Bob Haegele from TheFrugalFellow.com [Financial Independence Forum, EP.007]

My guest this week is Bob Haegele, The Frugal Fellow who runs a blog thefrugalfellow.com. He’s a financial independence seeker and his blog is focused on how frugality is an important aspect to shifting and reaching financial independence. He’s making money by different side ventures and different side projects and side hustles, creating additional sources of income on the way to reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early).

Podcast Transcript

Eugene / Host: (00:00)
Hello and welcome everyone. I’m Eugene Ting and this is the financial independence forum. This show is an open ended exploration of stories, methods and mindsets. How to better invest your time best in yourself and invest your money. You can learn more and please contribute your voice and story at financialindependenceforum.com.

Eugene / Host: (00:31)
My guest this week is Bob Haegele, the frugal fellow who runs a blog thefrugalfellow.com. He’s a financial independence seeker and his blog is focused on how frugality is an important aspect to shifting and reaching financial independence. He’s making money by different side ventures and different side projects and side hustles, creating additional sources of income on the way to reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Welcome Bob to the financial independence forum. You named your blog, the frugal fellow. Maybe let’s start there. You know, what, what does frugality sort of mean to you and how has it meant to you in reaching, reaching financial independence?

Bob / Guest: (01:13)
I’m kind of always been like naturally frugal, but I haven’t really I didn’t really necessarily have a mission with my frugality kinda when I was you know, growing up and things like that. But I, I guess I’ve never really been like a shopaholic or anything like that, you know, I don’t, I don’t really have just kind of naturally never gone out and spent a lot of money. So that’s just kind of the way that it’s been. And now more recently I’m kind of giving that an actual purpose and using it to kind of really reduce my expenses. So, you know, in addition to not buying things that I don’t need and all that. Now I’m really like reducing my expenses and I have roommates and things like that. So really trying to cut back and just like I said, kind of gets down to the bare minimum. So that I can work toward financial independence.

Eugene / Host: (01:59)
And, you know, you mentioned that you were always kind of frugal, like do you sort of remember influences that made you that way or are you, you were sort of always in that mindset even pretty young memories of that?

Bob / Guest: (02:15)
Yeah, I mean, I’m probably nothing, I mean nothing specific, but obviously, you know, my background, I mean it’s not that my family was extremely poor. Like I can’t see they were living on the street or anything like that. But, you know, at the same time, I mean, we were just you know, comfortable middle class family, but, you know, we didn’t have a ton. And I think one thing I really that I was thinking about recently that I think is interesting to mention is that, you know, a lot of people would go on trips to like Disney world and, and things like that and like kind of these expensive resorts and things. My family didn’t do that. We would take at least one vacation every year when I was growing up. And but we would go, we had a pop up camper and we would just go like, it’s a, it’s a different, you know, camp grounds around the country. So I think that we kind of did have kind of like a more kind of, you know you know, frugal way of living. But I think that kind of did rub off on me a little bit. So yeah, like I said, enough, nothing ever like extravagant. So I think, you know, probably my background debt. Definitely a influenced that.

Eugene / Host: (03:12)
I know one of your posts, you also mentioned sort of the different perspective to that maybe extreme frugal living is, isn’t for everyone and that you sort of need to live in the now and I think there’s other bloggers out there. I think the fine years have also talked about having slow FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) versus, you know, being FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) fast, FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), you know, maybe taking the time to enjoy the things now as well. Yeah. What is your perspective on that? And maybe you could expand on some of the, some other writings and things that you’ve, you’ve also talked about navigating and being more balanced about living frugally.

