It’s Not Always About Making Money

Making MoneyMost of us involved in blogging or affiliate marketing certainly dream about making the big bucks we hear other bloggers are making. Who wouldn’t want to make $25,000 to $50,000 or more per month? Sure, the money is nice, but have you stopped to ask yourself though, what it is you really want?

For me, working at home was the most important thing when it came to earning an income. Three years ago I had a great job that paid very well while working as a graphic artist. Designing Yellow Pages advertising was a lot of fun. However, I still had someone telling me how I was going to live my life when it came to vacations, taking time off and general scheduling of my life. Even though the pay was great, not being in control of my lifestyle was what really bothered me.

My wife is the same way. When she was finishing up her masters degree in counseling she worked at a group home in Orlando and needed to go home from Florida to Maine to be at her brother’s wedding. After informing her boss of this situation, he told her she didn’t have the time to take off, to which she exclaimed, “No you don’t understand, I am taking the time off, I was just letting you know.” She of course, went to the wedding. But she determined at that moment that she just wasn’t going to let someone dictate the scheduling of her life.

Both my wife and I now work from home, for the most part. She does have 2 offices for her counseling practice, but when she isn’t seeing clients, she’s working right beside me (actually behind me) at the home office. However, we didn’t get to this place in our lives because we make a lot of money, we don’t. Money has never been the most important consideration in our lifestyle, freedom is.

We were fortunate enough to pay off our house around 7 or 8 years ago because that was in the master plan and because of my wife’s diligence. She has never wanted to be a slave to a boss, or to the things that make you a slave, and she planned for that many years ago. We poured money into paying off our home instead of owning stuff.

In preparing for the both of us being able to work at home we had the mindset that whatever it was going to take we would be work at home entrepreneurs and “retired” long before the traditional age of “old age”. Now, this may come as a shock to you, but to be able to do this, we haven’t spent money like the average American does. There is a credit sickness in the United States and we don’t care to participate in it.

We never carry a credit card balance over to the next month, ever. We have the basic $15 per month cable TV, and still think that’s too expensive for 22 channels (and 4 in a language we don’t speak). We don’t own iPods, a big screen TV or more than 1 computer each (although I would like a laptop). I’ve never purchased any music online, not even a 99 cent iTune and I buy maybe 1 CD every 6 months. I’ve owned only 1 new vehicle in my life and our second car is an 89 Toyota Corolla with 160,000 miles on it.

We live by the general rule that if we don’t have the money for something, we don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that.

I’m just letting you know that because much of the stuff of life isn’t important to us. It’s the substance that is important. Driving a new vehicle every 2 or 3 years wouldn’t be exciting to me if I had to drive it to the office every day to make the corporate officers and stockholders of the former BellSouth rich. That just isn’t that way I want to live my life.

Obviously, you are the one that has to decide what you want to do with your life, how you want to live it and how you want to spend your money. It doesn’t cost all that much to live, you just have to decide where your priorities are. Are you working for freedom, or the latest iPod, MacBook Air, a bigger TV and your next car?

You might just decide that the goal of working at home isn’t all that far off.


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13 Responses to “It’s Not Always About Making Money”

  1. Great insight on life, Alan. I’m a sucker for the stories :D. I also tend to agree that we get all caught up in the money aspects of blogging instead of the many other benefits, like what you said…freedom. I feel the same way as you do…money is of course great, but there’s nothing like being your own boss. I’m not at that level yet where I can do away with the “unnecessary” spending (what can I say, I like my toys! :D), but you are really a great example of what setting your goals and staying focused.

    Take care and good luck!

  2. Giun, Thanks for the comments. Some toys are definitely cool but watch out for them, they will get you!

  3. Hubby and I have started losing interest in “stuff”. We still buy our toys, but we’re much choosier now. More or less, they have to mean something to us or provide a valuable function before we’ll buy. We’d be saving a lot of money this way if our cost of living expenses weren’t going up at the same time.

    But freedom is the goal. At least for me. Hubby is perfectly happy with having 3 weeks vacation (I only get two), but I need to be in control of my own life, and saying “some day” is getting old.

  4. Yes, that someday just never seems to come. That’s why you just have to go and get it.

  5. Alan, this is a great post and much respect for you and your wife for staying true to yourselves. We gave up a beautiful 2 story home 3 yrs back and got us a little trailer on two acres of land in the country but it was what our hearts desired. So, I tease people that I am trailer trash, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My husband was able to build a nice gargage here and finally start his own motorcycle shop and because of his ill health, he can work at his own pace. I’ve set a goal that this is going to be the year for me to break into the internet marketing and I think I’m doing good so far thanks to blogs like yours and others that keep it real and teach alot. I am thankful for that. I still read the big guns but I’m also realistic about what I can do. So thanks for keeping it real and honest.

  6. Thanks for reading Terri and thanks for the link!

  7. I’d pay the extra and get the Food Channel. Without that, you’re even wasting the $15/month. What’s even on those lower channels? Besides football, I mean.

    How do you live without the inspiration of Chef Ramsey? Or Bobby Flay? And don’t even get me started on the wonderful benefits of a DVR – only $6/month with digital cable from Brighthouse. I save 15 minutes of every hour of TV by skipping commercials.

  8. We all have our different goals regarding blogging. It was nice to have opportunity to learn, what your goals are. I am still trying to get to the point, where blogging would cover all my blogging, taiji and photography related expenses.
    Of course photography and taiji related expenses are bit vague in a sense that there are lot of nice taiji camps in places like Rome, Paris, French Riviera, … and there is always one more lens that would be so sweet to own. :)

  9. I definitely enjoy reading your point of view, Alan. Leading a fulfilling life is always key…so many people get caught up in the pursuit of money and riches that they begin to forget about other areas of life!

  10. Very inspirational post to those people hoping to live off of what they do. I agree with you that you don’t need to spend money on all that junk, however I think that is the reason why a lot of people want to be rich. Personally I would prefer to keep doing what I love, rather than work a job that pays better but which I hate. Work is too time consuming for you not to enjoy it…

  11. Thats a great post, I personally started working from home when my wife’s grandmother had health problems and couldn’t live alone any more. At first it was a huge change, but now I really enjoy blogging and running my furniture website.

  12. Alan I almost forgot why I got into making money online but I’m glad I stopped by and read this post. It helped me realized that at times my mind wanders and just wants to chase all this money on the internet but freedom and control was the real reason I started.
    I like the way you think…

  13. Thanks for the encouragement yoyocash! Nice surfing shot on your blog header by the way.

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