Do you believe that to live within your means is not the best idea?
It sounds ridiculous, isn’t it?
You probably heard of this advice, “Live within your means man!”
Do you practice it today or you live over your means? But regardless of your answer, living below your means is not the best idea to live life.
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Let me tell you my story
Once upon a time, I work in the BPO industry. The pay was really good. Above industry.
I was sending money away home for my father, for my brother, and for my girlfriend (To pay her debts because of me. It’s a long story to tell.)
I was really living within my income. It’s easy to save. As I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. And I don’t go out to party.
Also, I don’t spend a lot on personal things.
To practice the living below my means was not an issue. I was happy about it.
But…it’s not a happy ending as you would expect.
I marry my 10-year girlfriend
My girlfriend and I decided to get married after ten years of being single. And we wanted a decent wedding at the church and a nice reception.
Where we can invite our friends, relatives, and friends of our friends.
We saved enough for our plans. And there you go, a nice beautiful wedding day.
Fabulous. Awesome. Perfect day for us.
The sad thing?
We exhausted our savings and we have to save again.
As a newlywed couple, we decided to have a baby soon than to delay.
Our first baby was born. This is the moment. A newfound family.
My wife decided to stop working and to focus on taking care of our son.
I realized, having a family is expensive. My twenty thousand income can easily be wiped out by the rising cost of diapers, milk, and vitamins of my baby.
Plus the beauty maintenance of my beautiful wife.
Truth be told, she could not maintain her beauty anymore as the money went more for the baby.
I pity her. She could hardly budget our money.
We REALLY live within our means but still so broke
The pain of having not enough money continues. No matter how I tried to live within our means. My income as a call center agent was not enough!
We were totally living a simple life. No fancy clothes, no travel, no dates, no extra cost or anything. Overwhelmingly simple, right?
But still, we’re having trouble to save for the future of our family. Like setting aside for an emergency fund and invest to variable insurance products for family’s protection and future savings.
My wife budgeted our money so tight. That we’re almost choked to death to budgeting.
We’re doing the same thing over and over again.
Budget. Budget. Budget the same income. And it didn’t improve our lives.
I think we’re going insane doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein was right when he said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.”
Should we continue to live within our means or expand our means?
Obviously, we don’t want to go insane.
Living below our means doesn’t work anymore. And I seriously decided to expand our means than trying to discipline ourselves to live within our means all the time.
It’s time to grow my income!
Now, going abroad is really out in the equation.
It is not the ultimate solution for me. I believe there is gold in the Philippines.
Initially, I only knew two ways to expand my means: to get promoted from my job…or resign and apply to another company who offers a higher pay.
However, those two options would only give me a little increase. And the former won’t be immediate.
Eureka! I know another route, and I think it’s a better solution and would help double my income. Fast.
To work at home and become a virtual assistant.
I resigned and went home
I waited for five years to stay from my former company to get the early retirement benefits.
Which is not that big. But, it’s a good start to live the new chapter of my life.
Before my resignation, I read a lot about online opportunities. And I got caught at work opening non-related work websites. I received a final warning memo. Too bad.
I was too desperate. That I even use the company time to read as much as I can about starting a virtual career.
But finally, I resigned and went home.
I was able to save a little and get a low-cost housing in my hometown for my family.
This was actually my plan in preparation to start a career online when I get home. I read that it’s easy to install an internet connection when you own your own home.
Bad news but still good news!
My plans to become a virtual assistant was delayed.
While I was in Cebu, we allowed our house in Gensan to get rented in the meantime since my wife doesn’t want to live there with our baby without a company.
But the unexpected good news came! The tenant decided to vacate the place and terminate our contract early.
From Davao city (As I temporary applied for work there after I left Cebu), I resigned from my new company.
(I only work there for a month. Very short stint.)
I hurriedly went home and starts to live with my family.
Coincidentally, another BPO work was offered to me in Gensan, my hometown. I grabbed it temporarily. This is to keep the income flowing. While I was still in the process setting things up to work at home.
I knew it’s not gonna be quick to get clients online.
My company in Gensan folded up quickly
While I worked in Gensan, I went back again broke. I only got paid for P14,000 a month. Though the pay was quite good for a person living in my hometown city, it didn’t do any good to me as a family man.
Yes, being a family man, I have more recurring monthly bills.
Remember, my P20,000 salary before didn’t do much for my family, right? How much more with the P14,000?
And this exacerbates when my company shuts down. I was losing my income and don’t have enough savings yet.
What should I do?
What I did, I borrowed some money to my sister to seriously start a career online. I bought a new laptop and installed the internet.
I applied massively online. Luckily, in less than two weeks I found two good paying clients.
The company closure was a blessing in disguise. Because I left with no choice but to pursue a full-time job online. As I don’t want to go back to the BPO industry again.
And I began to really love the setup being with my family most of the time.
The expansion of means now started
The goal of expanding my means and be with my family is the greatest force of all within me to fulfill my goals.
Seriously, the love for my family. To give them a better life. And to think for their bright future, they’re the biggest reasons to double my effort with my online applications.
With my hard work, it bears fruit.
Today, we have more than enough for our expenses, able to set aside savings for an emergency fund, and able to throw little perks in life like food, entertainment, and clothing.
These things are giving me more inspiration every day to continue what I’m doing today.
The expansion of my means has just started. There are more plans I have yet to come true. Like starting my offline business ideas.
How about you?
What are your plans to expand your means or income?
There are lots of options: to get promoted at work, change career, start a virtual career or start a business online and offline.
To live below your means is a good idea.
But that’s not the best idea… IF YOU REALLY WANT TO LIVE THE LIFE YOU EVER WANTED.