Bob / Guest: (03:48)
One of the things that you’ll see sometimes, like especially on Twitter and things like that you’ll see people get kind of like you know, the, there’ll be these kind of heated exchanges where people like, Oh, you know, you’re not really retired if you’re still working. Or like if you have like a blog or something like that, like you’re not really retired. But you know, the thing about it is like, I think people have a tendency to think of it like in a very kind of black and white way where it’s really not, there’s like a lot of gray areas. Some people can be, you know, maybe leave their nine to five like I did, but I’m still working on a lot of things. So I’m not sure if that really answers your question, but basically what I’m trying to say is I think every person has kind of their own approach to it. And there’s not like this one size fits all. And like you have to be this one thing and you know, a lot of people will kind of just take it their own way. And I think, you know, there’s a different solution for everybody and you have to kind of find what works best for you.

Eugene / Host: (04:41)
That’s a good distinction, right? That there’s it’s not a one size fits all for everyone who’s interested in reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Certainly even our past podcasts with guests and the different people in the blogosphere that have written about FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) or on the journey to reaching that everyone’s situation is different, especially as it relates to money, whether it’s income or the expenses side. You know, everyone’s situation is different. One of the things I think that’s tried and true and certainly most of these FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) bloggers, including the ones that contribute to the forum, talk about, you know, how to, how to keep a budget because that’s sort of a key, at least one big pillar to reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Maybe you could share with our audience a little bit about how you think about budgeting and why, why, maybe it was a key for you to, to to reaching five to be on the journey to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). [inaudible]

Bob / Guest: (05:35)
Well the funny thing is I actually don’t really like it keep a budget in terms of like I’ll be pulling, you know, I’ll just be, you know, fully transparent about that. I don’t keep like a budget and you know, like I don’t have like spreadsheets or like a, a bunch of binder or anything like that. But I mean that’s just me personally. I think I think they can be like really valuable for people in a lot of different situations for me. Like I don’t have kids and my situation is pretty simple. So I think it really kind of depends on, you know, how complex your financial situation is and you know, in the same light, like how many variable expenses you have. I don’t have that money. Variable expenses. A lot of the things that I spend on are kind of discretionary and, and I can just decide to not spend money on them. But like I said, I’m also kind of naturally frugal, so I’m not, I’m not just like, I don’t have that situation where I’m just like going to a store and buying all these things like that, just not, that’s just not how I live. I mean, I’m not trying to say like, Oh, you know, money’s easy for me. It’s not, but I just don’t have that issue. And that sounds, I think, yeah, so that really the kind of the, the, the two scenarios where I think they can be very valuable are when people have like a lot of variable expenses or also also like if people have a lot of debt or especially credit card debt where they really need to knock it out and it’s just like a really huge hindrance for them. And just like really needed to track your spending and get like every last penny you can out of your budget. I think is important. And then also too, like I have savings. I think if people don’t have a lot of savings, which some people don’t I think that also plays into it as well because if you don’t have like a lot of cushion you really have to be like sod very deliberate with how you spend your money. So I do have a little bit of like set some breathing room, which helps a lot. But yeah, definitely people have a lot of debt and a lot of variable expenses. I think can really benefit from having a budget.

Eugene / Host: (07:25)
You mentioned a little bit about that you sort of left your 9-to-5 and you, you running the blog full time and then you have other kind of things that you’re doing and freelancing or consulting on the side. And you also, you know, talk a little bit about your having an emergency fund certain setting, setting some cash aside too. When did you kind of know you wanted to do your own thing full time versus you know, kind of straddling both worlds?

Bob / Guest: (07:51)
Well to be honest, I, I’ve kind of known it for a while. I left my 9-to-5 job. It was about seven months ago now, but I’m still like, I’ve known it for kind of years that I really wanted to do my own thing. I’ve never really enjoyed or caring for other people. And the thing is, I mean, self-employment, you know, is not easy for sure. I mean, I can understand why people wouldn’t want to do it. It’s a lot of work and there’s a lot of things you have to worry about that you don’t have to worry about, you know, when you’re working nine to five. But for me, I just knew that I wanted to do it and I just, I honestly like, I felt not only stuck, but I felt depressed for probably a few years at least. I can’t give you an exact date, but I mean, it was awhile. But, you know, the thing is I just, I, you know, I, I didn’t feel like I could pull the trigger for a while there. And I don’t know. I thought like, Oh, you know, maybe my, my freelance thing on my blog will pick up more and then we’ll finally leave. But actually I’d actually have a blog post about this. Basically. It just got to a point where I kind of had to leave, so I had to just kind of figure it out which doing. But yeah, I mean it was definitely, definitely been a long time. It’s definitely been, you know, at least a few years that feeling like this is just not the lifestyle that I want and that it’s just not right for me. I think it, you know, that routine can be good for a lot of people, but for me like I actually like variety and, and things being different day to day. So yeah, it was definitely been a while.

