Exploring the Spending Habits of a Mid-20s Midwestern Male

Many personal finance bloggers provide net worth, income and expense, and goal updates each month for their financial situation. Some of these bloggers go in-depth into the details and are fully transparent, while others will tell you at a high level their net worth and how it changed during the month.

I love transparency, and I’m a big fan of blogging income and traffic tracking, as well as sharing in-depth personal finance updates.

I believe tracking your income and expense is incredibly important for financial success. At the end of each month, I go to my personal finance spreadsheet, download my transactions from Mint, categorize these transactions, and assess my spending habits.

In this post, I’m laying it all on the line: I’m going to give you an in-depth look at my spending habits for all of the years I have financial data for: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and the first 3 months of 2018. This will give you an example of the spending habits of one male millennial.

What gets measured, gets managed; this is a philosophy of mine and I want to show you how I’ve done it in recent years to inspire you to become better financially.

My sincere hope is that you look at my transparency around my finances and look to take steps to make your financial situation better. I truly believe that everyone can get their financial situation in order and can be successful with money.

It doesn’t matter how much you make, it doesn’t matter how much you have currently. By taking steps each and every month to earn money, track what you’ve earned and spent, and adjusting to ensure you are spending money on things and experiences that make you happiest, and staying consistent, you will be on the road to wealth.

The Spending Habits of a Young Adult Male in the Midwest

25 year old frugal male spending habitsComparing and contrasting yourself to other people is a natural thing we all do.

I see your success and I want to know how you did it because I want success.

I’m sure you have similar thoughts about certain areas of life you want to achieve success in.

Let’s get this out of the way: I’m a 25-year-old millennial. I’m a guy and I live in a big city in the Midwest. I’d like to say I’m relatively frugal (which frugality itself has many flavors and definitions). 

I’m going to show you exactly what I’ve spent on myself the last few years, starting in 2013, when I was still in college, to the first 3 months of 2018.

This should be a fun experience for both of us!

Spending Categories I Track

One of the first steps to setting up a tracking system is to determine which spending categories you track, as well as determining how granular you want to go with your tracking.

Back in college, this is what my spreadsheet looked like:

college spreadsheet personal expense categories

I didn’t really know much about accounting, but realized that tracking and seeing my spending over time would be more beneficial than not tracking it.

Starting off, the 5 categories I tracked were: food, rent, school related, recreation, and other withdrawals.

In college, I didn’t have a car or car insurance, I was still luckily on my parents’ health insurance plan, and I didn’t have to worry about any loan payments.

As I mentioned above, when determining your categories for expense tracking, you can be as granular or as high level as you want. I think going into the weeds is awesome, but you might not care.

Again, for me, I had a category of food. Thinking back, food actually meant a combination of the following:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Going out to eat or to a fast food restaurant
  • Going to the bar
  • Getting a snack at the local convenience store
  • Buying alcohol at the liquor store

So really, I could’ve broken it out 5 ways, or at a minimum, made it food and drink, but I digress.

Again, it’s up to you to figure out what you like and how granular you’d like your financial tracking spreadsheet.

Creating a New Financial Spreadsheet

After getting a real job and finishing up all of my schooling back in 2015, I actually stopped tracking my finances.

What’s interesting about looking back on this, is that while my income increased from about $20,000 a year to $63,000+ a year, all of a sudden I thought I didn’t need to track my financial situation.

Luckily, I’m a relatively frugal person, and I didn’t let lifestyle inflation get to me.

In 2016, I realized I needed to get back on the tracking train and I’m glad I did it.

With a house, a car, car insurance, a real job, rental income coming from roommates, utilities to pay, and a whole bevy of other things to worry about, my financial spreadsheet needed a revamping from my college days.

Now, my categorization looks like this:

spending categories personal finance spreadsheet

While not super granular, I do split up utilities, my mortgage and the costs associated with that, any auto expenses, and even track the different taxes I pay each month.

