For the First Time in my Adult Life, I’m Not Worrying About Money Online

Gillian Sisley

Which is a weird-a** feeling for a frugal person like myself.

Photo by Katie Harp — Pinterest Manager on Unsplash

Today, my fiancé and I dropped into IKEA, and I bought myself a standing/sitting convertible desk for my home office.

With tax it was around a $300.00 purchase, which is not a small spend for us.

We’re penny-pinchers, and have a very detailed household budget that accounts for every dollar we earn, down to the cent.

My new IKEA convertible desk, Shih Tzu not included. (Photo credit: Author)

A year ago, a spur-of-the-moment purchase like this would not have been possible.

But then I started writing online, and have increased my income by 50%.

Online writing has quite literally changed my life in more ways than I can count.

One of the most notable ways? My fiance and I have reached financial stability in our mid-twenties which still baffles us every day. We’re still not used to it.

There’s no guarantee this will last forever. My online writing success could be gone tomorrow, out of the blue.

But until then, the extra income I’m bringing in for us from writing on this platform continues to be a massive blessing in our lives, and is getting us further ahead than we’d ever expected to be in our mid-twenties.

This unexpected cash-flow increase is incredible, but also really weird.

It doesn’t matter how much money I have, I will always be frugal.

I could win a million dollars and probably still be more frugal than your friend Franny.

I don’t get rid of something unless it’s been well-used and abused.

The only reason I even gave myself permission to buy a new desk was because my fiancé requires one for himself in guestroom, so that he can study comfortably for his CPA in the evenings. He inherited my old IKEA desk, which I’ve bought second-hand several years ago.

Even so, a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to rationalize a purchase like my new desk. After all:

I’m a small business owner AND a creative writer.

Those aren’t two of the most financially stable career choices. And yet, I chose both — and both are actually succeeding.

Far better than I could have ever hoped for.

My fiancé is an accountant, so we’re the definition of DINKs (dual-income, no kids).

We’ve only just started our careers in the last 5 years. We have a mortgage on our house, and a car and a dog, plenty of student debt, and also, of yes, right, we’re paying for half of a $20,000 wedding out of pocket at the end of this year.

And yet, still, with all of these big things in our lives sucking money out of our bank accounts, we’re still in a financially favourable position.

And it’s literally thanks to online writing that we find ourselves here today (me, in particular at a standing desk, writing this article).

But maybe I’m not really rich. Maybe I’m just used to living within (or below) my means.

In my eyes, that basically means I’m rich.

I have money left over at the end of the month. Extra money, for whatever we want.

I have extra money in my business accounts so that I can fly across the country (of Canada) this fall for a conference, just for the sake of professional development.

I have extra money in my business account, so that I can fly to the US at the end of this year to meet up with my co-founders and editors of the online publication Fearless She Wrote (here’s looking at you,

Jessica Lovejoy & Maggie Lakes!) for a mini-writing retreat and our first opportunity to meet in person (it’s cruel for such kindred spirits to live so far apart from one another!).

I didn’t think that kind of luxury or spending would be possible in my mid-twenties.

And then writing personal essays online happened.

That is to say… a lot of this comes down to perspective, too.

There’s a lot to be said for not only living a minimal and frugal lifestyle, but also for showing immense gratitude for what you have.

For example, most people say that after a few months, the ecstatic feeling of home ownership goes away.

Nah, not for me! I still skip around my house, in awe of how much I love it’s cozy and quirky character, two years after moving in.

I will stand at the bottom of our staircase and yell up to my partner on the second floor, “We have such a nice house!”

Not because I’m bragging to anyone (he already knows it’s nice, he lives here too), but because I try to be very intentional in recognizing just how overwhelmingly blessed I am in my life.

We don’t live in a singularly standing home, we live in a semi (two houses with an adjoining wall)— but as we’re on a corner plot, the neighbour’s front door is actually around the corner from us on another street, so it feels just like we’re a single structure.

Our backyard is a postage stamp. But there’s enough sun to grow our own fresh herbs, and offer plenty of space for our Shih Tzu to do his business and run in circles if he wants to (as he oddly likes to do in celebration after he goes #2).

We live on a through-way street, which means people often drive down our street to cut-through the neighbourhood and avoid busy intersections. But we’re in a favourable location in the suburbs with great schools and plenty of amenities just a hop and a skip away. The value of our home will only continue to grow.

We could choose to look at the negatives of our situation, but instead we actively work to acknowledge and be thankful for the positives of everything we have and worked our a**es off to earn for ourselves.

Final word.

To some people, maybe many, bringing in an extra $1,000 per month from their own writing doesn’t constitute as being “rich”.

But for me, a writer who only ever had a goal of supplementing her income by an extra $300 from this platform, I feel far more blessed than I can ever say for that incredible amount of extra wiggle room. Especially with our upcoming wedding only a few months away.

Hard work, commitment and dedication to this platform, coupled with a real passion for engagement and community, actually counts in this space.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll reach $1,000 per month from posting 2x per day on this platform for 3 months straight… but I have seen from many of my fellow writers on here that consistency and a willingness to adapt can lead to continual growth, no matter how small, in the long term.

Every journey is different.

The point is not to compare ourselves to others. The point is to pursue our own journey, and compare ourselves only to the writer we were last month, last week, and yesterday.

The online writing community is a landscape full of potential and promise, if you’re willing to stick with it.

The question you have to ask yourself first and foremost is:

Do you want it enough to make it happen for yourself?

If your answer is “yes”, then you’ve already won half of the battle.

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