Living on a Budget (How We Have Survived Financially Over the Past Year)

If there is 1 thing I’ve learned about starting a company it is that I don’t have the money to start a company.  With my full-time job, we were barely making ends meet while living pretty frugally, kids are rather expensive.  As a result, we had no savings, and looked forward to our tax refund each year to catch up.  I even had to take out a small bank loan at one point so that we could keep paying bills, etc.  We did buy a home several years ago while the market was low, which has been a huge blessing.

I often think it would have been much easier had I started this company while single and living in my parent’s basement, but alas, we are married, have a home, and have 10 young kids.  So, this is how we have survived financially over the past year. 

  1. Living Frugally – As stated above, we were already living fairly frugally; we don’t buy name brands (food or otherwise), most of our kids clothes are hand-me-downs from family and friends, we enjoy going to thrift stores, buy in bulk when there’s a good price, and I drive an old, worn down, but surprisingly reliable car.  We also bargain shop, for example, our cell phones where about $100 each, and the laptop and desktop we got for about $200 each a few years ago.  We also don’t go on many exotic vacations, mostly just staycations.
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – Having our house increase in value was very helpful for securing some financial backing.  We were able to secure a HELOC just before starting the business and have been living partially on that ever since.
  3. Part-Time Work – When we started the business, I didn’t leave my old job completely and have been working there 2 days a week for the past year, it definitely doesn’t pay all of the bills, but has helped us from running our HELOC down quickly.
  4. Consulting Work – While consulting is not the primary purpose of Morrise Products, I have been able to find occasional consulting work helping others, mainly friends of mine, get their products designed.
  5. Capstone Coaching – I managed to get a job (4-6 hours per week) helping engineering students with their senior design project at a local college.  This is both a great learning experience and a bit of extra money as well.
  6. Collaborating – I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with several friends on projects.  While this hasn’t resulted in much financially so far, the prospects are good, and it is always fun to work with someone else.  Being alone can get boring.
  7. Amazon – While it surely is not the $10,000 per month I was hoping for, I have been able to build up my Amazon sales to about $150 a week.  This isn’t much, but every little but helps.
  8. Health Insurance – For the past several years, we have been getting insurance from the Government Marketplace.  While this has been a pain a lot of the time, since I haven’t been able to get insurance through work for about 8 years, it has made it possible to have our family covered, and the subsidies have made it possible for us to continue to feed ourselves as well.

Overall we have been blessed to be able to survive financially this long.  What tips do you have for staying afloat financially?  Please share so we can incorporate into our plans.

2 thoughts on “Living on a Budget (How We Have Survived Financially Over the Past Year)

  1. Jacob,

    I have really enjoyed your blog and think it’s awesome you have started your own business. I started a blog when we moved to Alabama, and it’s all about personal finance. Check out if you find the time.

    Take care,


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