of California is from the San Pedro Harbor. Other harbors go to Avalon on the south side of the island first, before landing on the north end. A direct boat ride takes a little over hours, while pitstops in Avalon turns it into two.

About Two Harbors

The northern part of the island is quite deserted. It’s a hiker’s paradise, with a third of the Trans-Catalina Trail starting and ending at Two Harbors in a loop. The coastline is dotted with isolated beaches, summer camps for kids, and a Boy Scouts campground. In the ‘town’ of Two Harbors, there is only one restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner. A gift shop, however, had all the foods one would need, including ice cream. There is also a rental company from which to rent kayaks, SUPs, and bikes. Summer weekends typically have live weekends and the boats from Avalon arrive at Two Harbors around 11am. My recommendation is to get your rentals as early as 9am when they open, to avoid the crowds. Then again, lunch time at the restaurant is quite fun as people dance to the live music.

What to Expect at the Stay

The Banning house sits atop a hill. A shuttle will be there to welcome you as you disembark from the boat. They will offer you and your bags a ride to the top. However, the walk isn’t far. Ten minutes is all it takes to get to the check-in door. Check-in is at 4pm and check-out is at 12 noon.

The kind staff will give you a tour of the house’s amenities upon arrival. A wrap-around porch gives scenic views of both harbors. Rickety rattan porch furniture immediately imbue the right mood. This is a place for relaxation. When we landed, current guests were just sitting on the porch looking at the view. There were no laptops or cell phones to be found. Limbs were strewn over the arms of rocking chairs, feet were propped up on glass tables. Most had coffee in hand, a father and son were playing a game of chess, and others were reading books.

There is a common indoor space which also has sweeping views of the two harbors on either side. Walking into it smells like walking into grandma’s house. Actually, it felt like stepping back in time. Bison and deer heads lined the walls, firewood sat next to the fireplace and an old cob-webbed piano sits in a corner. There is a sun-room, and shelves lined with puzzles and traditional boardgames. A few soft cover books with bent spines and yellowing pages can also be found. This isn’t a fancy place, but it’s nothing short of romantic.

The rooms are also of a similar tune. The beds are a bit on the lumpy side, the wardrobe doors creak as you open them, and the curtains remind me of lace doilies. There are two chairs by the window sill with a small foot stool. A mini fridge is found in the room, along with a full bathroom. The shower spews hot water with decent pressure. The simple appointments are really humbling. It reminds me of my youth, when times were simpler and a vacation really meant idleness.

Complimentary Meals

Perhaps one of our favorite parts about the stay are the complimentary meals. Every morning the Banning House hosts breakfast. Unlimited cereal, fruit, toast, muffins, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and ham make up the full line-up. Three juices, coffee and tea are also served. I loved waking up whenever my body told me to and slowly making my way to the breakfast bar. We literally sat on the porch looking out onto the water eating our breakfast for an hour. Then we would bring a book to our table and spend another two hours reading, looking out, and occasionally talking about whatever entered our minds.

Every afternoon, there would be wine hour from 5-6pm. Each person got two (very full) glasses of wine. You could choose from two Reds or a White. There would also be crackers, cheese, cured meats and honey. After a long day of hiking, we really looked forward to these wine hours. Exhausted from being in the sun all afternoon, we would unwind during this hour, before walking into the town restaurant for dinner.

Why I like staying at the Banning House

The Banning House is a surreal place. I love it for it’s ability to isolate. I mean, it IS on a deserted piece of island! Sitting atop the hill, it gives a bird’s-eye view of the world below. I have a different perspective when I am in a higher up location, which may be why I love hiking mountain-scapes. Things just make more sense at high altitudes. I can see, think, and feel more clearly. Plus the sound of ocean waves, sea birds, and breezy winds can’t be beat.

I also love it for its historic charm. Nothing about the home is modern, which means nothing about it makes me yearn for progress. It really gets me to slow down – quite a difficult feat. Usually, our vacations are laden with places to see, things to do, and foods to eat. This was different. Since the island had very few facts online about what the stay was going to be like, I made zero plans. I thought perhaps we could hike every day, but after tiring ourselves out with a 14-mile trek on day one, we pivoted and lounged all of day two.

Unlike other vacations which are strewn with schedules and timelines, there was no stress associated with this vacation. We just did whatever we felt like at that moment. I felt like a different person altogether. It reminded me of when my parents used to vacation in the Philippines. They laid about on the beach, went nowhere, ate snacks and drank beer. Their idea of a vacation was to eat dried mangoes and to sleep. That same simplicity is associated with this place. Perhaps that’s why it’s so special to me.