Eugene / Host: (09:17)
Since you’ve you’ve left your, your nine to five role and done more freelancing and self employment, like you mentioned, you’ve probably envisioned this for a few years now. Was there anything surprising when you finally did it and now that you’ve had sort of seven months behind you to reflect on that? Like, were there certain things I was exactly, you know, like Oh, it’s exactly what you thought it would be. And then maybe other things that you, you found that was, wasn’t exactly what you thought it would be.

Bob / Guest: (09:45)
I feel a lot better. I actually, you know, like I said, I was kind depressed. And you know, I do have some kind of like a mental health issues. So kinda like depression and anxiety that I deal with and I do feel like my mental health is improved. I still need to work on that. But I definitely feel like, cause obviously if you’re in a situation that’s, that you feel is not right for you that’s gonna negatively affect your your you know, your mental health. So I do feel like it has improved since I left. I think one thing that’s a little bit kind of, I didn’t think about is that, you know, when you are, if you’re doing your own thing, like you really have to be focused like all the time. It’s like every day, you know. I think that when you’re working in a nine to five role, especially a seller position, like you can cut, honestly, like you can Slack off. I know that sounds bad, but it is true. You can kind of like, you know, you can kinda like take it day to day where you’re kinda check out and then, but when you’re doing your own thing, like it’s like every day you always have to be motivated and focused. Like I said, I didn’t think about it that way before I left, but I dunno, I mean I’m, I’m making it work. It’s not easy, but I’m, I’m doing what I can.

Eugene / Host: (10:51)
On that note, do you feel like, you know, I think what you were talking about is that you’re, you’re taking on more ownership if you will, with some of the things that you, you have to do, but also maybe additional things like you have to, as you’re being self employed, whether it’s maybe some of the accounting stuff you have to do or you know, the networking like you mentioned on your blog that, that importance of that as you started being a blogger and having your name out there. Do you still feel like on balance, like you mentioned it improved or mental health as well, do you think that on balance it’s something that is still worthwhile? Like would you, would you still go through with that again with the same circumstances?

Bob / Guest: (11:31)
It’s funny that you ask that question cause I was actually thinking about this earlier today and my answer is yes because, okay. You know, even though it’s hard and, and it’s a lot of work and, you know, I was working on, I’m actually still in the process doing this. Like I have an L an LLC. And my, you know, that I set up and I have like business checking and all that sort of stuff. I was just working the solo 401k today and I found out that that’s a lot of work and like now I might have to get an a and accountants and all this stuff. And I’m like, yeah, this is a lot of work. But you know, it’s the thing about it is, is that I know that I know that the lifestyle I had before was, was not right for me. And I know I wasn’t happy. So even though this is a lot of work and, and it’s, it’s challenging and it’s, you know, I have to be motivated all the time. It’s like I still know that it’s a better fit for me because among other things, I can be more flexible in terms of, I can be more like location independent and things like that. I know that’s what I want. So just, just having something that I know is what I want. It’s still better than going back to a situation that I know isn’t right for me. Just cause maybe it’s a little bit more comfortable

Eugene / Host: (12:36)
On that same topic too, like you know, in a job situation where you don’t feel like it’s a good fit for one reason or another. And you’ve thought about venturing out on your own, you know, how did you balance that, especially in light of the fact that you want it to reach financial independence or retiring early or both in terms of FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early)? Yeah. How did you, you know, navigate some of those cost benefits because certainly having a job provides a lot of additional benefits, I mean, health insurance and, and you know, a steady salary, like a paycheck, things like that that you could sort of more reasonably calculate X amount of months or years to reach FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). How did, how did you navigate that or, and think through about venturing out on your own while still having the same goals?

