Start With Why

In the book “Start With Why”, Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

So here we are at the start of all things (all things Finding Frugality anyway), and I think it’s appropriate to start with my “why”. I mean there are a google of financial blogs out there so why start my own?

I’m 29 years old and will turn 30 in a few months. The number of years I have been alive on this planet categorizes me as a “millennial”. Millennials on average graduate from college with  about $37,000 in debt and carry an average credit card debt of a little under $6,000. This is a rare instance where I long to be considered average.

Instead, I’d be considered “above average”. As of today, I have around $70,000 of student loan debt (which purchased a degree I don’t use today) and around $10,000 of credit card debt. Typing the numbers on the screen just made me realize the magnitude of it all. I’ve always been in denial. Oh, and did I mention my fiancee and I just achieved the American Dream of taking on a mortgage?

Anyway, I think I veered off course and got lost for a paragraph or two. I said I would start with why, but I just gave you the “what” (my debt) and “how” (how I accumulated all of it). I guess I’ll  END with “why” instead. I decided to start this blog to document my journey to financial freedom. Ever since I can remember, frugality has always been a foreign concept to me. Who wants to be a spendthrift when you can enjoy all the trappings of materialism? Whether out of desire, necessity or a mixture of both, I’ve finally realized that I’ve lived too long without seeking to understand what a life of frugality can bring.  So here is the first step on my journey to mastering money, living a minimalist lifestyle, and finding frugality.

4 Replies to “Start With Why”

  1. This is a baby boomer responding to this wise millennial, one who is looking at life with such a clear vision. Yes, like any other millennial, you grew up with the neatest tech invention and coolest fashion all around and calling your name. And like any other millennial, you believed you “needed” it. Your humongous college debt is a result of you seeking education for a bright future. Were you wrong in accumulating all your debt??? I don’t think so. I think accumulating your debt will now enable you to learn at a young age how to live as a minimalist. You have begun to look at life from a young age to evaluate what is really “needed.” You will benefit later in life from the sacrifices you make now. I can share this with experience. You see, I came from a family of 5. My father worked in construction, my mother babysat at home. Needless to say, I did not come from money. I sometimes envied my friends who had more (material things) than I did. Intentional or not, my parents gave me a gift, the drive to save. I began working, cleaning classrooms after school, from the 8th grade and worked ever since. In adulthood, although I could afford to buy things I wanted, I only did so if it was on sale. My being “poor” was a part of me. I continued to save and live frugally on myself (but always tried to be generous to others.) Today, I am fortunate to be a retired “lady of leisure” and will be able to adjust easily to my pension which will be less than the salary I had, knowing that I have my savings and investments to allow me to enjoy life and share with others. You will reap the benefits of your sacrifices today in your years to come! OMG, I didn’t plan on leaving such a long comment. It just rolled off my fingers.😉

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words of wisdom and congratulations on becoming a “lady of leisure”! You’re right to say your parents gave you a gift and I’d say the the gift of being driven to save is so much more valuable today given the financial times we live in. My Mom tried to impart that same wisdom on me when I was a kid but I was too busy trying to fit in with the “Joneses”. All these years later I am fortunate to have finally had my eyes opened to the lesson but I only wish it had happened sooner. For now, I can only aspire to live frugally for myself so that I can give generously to other as you have. May you continue to bless those that have experienced your selflessness:)

  2. When reading your article, it made me think about the TEDx talk that Simon Sinek gave. I watched it in one of my leadership classes and we’re learning about the “why” in life and how great leaders inspire action. You are truly an inspiration to me. I have always admired how you’re able to keep such a positive outlook on life even with each challenge a new day brings and continue to be driven each and every day. Keep up the awesome work! You’re amazing!

    Here’s the link to the TEDx talk in case you wanted to watch it (but you already learned it through his book): https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action/up-next

    1. Stacie, thank you for your kind words and the link to his Tedx talk! I actually learned about it there first before listening to the book on Audible. I am far from amazing by myself, everything that I am is nothing but a result of lessons learned from family (blood and extended) and from reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching motivational videos on youtube. Outside of your education in the classroom, I encourage you to never stop seeking knowledge and personal development. Someday you’ll be a great leader in all areas of life!

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