The Frugal Mastermind
July 31, 2013 2 Comments
My name is Michael Finger, and I am a Frugal Mastermind.
When people ask me what I do for a living, that is my standard answer. That, or “Poor Musician”. Either way though, I believe that a lot of people on this planet have their priorities backwards, and so, I’m here to help.
The first course in my Master’s Program on Frugality, is Philosophy.
Seriously, take a good look at what you want. You don’t have to sit full lotus and meditate, but, definitely find a nice quiet place, and a nice comfortable position to sit in, and FIGURE IT OUT.
5 bucks says that eventually, you will come up with “Happiness.”
Some of you might start off with Mercedes, Mansion, girl/boyfriend, or even stability, freedom, etc etc. Ultimately though, you want those things because you think they will make you happy.
Well, I love to break it to you, but happiness is a state of mind, and it is totally inward. Happiness is a mental state, and is experienced by you internally ; no matter what happens outside, you still have control over what is going on inside. You can win a car and not be happy, but you can’t be happy and not be happy. Think about it…
So instead of saying that you want this, this, and this, identify that what you really want is happiness.
This is important in becoming a frugal mastermind, because you have to learn how to be happy without a lot of material things. For me, money is useful for a basic living situation, and food. If you have those two things, learn to appreciate them fully, because there are millions of people currently alive on this planet who don’t.
My second bit of coursework is Math.
Check out this simple formula that I came up with. It’s called “The Frugal Living Equation”.
X ≥ Y
Where X is the amount of money you have, and Y is the amount of money you spend.
It’s that simple. That is everything you need to know in order to do your own accounting. Make sure that you have more money coming in than going out.
Now here is the fun part. In order to be a frugal Mastermind like myself, you must SYSTEMATICALLY ATTACK Y!!!
In our society, there is WAY too much focus on X.
Society has instilled in your head since birth that
Success = High paying job.
This is so far from the truth it’s outrageous. Success is judged by what you set out to do. As far as I’m concerned ; Being successful is being happy and not hurting anyone in the process. (Bonus points for helping people.)
Now, for the Y attacking, or, sticking to our school theme, Recess. (Yes, this masters program has recess.)
Firstly, the next time you say that you’re bored, I hope you hear my voice saying “You are unimaginative,” Because you would have to be in order to be bored. Your imagination is infinite, which means there are an infinite amount of free things you can do at any given moment!
Here is a list of what I do for fun and how much it costs:
Play guitar : Free
Record music : Free
Do research, watch YouTube lectures/videos, read books online, Facebook, G-mail, internet stuff in general : about 15 dollars a month for internet
Watch the sunset from my secret spot : 1 dollar in gas per visit
–You can see all my sunset pictures on my Instagram
Meditate : Free
Play Candy Crush (as much as I hate to admit it) : Free
Study Astronomy: Free
And the list goes on and on. These activities alone could keep me occupied for centuries, but if I ever needed more, I have more in reserve.
Think about how much “Y” could be reduced if you bring fun down to 20 dollars a month.
Also, The music and writing makes me money sometimes as well, so that takes my fun cost close to zero, and eventually, hopefully, it will bring me to a place where I generate income with things I enjoy doing.
Another great way to reduce Y, is to learn how to cook. (I guess I’ll call this Home Ec.)
Here’s how I learned; I thought about every single dish I love to eat. I thought long and hard about what I would order at a restaurant if it had an infinite menu. I made a list. Then, I went online, and between YouTube and internet searches, found and compared multiple recipes and techniques, and by trial and error, learned my own way to do it.
Cooking your own food has two huge benefits;
1. You know exactly what you’re eating and can regulate what goes into your body easier. This (if you desire) can lead to a healthier diet.
2. You will save a huge amount of money.
I would estimate, that if you made the transition from eating out for every meal, to cooking every meal, it would cost you around 1/4th as much. That is A LOT OF SAVINGS.
And the last thing I will discuss on today’s coursework, is Time-Management.
For most people, time management can be broken down into two categories; time spent busting your ass, and free time.
Most of us can agree that we want all free time and no busting your ass time. Well then, I guess we have a definite goal in mind; try and shift the ratio as much as you possibly can in favor of free time.
The way you do that, is by following my methods. If you can get your costs down to as little as possible, than you will not have to spend 40 hours a week doing something you don’t want to do.
40 hours a week! That is a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t want to do… I haven’t tangent-ed too badly on this post, but, real quick, if you are in a 9-5 situation, and you hate it, GET OUT OF THERE!!!!! You are a strong-willed creature, and can manifest anything you want. If you know that you want to stop working at your dead-end job, than find a way, and stop.
Right now, my yearly costs are somewhere around 4-8 thousand dollars, and because of that, I have been able to get by for the last two years on very small amounts of work. In total, I’d say I spent about 2-3 months a year working for the past two years.
The rest of my time is spent doing things that I love to do. Fortunately for me, most of these things are productive in one way or another, and some of them even make me money.
Which brings me to my next point;
Above, I said that these two categories apply to MOST people. For SOME lucky people, (and I urge you to attempt to become one of these lucky people), the two categories are not time spent busting your ass, and free time…but instead, time generating income doing what you love, and free time.
Finding a way to do what you love and make money with it is one of the greatest accomplishments you can achieve in this society. If you can do this, than you are already way ahead of the game.
The way to become one of these lucky people, is simply to go back to the place of contemplation you chose in the philosophy section, and search your soul for what you love to do the most ; you’re “calling”, if you will.
Whether it be humanitarian work, sports management, athlete, doctor, teacher, musician, writer, actor/actress, astronaut, or literally any other thing that you TRULY LOVE TO DO, I guarantee there is a way to make a living with it. I don’t know the origin of the following statement, but it’s beautiful, true, and applies perfectly to this paragraph : “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Well, this concludes my first lesson in Frugality.
I hope you consider enrolling in my program! Your diploma won’t get you a job, but it might just help you become totally content!
Which would you prefer?