Friday, October 15, 2010

The Bare Minimum

Lately I've been doing the bare minimum when it comes to writing. I'm just doing enough to keep up with my quotas at Suite and AC. I've also not posted quite as much on my blogs. This is because I just started teaching a jewelry-making class and I am working to produce new jewelry pieces for the One of a Kind show in Chicago this December.

Granted, freelance writing is nice in the fact that it allows you to scale down your work load when necessary. That said, I wish that I could find the time to just double my bare minimum because it's always better to write sooner rather than later. This is because older articles tend to rank better in Google searches. Residual writing is like banking because the more you invest early, the more you'll reap in the end.

So even though it is sometimes necessary to just fulfill your minimum requirements for writing, it is never wise to signifigantly lesson your production for a long period of time. I'm hoping to offset my current lull with my own personal writing challenge in January. I'm going to try to write 60 articles in 30 days to kick off the new year and kick my residual earnings into full gear.

In keeping with the idea of the bare minimum, I should point out that less can also be a good thing, especially when you're self-employed. It's important to know what you can live without and arrange your life to cater to your real necessities. This will allow you to save money and thrive, even in financially lean months.

Even though I could cut back more, I have eliminated quite a bit of excess spending in my life. Perhaps the best way I eliminated waste was to clean my closet. I found clothes that I didn't know I owned. If I look in my closet I can honestly say that I don't need to purchase any more clothes for the year. I can get by with the clothes that I have and change up my look with inexpensive accessories such as belts and scarves.

I also cut and color my own hair. Instead of spending $60+ at the salon, I spend around $7 and do my hair at home. It's not as hard as one might think and there are many Youtube tutorials to help you cut and style your hair. If you have the courage, you might be surprised at your results. I'm quite pleased with mine.

I also cancelled my cable. I hated Comcast anyway and the channels would always hiccup and fizzle. I now go with a Roku player. The Roku player costs around $50 and offers a number of free Internet channels such as Newscaster, which shows all the network news shows such as Rachel Maddow and CNN with Anderson Cooper. It also offers Netflix, Amazon OnDemand, and Hulu Plus. Who needs cable with all of that?

There are lots of ways to cut costs at home. If you're having problems thinking of ways, try some of these:
  • Make and take your own coffee in a thermos. It's probably better than Starbucks and at a fraction of the cost.
  • Grow your own vegetables.
  • Eat in more. Cut down your eating out to once a month or once a week if you eat out often.
  • Use to cut coupons for food shopping.
  • Drop your phone's data plan. Instead of spending $80 for a data plan, get a $30 talk plan. You can even purchase a used smartphone and still use the apps with WiFi.
  • Shop with a list and stick to it. (This one's hard for me)
  • Drop the gym membership. Excercise by running or walking outside. When it gets cold, do excercise DVDs inside. You could even go to classes or get a cheaper membership at a community center rather than a commercial gym.
  • Refinance your house. Though this may not be for everyone, the record low interests rates make refinancing very desirable. Talk to a lender and make sure you get a fixed rate and that your monthly bills would be signifigantly reduced.
Hopefully these tips can help you cut the fat from your daily expenses. Though it's difficult, I try to use the bare minimum while working as much as I can (withouth burning out). This is the best way I have of making my dream of being my own boss work for me. Eventually I can start working a bit less and spending a bit more, but now it's work time.

What do you go without in order to work from home?

1 comment:

  1. Lots of excellent tips there - I too have a problem sticking to a shopping list!