Bob / Guest: (13:24)
Yeah, I mean it’s hard. And like I said earlier especially with this last job, I mean it was at the point where I was like almost getting forced out. So I didn’t really have a choice at that point. But at the same time, I knew that I wanted to leave. So it was kind of like a game of chicken as the way I like to say. It’s like, who was gonna pull the trigger first? You know? So but you know, the think about it is I always like to tell people, you know, if you can, I mean, you should have as much money saved up as you can. If you’re thinking about making a lifestyle change, you should try to save up money. I didn’t, I actually didn’t have as much saved as I wanted to, but I had enough to make it for, you know, maybe like six months to a year without any additional income and I have made additional income. But even if I got nothing, I would, I would, would have been okay for that amount of time. So yeah, just like having some savings and like, if possible, having like a fallback, you know, I would say like, if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna leave a nine to five, like try not to leave any bridges or burn any bridges. I mean, I wouldn’t go back to the place where I am now, but if you can like leave on good terms, like especially do that. But yeah, just in terms of like going toward my goal, I mean obviously like I’m not making as much money now right now, like, but at the same time the ceiling is a lot higher. So if I had stayed on the job where I was before and, and, and that sort of industry, like I was pretty close to like the top of my earnings tier. But doing this, what I’m doing now, like I could potentially earn a lot more, so I would have the potential to be, you know, financial independent, like 5 to 10 years. I mean, I don’t really know. I mean it’s, it’s like, it’s more of a challenge, but at the same time the ceiling is a lot higher. So that’s kinda like what I’m, what’s keeping me motivated and what I’m, you know, thinking about now

Eugene / Host: (15:02)
That dovetails a little bit in, in another theme that I caught on in some of the posts that you’ve made, which is you talk a little bit about the scarcity mindset as one of the hindrances to either people reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) or also in terms of being frugal and, and people’s careers slash striking out on their own and being independent location independent or job independent. That’s sort of thread between this, the scarcity mindset. And then you mentioned also about the income ceiling that you can potentially have. It seems like it’s, it’s, I think what a lot of people struggle with is, you know, the salary is sort of a set thing versus striking on your own has a lot of risks and a lot of work. But maybe the upside is, is a bit more, talk a little bit about, you know, how did you navigate the scar city mindset of view if you had any, and was it an important part of something you did to help you break that mindset?

Bob / Guest: (15:59)
When I was talking about the scarcity of mindset, I think that that was more related to like budgeting because budgeting can create that where it’s like you know, people will get until like that whole, you know, there’s the thing that gets kinda like made until like almost a meme at this point where people are talking about it, you know, like don’t play the lottery or whatever. I think budgeting can, can create that mindset where it’s like, you know, I have to pinch Mondays and that sort of thing. And it’s kind of like the wrong focus to have. Because there’s much bigger expenses that you can be attacking.

Eugene / Host: (16:28)
How do we break ourselves from thinking about just smaller expenses versus focusing on anything about that? That’s an upside, like striking out on your own, thinking about additional sources of income as you had mentioned on your blog a few times and then changing that scarcity mindset from just thinking about how to optimize the expenses-side with the limited income that you might have versus focusing on earning more or adding an additional source of income.

Bob / Guest: (17:00)
Well, I mean, you know, so I think you really have to determine like what’s important to you. And that’s kinda like what I was saying earlier. Relates to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) or just in general? I mean I think everybody has like different things that are important to them. You know, one thing I will mention too is like, I don’t have like, I think I said earlier, but I don’t have kids or anything. I’m not like married. And that definitely is like a big consideration too, because if you’re married and you have kids, like you want to be able to make sure that your family, like your family has, you know, food, like your kids have food and all that sort of thing. So, you know, that’s definitely a luxury for me. And that obviously made my decision like a lot easier. But yeah, I mean it’s, it’s definitely like a very personal decision. Like I said, some people really like the routine. They like when every day is the same. But I really don’t, I like variety. I also like to be able to travel and things like that. So yeah, like I said, man, I really just think about it. It really depends on like, on you on the individual and like kind of what is most important to you. And you know, if you’re somebody who likes the routine, then like maybe maybe striking out on your own is not right for you. So yeah, I just think it really depends on the person.

