Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let's Talk About Money & Biz Probs: A Candid "You Shouldn't Talk About This" Post

Being candid about money is a trait of the successful, or so I often read. Two years ago I shared what I paid on every single piece of merchandise and many reported this was a favorite element of the blog, but it was very intrusive. This was before I was on Etsy, readers e-mailed me if they saw something on the blog they'd like to buy. Sometimes my necessary mark-ups pissed off readers/supporters. ("Didn't you get that for a dollar?! I'm not buying this!") So I stopped. I may never resume that kind of over-share. But I do want to make some things public to hold myself accountable.

I've always been exceptionally good at squirreling away money, when I was earning my highest wage I spent more than I would now, but savings would always stay in the 5 figures. My expenses were much higher living without a roomie and even helping support a boyfriend at the time, I wouldn't go back and change a thing but sometimes I wonder how much I could still have in savings if I'd have been as pedantically frugal as I was before and after that time.

Working for myself created a mindset change surrounding savings I'd never had before. The only fulfillment from jobs before was from the money and not the work itself, so building up a large pile of savings with like a game. The more I had the more I was "winning." I also saw it as insurance for my often-dreamed-of self-employed future.

It's said that once your basic needs are met, money does very little to affect happiness. I like to tell this to people stuck working a job they hate because it's so very true.  Now that I'm fulfilled doing exactly what I want every day the earnings hasn't mattered as long as needs were met, because of this I let sales languish for a portion of 2013  and my savings took a big hit. I'm working at building it back up again. Working for myself has re-taught me that money is just that, it's needed to live at a certain lifestyle but it's not more important than happiness. At the same time, It's imperative I make enough to live healthily and put money away in saving for the uncertain future.

You also learn the importance of saying "no" to someone who will pay you too little or to anyone asking for deals. You can't be too nice, and you have to consistently work really hard. You have to sacrifice weekends and vacations. You do at least a little work every single day. Despite record sales it was definitely an off year for me and I'm ready to save and earn as much as possible again.

If there's a writer/blogger/seller/artist/store/restaurant/cafe you really enjoy, don't forget to support it to keep it around. These are hard times and kind words are always appreciated but they don't pay the bills. If even a small percentage of store browsers/blog readers bought a little something occasionally it would make a world of difference to help someone not live paycheck-to-paycheck or from their savings but thrive. Most of us are not trying to get rich, we enjoy complete freedom and less responsibility that never comes with trying to be a millionaire. We just want to live without fear, live reasonably. I'm going to be putting out a lot of product into 2014 (indie biz help planners, eBooks, art prints and pieces). I hope if you truly like anything you see you won't hesitate to support and help this brand be successful.

I love Thrift Core and I'm not going anywhere and I love the readers (you! Thank you!) and helping people but I have to admit thoughts of deleting it all have crossed my mind when I feel like the support isn't there. I can take my business too personally, and it can be very isolating. I may post specifics about savings and my progress putting thousands away throughout the year and maybe honest sales repots but I'm not sure yet. Comments will be off on this post as will be the policy for now on weekend posts but do feel free to send me an E-mail or Instagram/Facebook/Twitter message if you wanna talk about anything or let me know if the income/savings sharing post would be something you'd really want to read. 

To any and all who comment, e-mail, buy items from my Southern Crossing Antique Mall booth and Etsy store, I appreciate it SO MUCH. Every kind word, e-mail, comment, and purchase makes my day and directly supports me, I don't even have enough words to thank everyone for it.Thanks for reading along, and letting me get that off my chest. It helps me realize how grateful I am to even have savings, no major ailments, and to be truly making a living doing what I love. It really is a dream and satisfying every day even when it's difficult.
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