Episode 94: We’re peeling back frugality with Joel Larsgaard of the How to Money Podcast (Formerly the Pour Not Poor Podcast at the time of recording). Find out more at howtomoney.com
Joel started working at age 14, showing his natural work ethic. He’s always had an understanding of money being essential for living the life he wanted to live. Part of this stemmed from the environment in which he was raised, as the way money was handled had real-world implications in his life at home. Joel carried his goal of living a modest life and being frugal into his future relationship with his wife.
Joel went to college and incurred some student loan debt while at a private school. He realized after two years that going to a state school would be smarter and transferred so that he wouldn’t incur any more debt. Joel started his career in radio, which was always a dream.
With a young family, Joel’s biggest goal is to find the balance between making an income and enjoying the fleeting years of youth with his children. He believes that living a frugal life and sometimes going for a job with less income is the key to doing this.
It’s important to be mindful of the fact that your years with your children, which are usually prime working years, are few in number. By practicing frugality and not spending your money on things that don’t bring you joy, you can have it all in the way that matters the most.
Frugal vs. Cheap
A lot of people have trouble defining a difference between frugality and being cheap. For example, frugality is going out to eat less often and leaving a proper tip. Cheapness, on the other hand, would be going out anyway but claiming not to be able to afford to leave a tip.
This all culminates in the idea of living paycheck to paycheck. Frugality can apply to people of any income level. It’s about managing your money in a way that you take what you need from life and don’t worry about what happens if you lost your job tomorrow. Even high-earning individuals can live paycheck to paycheck.
Frugality is as small or as large as you want it to be. Joel takes his lunch to work every day and uses his bike whenever possible. These are little steps that lower insurance and gas costs, increase productivity, and act as exercise and health measures at the same time. Looking at bigger things, consider the size of your home and the costs associated with having a larger home filled with more things.
Taking this approach to living has let Joel find a bit of breathing room to be able to find a career he wants and make investments, ultimately putting him on the road to financial independence.
Your circumstances can change in an instant. Are you ready for anything?
Frugal Tip of the Week
Visit Joel at Pournotpoor.com and check out their podcast to get helpful tips and tricks about frugality, investing, saving, and craft beer.
Where Our Money Went
Kevin finally purchased his airfare for FinCon. Kevin uses Hipmunk alerts to book his airfare, as it provides regular updates with graphs. He’s tried Hopper in the past and didn’t like the results.
Sean’s money went toward physical therapy to correct some stiffness in his neck and back that he had tried to alter for years with different chairs, standing desks, etc. Sean used his HSA for this expense. If you haven’t tried dry needling, you’re missing out.