Eugene / Host: (18:09)
You know, you mentioned one of the things that you, you’re doing full time that you started even before you left your 9-to-5 was thefrugalfellow.com as I read a lot of posts and a lot of the comments back and forth. And also you have a pretty sizable Twitter following as well since you started the blog. Maybe well, you know, what was sort of one of the surprising things that you’ve, you’ve learned or as especially joining the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community, what was one of the more surprising things that you’ve learned through these interactions and conversations with other people within this space?

Bob / Guest: (18:45)
Well, I’m not sure if, I’m not sure if this is like a learning like a lesson necessarily, but just like how, I’m just like really how amazing the community is and like how just willing everyone is to help out because you know, you tend to think about like, people are really selfish, but I think there’s just such a huge FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community and just personal finance, I mean, not necessarily specific to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), but you know, really huge personal finance community on Twitter and other places. But people are just so like supportive of one another. And the thing about it is you really just have to ask like if, if you need help with something or you have a question, like you just have to ask. And, and that’s like one thing that I’ve found out is that if you ask the question like, more like, more often than not, people are going to be really willing to help you. And you know, like said, help you in any way that they can, or like, maybe if they can’t, they’ll try to find someone who can. And it’s, the thing is it’s, you know, like they don’t have any obligation to do, to do that either. It’s all just like people are just doing that cause they want to help out and support each other. So I’m like, that’s just been something that I didn’t know I didn’t even know was there. And it’s just been really amazing,

Eugene / Host: (19:51)
That’s incredible. And that’s also good to hear. It’s certainly my experience has been very similar as well that there’s been a lot of, there’s a tribe and a community, a real sense of community. Yeah. Like you also mentioned, you know, the blog as well, but you share with us maybe other ventures that you think are interested yet you’re interested in helping you diversify some of your income now that you’re striking out on your own?

Bob / Guest: (20:17)
Well, you know, it’s crazy because I said a lot from my 9-to-5, seven months ago, which is true. And yet I, I’m like kind of still getting started, which is again, that’s, it’s crazy cause it sounds like seven months, you know, I, you know, you would think that like, Oh, I’d be in a great place right now. But I’m still kind of just getting started. But you know the thing that I’m trying to do the most right now is freelance writing. So I’m trying to do that a lot. I would like to make that my main source of income. Eventually I’d like it to be the blog, but mean that takes a lot longer because, you know, when you’re doing freelance writing, you know, you just find clients and they’ll just pay you to write. Obviously when I publish a blog post, like I don’t get paid, you know, you can monetize the blog posts obviously, but it’s not a guarantee. And there’s a lot more strategy and, and things like that that, that, that go into it. So yeah, definitely freelance writing because I mean, you know, my blog, it’s, it’s made a little bit of money. It’s made enough to like cover my my hosting costs and things like that, but it hasn’t made nearly enough to like pay, you know, cover all my expenses, my living expenses. So I’m try to do like said freelance writing. It’s kind of like my main source at least until I start to make more from the blog. I also do Rover, which has been an amazing I don’t make that much from that, but again, I’m still just kind of like starting out. So that’s like, that’s dog walking or dog walking in dog setting if you’re not familiar. I’m a huge like, stop person. So I’ve been really like loving that and you know, that’s one of the things I can do be like, because I’m not working a 9-to-5, it’s a lot easier because sometimes people want you to do drop-ins or like, you know, 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM or whatever. So when you’re not working, that’s a lot easier. So I’m doing that, but like excited. I mean, that’s not pay me that much. I’d kind of do it more fun than anything, but maybe it’ll pay more eventually. And yeah, I mean, I have other projects I’m working on, so yeah, I’m it’s all just kind of like starting, but I think kind of moving in the right direction.

