Introducing A New Money Management Category

For awhile, the content on this blog has fit cozily within four distinct categories: design, business, studio news, and wellness. But lately, I've been thinking a lot about the future of Rowan Made as well as opportunities for growth. There are so many things I'd like to write about, but worried that stepping outside of my original boundaries would be a bad move. I then quickly reminded myself that this is my space to grow and share. To find out what works and what doesn't. So today, I'll be kicking off a new (!!!) category about money management and what that means within the lifestyle of a creative entrepreneur and business owner.

an important note ...

Money management is and will be different for everyone. So although my plan is to share what works for me, remember to adjust for your own lifestyle. This goes not only for this post, but any money related posts in the future as well.

A little history, first. When I started my own business directly out of design school, I knew that I had to be extremely cautious about money management since I didn't always know where my next pay check would come from. Because of this, I moved into my childhood bedroom rent free (thanks parents!) and focused on saving every penny towards paying off student loans, eventually buying a car, and building a safety net. I rarely spent money elsewhere, other than a few essential items or dinners out with friends every once in awhile.

Saving was hard work and not always fun, but my reward was being able to combine my savings and earnings to pay off $25,000 in loans and shell out $13,000 in cash for a slightly used car by the end of that first year. Shortly after, I moved into my own apartment and was able to live and grow Rowan Made, debt free.

I'm not sharing all of this to make you feel negative about your own financial situation or to say that paying everything off within one year is the only option. Because again, everyone's life is different! I'm sharing my story with you to illustrate how powerful and freeing money management can be, in whatever capacity you decide to take it on. And hopefully this helps inspire you to set some goals of your own as well. ;)

Am I still living as frugal as I did that first year? Absolutely not. But my husband and I have set boundaries and are very mindful about how and where we spend our money. Early on, we sat down and decided what was important to us and came up with the following things:

— Buying a house
— Maintaining a comfortable safety net ($$)
— Traveling at least once per year
— Investing in our future

Keeping these in mind, we established a budget and worked towards making our goals a reality. The trick here is to simply spend less than what you make, by a good margin. For example, we try our best to only spend 50% or less of our combined annual salary each year on expenses and fun stuff. The rest is either put into savings or invested for retirement. So rather than coming out even or constantly struggling to keep up, we're slowly increasing our net value.

If you're wondering HOW on earth we save that much money each year, that's exactly what this new category will be about. Spoiler alert, things like grocery budgets, not drinking coffee, using only one car (sparingly), credit card perks, and more will all be a part of it. And I can't wait! This stuff makes me weirdly giddy.

Just remember: living mindfully doesn't have to be all about sacrifice. My husband and I still enjoy ourselves, travel, and say "yes" to things that may be a little more spendy than we'd like every once in awhile. But at the end of the day, our spending habits as a whole allow for this kind of balance, which is important to us (and most, I'm assuming).

There's more to come about money management real soon, I promise. And while this post gives a good background, the rest will have more actionable steps for you to try out. So if you have any questions or things that you'd like for me to write about please leave a comment below! I'm excited to bring this new category to the table and hope you're into it as well.