I’m in my late-30’s and sooner or later I’ll be 40, and before I even notice it, I’ll be 50, and so on. Time flies so fast and as I grow older, I’m finally getting clearer on what I want to be and what I want to have in my life. I just want a chill and live a worry-free life, don’t we all? That’s why when I first heard about lifestyle design years ago, I have been experimenting with a variety of ways on how to earn a living.
I know that earning a living is just one aspect of lifestyle design. However, in our modern society, it’s one of the most important aspects that we should all think about.
What is Lifestyle Design?
Lifestyle design simply means redesigning your life to fit your wants and needs and this includes careful management of your main resources – time, energy, and finances.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t grow up with an idea that I could design my life. As far as I could remember, I was just trying to crawl my way out of poverty. I was still following the main template of almost everyone I know – which is to become an employee until I reach my retirement age of 65.
It was only when I started meeting a variety of people on my trips abroad (because of the previous employments) that I realized that there are so many other ways to live this life.
How I Lived in the Past 30+ Years
Just like everyone else, I went to school, got a degree, and joined the workforce until I got literally sick and very tired of it and started dabbling in solopreneurship.
Prior to becoming a solopreneur, I was just like everyone else, an employee in an offshore company in my country. I usually work long hours on a daily basis and every now and then, I was also asked to report on weekends.
For the longest time, it really felt that I didn’t own myself and I just have to follow a schedule given to me in exchange for the monthly salary that I get.
Because of the demands of my previous jobs, my first and last thought on a daily basis is basically my work deliverables. Sometimes, I even get wake-up calls in the middle of the night to respond to a work-related emergency email or call.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my previous companies because basically, I have a clear understanding of how a profit-oriented company works – to profit. And, I was lucky to have met so many kind-hearted and amazing people in the offices that I worked for in the past.
Also, I know that I wasn’t forced to join them anyway. I was the one who sent my resume, went to the interview, and got the job.
However, a lingering question never stopped bothering me in all those years, I kept asking myself – Is this it?
Is this what I will have to do until I reach 65?
What if I don’t reach my retirement age just like a couple of my closest friends who died in their 20’s? So, that’s it?
Or what if I die and the last thing I have on my mind is my office tasks and deliverables just like one of my colleagues in my previous job who died while she was prepping to go to work?
This can’t be just it, right? There must be alternative ways to earn a living and to live our lives.
Unexpected Transition to a Possible Option that I Wasn’t Even Aware of in the Past
In the past couple of years, I finally got the courage to leave employment and try my hands on solopreneurship. I have been selling online as a hobby for years prior to leaving my last job. I was really fond of buying and selling clothes until it reached the point when I realized that I could actually make it as my full-time source of income (pre-pandemic).
I wasn’t earning as much as I was earning when I was still employed, but, I wasn’t also working very long hours anymore. I also don’t get emails nor calls in the middle of the night demanding an immediate response.
For the first time in my life, it felt like I own myself and I don’t need to follow anyone’s schedule nor do I need to live my life based on a set of schedules set by whoever.
I don’t want to paint a picture that solopreneurship is easy because it isn’t. Solo entrepreneurship also entails hard work and long hours depending on how big you want your business to grow.
However, one of the perks of becoming a solopreneur is that you own your time, and you’re the one in charge of how you want to manage your productivity. So that means, you have a more flexible schedule because you don’t report to anyone anymore and you’re not achieving a target set by someone else.
I don’t think solopreneurship though is the answer to how I want to live my life in the next few years, but I believe that this is the transition to what I want to achieve.
As life leads me further down the rabbit hole, I encountered people who are aiming for something similar and it prompted me to create this blog – Thrifty Hustler so I could use this as a platform to interact and to surround myself with like-minded individuals.
And thanks to the internet, I discovered the world of Personal Finance and I learned a variety of ways to achieve the kind of life that I have been dreaming of.
Steps I’m Taking to Redesign my Life
I’m still far away from the kind of life that I am dreaming of – which is a financially independent life. But because of the things that I have learned from other people who are also working towards something similar (and also to the ones that already have achieved it), it has become clearer for me how to achieve this as well for myself.
Here are some steps that I’m currently taking to redesign my life.
Enjoy the Now
The deaths of people very close to me made me realized early in my life that the only time I have is NOW. And even if I’ll be working towards my dream of living a financially independent life, I will continue to enjoy my day-to-day living. Luckily, my current source of income enables me to have a flexible schedule.
Continue Living a Frugal Life
I believe that living a frugal life is one of the keys to achieving a financially independent life. At this age, I’m now quite aware of what is an important purchase and what is not.
However, I am still aware that there are still so many ways on how to live frugally without feeling deprived and I’m working towards learning those as well.
Save, Save and Save Money
Despite the drastic decline in my online sales due to the pandemic, I still make it to a point to set aside a portion of my income regardless of how small it is.
Grow Money by Investing
I’m new to investing and so far, I have opened savings accounts with digital banks so I can take advantage of their high interest rate. I also tried investing via GSave and recently, I’m also investing in cryptocurrency via various exchanges – Binance, Kucoin, Gate.io, and Crypto.com. My holdings are still quite small but I intend to grow them in the succeeding months.
I’m also planning to get myself into dividend investing in the near future so I can earn some dividends as well.
My family and I are discussing getting a small plot of land in the near future so we can plant some veggies and some fruit trees and perhaps dabble in backyard poultry or aquaponics. If there’s one thing that we have learned in this pandemic, it’s that, there’s no harm in securing your own food source.
When this happens, this will greatly minimize our food expenditure and this will also be beneficial to the well-being of my aging parents because they will be able to live in the rural area with cleaner air, organically grown food, and bigger spaces than what they’re used to in the city.
Things consistently change and with the advent of technology and new ways to earn a living is becoming more possible regardless of our physical location.
I don’t get to discuss this with my friends. I tried once though but they said that it’s difficult and that they don’t know if they want to redesign their lives which honestly didn’t surprise me. To each his own I guess. We have different preferences in life and that’s ok.
There’s nothing wrong also with choosing your own path. If you’ve chosen to follow a path that has been paved already, then why not? Right? However, not every path is for everyone to take.
I guess the important thing for me is, the path that I’m following is the one that I have consciously chosen.
What about you? Are you planning to redesign your life? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.