Eugene / Host: (22:12)
This is a great avenue to explore too. We’re owners of a, of a pet dog. It’s increasingly interesting. So certainly within the, this whatever you want to call it, like a gig economy, having like you said, connecting with Rover and being a dog walker. Finding enjoyment in doing something that you love and is, is, is great to hear as a, as an additional source of income too and having the time to do it. Do you sort of set sort of a regimen for yourself or goals for yourself? You know, coming from a 9-to-5, you’d sort of have institutional initiatives or other people that are setting the agenda most of the time. Do you find that that was something that you had to sort of do and, and keep pace with things that you wanted to do and set goals for yourself?

Bob / Guest: (22:59)
So you’re saying now that I’m working on my own, am I, am I trying to hold myself accountable to anything?

Eugene / Host: (23:05)
Yeah, how have you done that? Is it something that you think is more challenging to do?

Bob / Guest: (23:14)
I honestly feel like I’ve never done that a lot, which might sound bad. But I’ve always been kind of known to winginh it, which, you know, I don’t know. I’d like to work on that, but I don’t want to set it like a lot of concrete goals. I’m just like trying to constantly be like learning and growing. So that actually is probably something I have to work on, so I don’t have a great answer that I wanted to be honest. But I’m always trying to get better.

Eugene / Host: (23:40)
The, you know, the, the opposite side of that is I think part of why would imagine my people might want to leave a more structured job is to be able to have our freedom and to determine what they want to do on any given day or minute. You mentioned about having different hobbies and interests as well. I think you mentioned about having interest in alternative energy and being, I think electrical vehicle enthusiast as well. But you also said you were becoming or are, are semi vegetarian, like are these sort of interests, do you think that you can kind of pursue now that you have more time?

Bob / Guest: (24:14)
I mean, I think that, that, that can, that, that certainly can play into it. But I, I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I think that that’s something that anybody can do really. I mean, one thing that could help you maybe timewise, it’s like if I want to have my own garden, but I don’t even have that. But yeah, if like somebody wants to grow their own vegetables, like maybe having more time could be helpful. But honestly like I think anybody can do that stuff. I don’t think that that requires a lot of time. Which maybe is one reason I mentioned why I mentioned it cause I’d like to see more people doing that stuff. But yeah, I don’t, I don’t think that necessarily requires like a lot of time. That’s just something that interests me. And actually before I started this and I mentioned it sometimes before I started my personal finance blog, I actually had like a blog where I was talking more about alternative energy. I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, so I didn’t move forward, forward with it. But that’s something that has always been an interest of mine. And see, I don’t, I don’t necessarily think that you have to be you know, free from a nine to five up to be interested in that stuff. I think anybody can really become interested in those things.

Eugene / Host: (25:18)
You mentioned that, you know, since you started the blog, you found the importance of networking being an important part of of being part of the community and being a blogger. And I think you also mentioned that you attended fin con as well. Yeah. Maybe describe a little bit how that part of it has changed for you since you’ve left your, your main job and focus more on the blogging side and the importance of networking.

Bob / Guest: (25:46)
Yeah. Well, I mean with blogging, I mean networking is like, it’s like at least 50% of, of, you know, the my time is networking because I can just, I mean, I can just posts a bunch of blog posts and publish [inaudible] blog posts but they’re not really gonna do that much if I’m not like connected to the right people. And it’s kinda the same thing with writing opportunities too. Cause like I said, I’m trying to do that. And like the, the main one that I have right now well actually most of the ones that I’ve gotten really have been like, I was like connected to, to somebody who one way or another or you know, like I, we had something in common or something like that. So like, yeah, just really like almost all of the opportunities that I’ve gotten have really been through networking. I mean, I think I maybe applied and got like a freelancing gig once from like a job board, but almost all of it has just been like, I was in like some community and we’re like connected that way or you know, one way or another I was able to connect with them. But yeah, definitely like a freelance or, excuse me networking is like really one of the most important things I would say in terms of having success in blogging and freelancing and just any of the sort of writing, you know, media related stuff. Do you have to be like good at networking?

