Couple Struggling in Trunk of Car

An Extraordinary Life On An Ordinary Income Pt. 2: Struggling With the Ordinary

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Unexpected Obstacles and Spoiled Life Plans

My partner and I have struggled during 2020 and 2021. We have faced obstacles we could never imagine. Long-distance relationships are difficult by themselves. Add in a global pandemic that dampers traveling, a few life plans that fell through, and some overbearing health challenges, and it’s a recipe for struggling. 

Our mantra throughout the pandemic has been we will make an extraordinary life from an ordinary income. With the struggles of the past year and a half, this mantra has become extra important. We have both had unexpected obstacles, to say the least. Been forced to expand our creativity and grow outside our comfort zone. Learning new skills has become essential to survival.

The Lifesaving Support System

Luckily, we have found strength in our support systems. A subset of Personal Finance Twitter, I have dubbed Compassionate Personal Finance. There are so many great people who have shared time, expertise, resources, and gifts to help us along the way. 

There are some people in the Compassionate Personal Finance space who truly want to change the world. I hope they never give up on their quest. This group of amazing people have helped us when we thought nothing was going to come through. We have been able to fight through the struggle thanks to the generosity. They have also helped me grow outside my comfort zone, pushed me towards my full potential, boosted my confidence, and more

Support is crucial in an extraordinary life. Having support can be the difference between extraordinary and misery. I am very fortunate to have a supportive partner. Through every struggle, she can always put a smile on her face. She is the driving force between our extraordinary lives on ordinary incomes. 

Finding My Inner Peace

I’ve come to find out how much I enjoy writing in the outdoors, in the sun, by a lake. I take my Chromebook Duet and sit at a picnic table by the lake and write. I can feel a nice breeze as I type on the miniature keyboard and enjoy the process. It doesn’t feel forced anymore, compared to when I sit at home at my desk. Writing feels like a passion, and enjoyment, rather than a chore. Thoughts flow more freely and my writing comes out more clearly. The water, the sun, nature, and everything around bring peace and joy. 

As I mentioned earlier, others have shared their expertise with me. I’m taking my enjoyment of writing, and working into more enjoyment towards making money on the side. The goal is to provide joy and value to others as I share what is bringing me value. Sharing how to enjoy an extraordinary life on an ordinary income. 

Let Others Help, And Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Another part of breaking out of my comfort zone is asking for and accepting help. There is such a stigma around seeking help. I’m not sure if it is an American stigma or where it comes from. I do know that everyone who has offered help, has accepted help before. Apparently, most of us have been there. Whether we are open about it or not is a different story. 

I feel a level of fraud admitting I’ve accepted help. How can I be an authority on financial independence when I’ve accepted a lot of help in my lifetime? A large portion of help coming from my parents. I’ve also accepted help from compassionate friends.

Consistency Makes Financial Independence 

However, I need to give myself more credit as well. I’ve been working hard to balance the current moment and preparing for the future. I have been consistent in investing and paying off debt. Even with my struggles I still only spend about sixty percent of my income and invest or pay down debt with the other forty percent. I am consistently kicking ass. Even if my progress isn’t fast enough for me. 

Higher Quality & Value, Simplifying, Minimalism & More

Through the struggle, I’ve been working on simplifying and minimizing. Things are being replaced and upgraded. Quality has been prioritized over quantity. Especially on a budget, sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best.

That doesn’t mean quality has to cost your whole budget either. I love watching YouTube videos about budget and quality items. Some items can take the place of two or three. Sometimes you have a better tool for the job already on hand. Minimizing and simplifying has helped alleviate some of the struggles. Saving money in the process is always a great feeling. 

Looking Towards An Extraordinary Future

Even with the struggle, there is something to look forward to. Keeping this in mind helps when the overwhelm comes in. Upgrading and simplifying allow for having the right tools when the time is available to travel or explore. Taking the packing skills I’ve learned, along with the new tools and upgrades, I feel more prepared for when I will be traveling. I have the excitement of wanting to “hit the road” again. New adventures get me excited again.

Check out other posts in this series: An Extraordinary Life On An Ordinary Income

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