The discretionary spending piece of my spreadsheet hasn’t changed too much: I went from Food, Recreation and Other Withdrawals to Food and Drink, Shopping, Recreation, Hair, Home Improvement, Travel, and Cash Withdrawals. (Hair got it own category because it’s not really shopping, and it didn’t fit in anywhere else 🙂 )

I’ve determined that this expense tracking categorization works for me.

Food and Drink lumps together eating out, grocery shopping, drinks with friends, and drinks from the store. I could break this out, but that’s more work than I want to do.

Recreation? That is golf, the gym, rock climbing, and other fun activities.

Shopping? That’s me going on Amazon to buy books, or spending money at Christmas for my family and friends.

Again, this is the categorization that works for me (remember, personal finance is personal!)

Breaking it Down By the Numbers

Okay Erik, stop messing around! Show me the numbers!

I’ll admit, I’ve been rambling a little bit.

It’s time to get naked and bare all!

(I’m working on being more visual and descriptive with my writing, but I probably didn’t need to write that…)

Spending Habits during My Master’s Program

Back in 2013, I was finishing up my undergraduate degree and starting my Master’s in Financial Math.

The summer of 2013, I started working as a bookkeeper making $12 an hour. To give you a little bit of information on the income side of things, in 2013, I made about $15,000, and after taxes, I was able to keep around $12,500.

Here are all of my expenses from 2013:

personal finance spending college student

I was bringing my lunch to work, going out once a week to the local college bar, and keeping my recreation expenses relatively low. For the first 8 months of 2013, I shared a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 other guys and was paying $522 a month in rent. For the last 4 months, we moved to a 3 bedroom duplex and our rent was $425. (The extra bit in the rent category is utilities I’m guessing).

Other withdrawals is a mystery here: I’m guessing this is shopping or something along those lines.

In 2014, it seems I became a little more comfortable with spending money, and to give you some perspective again, I was still working as a bookkeeper making about $20,000. I took home around $16,000 that year.

Back in 2014, I was networking more for work purposes (and for wife-y purposes, let’s be honest), and would go out to the bar most weekends with friends.

Here are all of my expenses from 2014:

expenses midwest 25 year old frugal

In September, I moved again and started renting for $500 a month. It seems I was starting to spend more on recreation and food, but overall, spending only increased about $1,000 year over year.

Spending Habits after Getting a Real Job

As I mentioned above, I didn’t track my expenses in 2015. I was paying down debt at a rapid pace, bought a house, and started to contribute to my 401(k).

Focusing on the income side of things took focus away from my expenses, and as I said, being relatively frugal, the expenses clearly didn’t cross my mind too much.

In 2016, I started tracking my finances again, and have been ever since. To provide perspective again, in 2016, I made over $70,000 at my day job, and also had roommates paying me rent.

Here are my expenses from 2016:

2016 expenses 25 year old

With a higher salary and passive income coming in from house hacking, I definitely loosened the belt a little bit on food spending.

In 2013, I was spending about $120 a month on food. Now, in 2016, I wasn’t packing my lunch and would eat out at work. I was now averaging about $450 a month on food and drink.

You can also see how expensive owning a house is. Luckily, as I mentioned above, my roommates were covering about 80% of the mortgage, so while these numbers look big, I was able to hack them to minimize my housing expenses 🙂

Still, between utilities and mortgage payments, I spent $26,000+ on housing in 2016! Crazy!

Interestingly enough, recreation spending was down from 2014. With a 9 to 5, there isn’t too much time to golf!

Starting a Personal Finance Blog and the Impact on Spending

At the end of 2016, I started The Mastermind Within.

Focusing on financial freedom, personal finance, and self-improvement, I started to analytically dive in to my numbers.

With this in mind, let’s look at how this impacted my spending habits.

Again, to provide perspective, 2017 was the year I made over $100,000 at age 25.

Here are my expenses from 2017:

2017 spending habits frugal midwest male

Comparing 2016 and 2017, my spending on Food and Drink decreased a little bit, and my spending on shopping, recreation, and travel increased.

At the beginning of 2017, I thought I wanted to get rid of PMI, but then changed my mind and have since looked to capitalize on asymmetric bets to build wealth. You can see two large principal payments in February and March that stopped shortly after.