Who would like this stay

I definitely recommend this stay for young busybodies needing a break from incessant demands of modern life. The elderly will appreciate this quiet space. Parents looking for respite will find it here. Even families would love this place. During our stay, there was a multi-generational family staying with two grandparents, two parents and two kids younger than 8 years old. They went on hikes and had mealtimes together. I saw another family with two kids younger than five. They loved to throw rocks at the beach and swim in the ocean. And I saw a family with two teens. The son played chess with his dad at breakfast, the daughter told her mom about what she read in her book. It truly is a special place.

You can book the Banning House here.

Simplifying Spices with Evermill’s Gorgeous and Affordable Spice Rack

For us, the kitchen marks the centerpiece of our home. It is where we spend the most time with friends, family, and each other. Whether it be experimenting with new recipes, making our daily coffee and toast, or gathering around the island for cocktails, the kitchen is where all the good stuff happens. Naturally, it is the room I care about most when it comes to aesthetics. I obsess about minute details and organizational systems. I am forever trying to keep the heart of our home neat, tidy, and inviting.

While there is merit to having a well-designed kitchen space, I stray away from having too much stuff on the counters. Consider it a minimalist tendency. However, I do make exceptions for a few favorite appliances. Most recently, a beautiful countertop spice rack from Evermill has taken center stage. It is my favorite new addition to our home. I am absolutely in love and here is why!

Evermill Promotes Simple Living

For many years, I have struggled with organizing our tower of spices. Unlike my mother, who managed cooking for our family with only a handful of spices, I have accumulated an overwhelming number of bottles in my quest to try new recipes. Opening the kitchen pantry door became stressful. Stray bottles would teeter totter, disappearing occasionally underneath the pile. I prayed for a simpler solution and reminisced about simpler times. I thought about the pros of cooking culturally traditional recipes and considered sticking to a few staple ingredients.

Luckily, my prayers were answered by the Evermill Countertop Spice Rack. This stunning showstopper simplified my spice buying process by stocking our kitchen with essentials diversified enough to cook a variety of culinary dishes. Spices such as Sumac and Coriander Seed are accompanied by the basic Bay Leaf and Cumin. More complex blends such as Harissa and Evermill blend (which is seriously so, so good with everything) round out the collection. The complex blends are perfect for stepping up my game for days that feel a bit blah. Just sprinkle over chicken and voila!

The Spice Rack is Gorgeous

The beautiful, sturdy rack can be placed on the countertop or mounted to the wall. There is also an alternative option for drawer storage, if counter-space is limited in your kitchen. For me, the display is pretty enough to break my cardinal ‘clear-counter-top’ rule. Exuding an Aesop aesthetic, the spice containers are a deep, amber color with decent weight. A knob at the bottom of the containers keep them directionally aligned. They will always face forward, despite returning them in a rush. Engineered with wide mouth openings, they are also quite easy to refill and easy to scoop using measuring spoons. Everything about the spice rack is drool-worthy. In fact, I placed it center stage, so that it’s the first thing you see when you walk into my kitchen!

Evermill is the Perfect Wedding Gift

The minute I received the Evermill spice rack, I grabbed my phone to text my brother’s girlfriend about it. ‘This is the first thing that needs to go on a wedding registry list!’ Packaged in a beautiful white box, the Evermill Countertop Spice Rack comes with 18 spices and containers (12 if you choose the smaller core collection), plus the rack itself. There are four colors to choose from: Gunmetal, Silver, White, and Black. We went with a black colored rack for our complete set of 18 spices, and let me tell you, it is SEXY.

If this product existed when I got married, it would have been at the top of my registry list. Now, I plan to gift this to all my friends. It’s the gift they don’t realize they need. Why? Because a newly wed couple would benefit from building a habit of cooking together. Personally, cooking meals is the one task that has made my husband and I closest. It is a way for us to discover new things, be creative, and work together. More importantly, it’s nice to reap the benefits of our hard work. I’d say it’s the perfect metaphor for a successful marriage.

Eco-Friendly Evermill

One of the best things about Evermill is its commitment to less waste. I cringe whenever I have to purchase a miniscule-sized spice from the grocery store, knowing I will throw away the container in a few months. It feels equally wasteful whether the spice is packaged in plastic or glass. However, with Evermill, all spices are packaged in paper bags. And the entire collection is refillable! In its original packaging, the spices were shipped in paper bags for freshness and I have to say, filling the jars was a true joy.

The Spice Rack Offers a Great Deal

When it comes down to numbers, Evermill offers a great deal on their spice rack. Originally priced at $229, The Debtist readers can purchase the spice rack for $199 using the $30 coupon code: WELCOME30 .

As a shopper at Whole Foods and Sprouts, I can definitely say that the collection pays for itself. Purchasing the spices individually comes out to about the same price as the Complete Counter Top Rack. The brand I usually buy is Simply Organic, and these days, whole cloves run for $12.99 and bay leaves sell for $8.49. At $199 for the complete Evermill set, each spice would cost $11 through Evermill. It isn’t far off, especially when you throw specialty spices such as Sumac and Harissa in there, which are typically difficult to find and more than $11.