Eugene / Host: (27:00)
And it’s interesting to hear also that like some of the writing gigs that you’ve received are, you know, through, through networking or through word of mouth type of referrals that way. You know, how, what, what the other aspect is, you know, I assume part of your interest in going to fin con was, was to network and be part of other people were interested in in personal finance to maybe tell us your, your personal experience when, when you, when you attended.

Bob / Guest: (27:31)
Well this one this one com was actually my second one. I didn’t actually, I didn’t write a post about it cause I was just so focused on other things. But I mean it’s, it’s like a really amazing experience honestly. And I was like kind of doing, so last year I went and I was still employed, you know, full time, full time and my nine to five. So I want it to get into, to like freelance thing at that time. But I guess I wasn’t like taking it that seriously and I had business cards and things like that, but I didn’t, I actually only handed them out to other like bloggers, which is kind of like pointless because we can just connect online. But like through Twitter and stuff like that, but the ones who are like brands from there, not necessarily on Twitter.

Bob / Guest: (28:15)
So if you’re like trying to connect with people, especially in a, like a more professional setting, you know, those are the people that you need to be to be really networking with the there. So this year I was like a lot more serious about that and I handed it out. I’m pretty good number of business cards. And just try to like make us make as many new connections as I can. And then, you know, the other side of it is, and I talk about this sometimes, this is just meeting people from a Twitter because, you know, I might’ve been tucking in them on Twitter for like six months or a year or whatever, but I’ve never met them in person. And so it’s like, I feel like I know them, but I haven’t. So just obviously being able to meet people like in person is also like a really amazing experience. So there’s kinda like two sides of it. Like I said, networking and, and and like just more of like a social aspect. I think those are both like extremely valuable and or just make it like a, a great experience.

Eugene / Host: (29:10)
You know, one of the, one of the other areas that you, you touched upon and kind of jog my, my my memory is some other guests have mentioned, like they, they do freelancing and they, they do you know, they do work from home a lot. Do you think that sort of getting out and doing some of the more in person socializing is, is an important part too for someone who’s, who doesn’t have like the, the daily night nine to five and you want to network around the the areas of income that that you want to, to have, like for example, the, the freelancing writing that you were talking about?

Bob / Guest: (29:51)
Yeah. Well I think so. Like I said, with, with with, you know, when you’re doing like freelance thing or any sort of like self employment type of work. I think I think networking is always important. I haven’t done, actually haven’t done a lot of like in person networking though to be honest. Other than like, you know, fin con of things like that. But I do try to do it when I can. We actually have like a fan con local group. So I do try to go to that, but it’s, it’s kinda like more social. So I don’t know. I haven’t done a whole lot of of networking locally, although actually I did, I should say that I did, I didn’t meet I randomly went to a meet up, right. Cause I used to meet up the app and I went to [inaudible] and randomly it was actually like a board game nights and ran into a personal finance blogger there. He would just recently moved here, so we might actually start working on something together. I’m, I’m, it’s kinda like, just, we just started talking about it, so I don’t want to go too much into that. But yes, I mean that, that I, I will say that that is one thing. So it’s kinda like, like that was just random and I wasn’t and like I wasn’t there to network like in a professional setting. But I think just kind of like always being on the lookout I will say is, is definitely like something that could be helpful.

Eugene / Host: (31:05)
Thanks for sharing that tip. Yeah. You know, you mentioned about the different varying interests and different blogs that you’ve started. Were there other areas that you were thinking of starting? Like, besides like you’re, you’re passionate about becoming the will interested in dogs, but you know, working on Rover as a dog Walker some of the, the frugal and different personal finance topics that you write about, maybe even some of the alternative energy things that you wrote about in the past in a different blog. Like any other areas of interest that, that, you know you’re interested in starting as, as you have more time in and striking out on your own?

