It wasn't always easy, but their sacrifices paid off.

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Kelan from The Savvy Couple graduated college in May 2012. At the time, he was hoping for a good-paying job where he could establish roots and dig in for the long term. Things didn’t work out that way.

You see, Kelan is a restless soul.

“I have never been a person that settles,” he says. “When I first start a job, I’m always excited about learning something new, but then the middle gets boring, and the end becomes dreadful. I feel like I’m being suffocated.”

And Kelan really did try to find a job he could stick with. He worked as an insurance salesman, office manager, UPS driver, jail deputy and an Amazon store owner. But no job ever inspired him. He believes he was “pursuing happiness and freedom the entire time.”

As the years passed, Kelan and his wife Brittany began reading personal finance blogs. They both understood that the only way Kelan would find happiness was by starting his own business. They also started planning out their finances.

“We knew that it was a possibility that I would not bring in any income for almost a year,” Kelan recalls. “Knowing this we started to live as frugal as possible. We cut out any expenses that were not necessary and started stacking away money.”

“Bottom of the Barrel”

Kelan and Brittany completely cut some expenses or severely reduced them. He gave me a list:

  • Cut cable TV
  • Reduced internet speed
  • Lowered car insurance
  • Bought groceries with coupons
  • Never ate out
  • No vacations
  • No impulse purchases     

They also played something called the “Bottom of the Barrel.” I didn’t know what that meant, so Kelan explained the game: “It’s when we would wait as long as we could before purchasing more food,” Kelan says. “We had some very creative meals such as rice and beans with mustard, roasted sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts covered in brown sugar, and tacos with breakfast sausage meat.”

They both understood that they could never start a business without first saving a nest egg.

“I think changing our spending habits and saving up a nest egg before opening our business was very important,”  Kelan says. “It’s what helped us grow so quickly. We knew we could freely invest money into the business to help it grow.”

In July 2016, Kelan and Brittany started their blog as a side hustle.

“In our first seven or eight months of blogging, we were doing it because we had a passion for personal finance,” Kelan says. “We enjoyed spending time together creating and learning as much as we could instead of consuming. We agreed that focusing on our site together was a priority.”

Making it happen

By the time May 2017 rolled around, Kelan felt fully prepared for a new life. He and his wife had saved up nearly a full year’s salary that they could tap into if necessary, and then Kelan landed a digital marketing job within the first month that paid more than his previous jobs.

“Our six months of hustling early morning and late nights to grow our blog paid off,” Kelan says. “After our blog made the first $50, I knew that blogging was something I was going to make happen. I convinced Brittany that our blog needed me full-time to make it work. Luckily, Brittany is always in for a good adventure.”

Kelan and Brittany have never looked back. And they continue living frugally.

“Being The Savvy Couple we are always looking for the best return on our money,” Kelan says. “We don’t value eating out at restaurants, so we don’t do it very often, maybe once a month.”

When I asked Kelan for some financial advice, he told me he “loves” helping people with their personal finances and came up with three tips.

  • Create a budget – It’s the simple most important thing in managing your finances. Your money needs a plan and you need to track it to make sure it’s being used correctly.
  • Lower your expenses – There is no need to live a fancy lifestyle. Keeping up with the Joneses by buying a new car, living in a huge house, and buying luxury items is killing your financial freedom. Live frugally.
  • Have multiple sources of income – Your job can be taken away at any point. Do you have a backup plan? Start creating multiple streams of income to protect yourself and reach your financial goals quicker than ever.

Kelan leaves us with one last thought: “Remember you either work for an entrepreneur or you become one. Enjoy the ride!”

Meet the Author

Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski

Contributor

Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of Debt.com's 'By the Numbers' videos.

Budgeting & Saving

budgeting, couples, Financial Profiling, self-employment

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Article last modified on July 5, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: How Kelan and Brittany Formed The Savvy Couple - AMP.