Mind you, this calculation is without accounting for the rack or the containers. It’s almost as if you receive the beautiful set-up and the convenience of having everything in one package for free.

The real value, though, comes in the long-haul. To refill the complete collection, it only costs $119. That brings down the average price per spice to be around $6. Considering how these spices are organic, I would call that an extremely good deal. With current inflation rates, who knows what spice prices will be like in the markets a few months from now. If I could buy high-quality, organic spices at $6 a piece, I would be quite content.

Evermill has leveled up our cooking experience

We can’t discount the fact that the new spice rack makes me want to cook more. Experimenting with spices and adding them to our dishes is very enjoyable. Nowadays we sprinkle sumac liberally over our salads, rub the Evermill blend whole-heartedly onto our chicken, and toss coriander seeds like confetti in brine. Our cooking experience has leveled up since getting Evermill. Not to mention, it eliminated walking to and from the pantry to grab spices. We simply reach over next to the stove and put the spices back right away. It’s a game-changer.

Level up your cooking regimen today by investing in Evermill’s Complete Counter Top Rack. From a cooking fanatic, trust me when I say I will never go back!

This post was sponsored by Evermill, who kindly gifted our home the complete counter top rack in black. The thoughts and opinions are my own. The links are affiliate links which will help support this space through commissions. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this space.

30 Activities to Get Out of a Rut

I would be the first to admit that sometimes, I fall into a rut. It could be hitting a creative wall or experiencing burnout from work and personal life. Either way, I find that the best way to get out of a rut is to do something else. I have a list of activities that I pull from to get me out of my funk. Something as simple as stepping away from the page, going outside for fresh air, or looking out a window can do the trick. Other times, it requires a bit more energy. Swimming laps, going for a hike, or chatting with a friend are other great ideas.

A rut, by the way, is different from the blues. I wrote about how to shake the January blues earlier this year. I liken the blues to sadness and ruts to feelings of lackluster. Sadness can be combated with activities that add vitality, whereas ruts are best fought with inspirational moments. Sometimes these activities align, but not always. Speaking of inspiration, here is a post I wrote about freeing oneself from a rut. Here are my favorite activities to get out of a rut.

30 activities to get out of a rut

  1. Go on a walk/hike/run/swim/bike ride.
  2. Bask in the sunlight.
  3. Be outdoors.
  4. Look for nature.
  5. Breathe fresh air.
  6. Listen to music.
  7. Read a book.
  8. Watch a movie.
  9. Color or do art.
  10. Fly a kite.
  11. Throw a ball.
  12. Chat with a friend.
  13. Tidy the home.
  14. Plan something exciting.
  15. Doodle.
  16. Make lists.
  17. Do any sort of physical activity.
  18. Play pretend.
  19. Mediate.
  20. Hang upside down.
  21. Drink a cup of coffee.
  22. Drink more water.
  23. Garden or Farm.
  24. Cuddle with a pet.
  25. Cook or bake something.
  26. Try crafts.
  27. Go bird watching.
  28. Sleep.
  29. Go on a retreat.
  30. Learn something new.

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Dear College Kid: Stay Frugal As Long As Possible

Dear College Kid is a series I write to my younger self. I would send them too, if I could somehow teleport myself via time machine to my late teens and early twenties. I hope other college kids find these letters, and garner some foresight that I myself had lacked. It’s not finance advice by any means, but rather, personal anecdote. Still. I hope it changes lives.

I remember what it was like to live as a college student. Those who paid their way without a free ride to college would agree: the finance part of it was brutal. Rationing out food, opting to buy the cheapest groceries, and looking for ways to save on rent was part of my college experience. It’s like living paycheck-to-paycheck. You may not realize it now, but much of college is about learning to flex your frugal muscles. While that may sound horrific, I think there is a benefit to learning this skill. In fact, I would even go so far as to say, stay frugal as long as possible, even after graduation.

There are many ways in which my lifestyle today looks similar to my college days. Erase drinking cheap booze, the bad habits of staying up at night and eating cheap food and the books. But, the way I spend my days and money now are quite similar to how I did then. Although some people will think that’s sad, I don’t agree. Why? Because I’m in it for the long-haul. And like most long-term endeavors, it pays to bootstrap at the beginning. Spend less, pay back debts, invest more, and talent stack while building your empire.

Since you’ve had excellent practice living with less in college, why not take those soft skills and use them to build wealth? The biggest mistake college grads do is succumb to lifestyle creep. It’s a very real thing. I wrote before the real reason doctors can’t pay back their student debt: because they won’t.

Here are my top frugal life hacks:

By the way, the ULTIMATE LIST of things I have given up in the name of frugality can be found here.

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