Bob / Guest: (31:42)
Oh, not really, to be honest. I mean you know, obviously like had obviously like alternative energy. He’s like a completely different, you know, topic. That’s so, it doesn’t really, I mean it can cross over and sits some money related stuff, but they’re pretty different generally. But, you know, I honestly was really passionate about money so it wasn’t just like a random decision. But there’s not really anything that I’m thinking about starting. Other than that. I mean, I think obviously I’m doing a lot of different things. But I think it does help to at least have, like, you want to be focused, right? Like you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. So I think the, where, where I am right now and I was a pretty good place and I’m going to kind of try to scale that up as much as I can. And yeah, just kind of go from there.

Eugene / Host: (32:28)
Like I mentioned I have a standard three three questions to ask at the end of the podcast to every guest. The first one being, you know, what’s one item or service that purchased in the past that you thought had the highest value or return on investment for you?

Bob / Guest: (32:47)
I, so somebody, somebody asked this question, like, what was the biggest discretionary purchase purchase that you’ve had in the past year? For me it’s probably my headphones, which I’m wearing right now. I’m kind of, I’m so, and if, if you look at my Twitter profile, you know, you’ll see my headphones that I’m wearing. I am really big into like music and I’m like always listening to music. So yeah, I mean, and actually the headphones I’m wearing are Bluetooth. It’s a Bluetooth headphones, but there’s just something that I wear everyday. They have like really good noise canceling, so I am kind of an audio file, so I’m not, it doesn’t give me a return on my investment monetarial monetarily, obviously. But I really think that they’ve been a great purchase. So sometimes return on investment doesn’t have to be always about money is one thing I’ll say.

Eugene / Host: (33:34)
Awesome. That’s great. I’m wearing a pair right now too, as I, as we record as well. The second one is, you know, what is the, what is maybe one of the kindest thing that someone’s done for you?

Bob / Guest: (33:45)
Oh, I don’t know. There’s been, there’s been so many, I don’t know. I can’t really think of a specific example for that. So I’ll just say that, like I said earlier, you know, that’s just like the community is so helpful and anytime I reach out to anybody they’re always like willing to help. I don’t have like a specific, specific example, but yeah, just like people are so helpful and just like the personal finance community. So

Eugene / Host: (34:09)
Maybe you can tell our audience a little bit about what stacks up for you. We, I know we touched upon that a little bit in the podcast already and also where people can find you and follow you on your [inaudible].

Bob / Guest: (34:23)
I mean, like I said I’m doing a lot of like freelance writing. I’m trying to scale that up and also my blog and growing my blog a lot. I mean, I think that and well, you know, I really, I should probably work on my goals for this honestly, but definitely like my blog is growing a lot and I’m starting to generate more traffic and things like that. So like I said, I’m, I’m hoping that within the next few years I can kind of start doing that full time. Oh, fingers crossed. But that, that kind of is my plan like more long term. So we’ll see if I can get there. It’s, it’s not easy, but we’re not, you know, I’m working on it. You have people who want to find me, you know, you can just go to my website through Google followed.com or I’m also on Twitter. I’m very active on Twitter. I’m on Twitter, but my handle is @thefellowfrugal because the frugal fellow was taken. And it’s a long story. I should have like tried to, you know, sees that in the law I didn’t, but it’s the fellow frugal on Twitter. But yeah, I play like my blog, you know, you could send me an email to, on bob@thefrugalfellow.com.

Eugene / Host: (35:23)
Awesome. Well, thank you, Bob, for, for being on the podcast. Yeah. Yeah, it was, it was a lot of fun. Please, please, please share this podcast. And if you haven’t done so already, please hit subscribe. Thank you.

Categories Dog Walking Emergency Fund FinCon FIRE Freelance Writing Freelancing Frugality Mental Health Networking Personal Finance Rover

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