Other than that, there’s nothing too notable about these expenses. Throughout this time, I was grinding on my blog and business, and didn’t have too much time to spend any money!

Starting a personal finance blog seems to have had a positive impact on my spending habits 🙂

My Spending Habits in 2018

In the beginning of 2018, I stayed pretty conservative with my spending. I was grinding and spending a lot of my time inside because it also was very cold!

Here are my expenses for the first 3 months of 2018:

2018 spending habits frugal male

My food expenses have decreased again as I’ve stopped going out during this super harsh winter!

Spending Habit Trends Over Time

Lifestyle inflation is something that gets the best of many people.

I’ve increased my income from $12,000 in 2013 to now over 6 figures.

Looking at my expenses, you have seen a slight uptick in food, travel, and recreation spending, but it’s not too much.

One thing that is definite, my housing expenses are much higher than college living, but I’ve also been very lucky to have been in a place to house hack and negate a good chunk of this expense.

In the next few years, it will be interesting to see how these trends continue.

If marriage and kids come into the picture, there will have to be some more lines added to the spreadsheet! 🙂

My Tips for Tracking Your Income and Expense for Financial Success

What gets measured, gets managed; this is one of my life philosophies.

For me personally, each month, I pull all of my transactions from my Mint account into my free Income Statement Spreadsheet. I categorize my transactions and see exactly where my spending and saving rate landed during the month, and look to see if there are any trends forming.

This is what I use, but you are your own person and might like a different method. I’m a big advocate of thinking for yourself and thinking critically, so stopping here would be short-sighted on my part.

There are a few other personal finance tools and applications I’ve used in the past which I believe deserve a look as well:

You’ll have to figure out what works best for your own personal financial tracking situation.

Concluding Thoughts on Examining the Spending Habits of a Young Adult Male

Wasn’t that fun?

I hope that providing this level of detail with my finances will inspire you to go back to your own personal finance spreadsheet and see how you can improve.

At the end of the day, here are my recommendations for you:

  • Track your income and expenses
  • Make sure you are spending money on things and experiences that make YOU HAPPY

While I’m relatively frugal with my spending, my main goal is to increase my income.

That being said, I can’t forget about the other side of the wealth equation. Spending 100% of what I make will not make me wealthy, and tracking finances is how I can ensure I will be successful.

Readers: how detailed is your spreadsheet? What categories do you keep track of? Do you like when others go into detail with their numbers? Was this post valuable to you?


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An Easy to Understand Guide to Banking for Non-Bankers

How do banks work? What is the purpose of a bank? How do banks actually make money?

The world of banking can be confusing for many people, but it’s not too difficult to understand.

To understand the economy and markets, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of where money is created and stored.

Banks have a lot of control and power for the money supply in the world. Without banks, economic systems could not flourish, and investment couldn’t happen.

However, a lot of the banking actions and processes are not known.

Where does money come from? Where can I store my money? Is it safe? Can people create money? If so, what are the consequences of creating money from nothing?

In this post, I will be giving you a guide to banking for non-bankers. I will try to take complicated terms and concepts and share them ways you will be able to understand 🙂

The Origins of Banking

Way back, thousands of years ago, people wanted to go on pilgrimages and didn’t want to take all of their money with them. People wanted to store their money with someone they trusted while they were away.

The first banks were created to store peoples’ money and goods. Back then, a bank’s purpose was to be a safe storage place for an individual’s or businesses’ assets. For a small fee, the bank would hold a person’s gold or valuables for a later time. These first banks were a place to store your wealth.

As these financial institutions built up stores of wealth, they now had the potential to make loans and give credit to business owners and trustworthy individuals.

At first, credit was given for agriculture, but over time, credit would be extended for a number of reasons. Something to note, these loans were taken out of the existing pile of wealth, and without existing deposits, could not occur.

Different Types of Banks Today and their Functions

Over time, these simple banks which took in deposits and lent out what they could to trustworthy parties became much more complex in their nature.

While there are many sub-varieties of banks (which I’ll get into shortly), there are two main types of banks that dominate the financial ecosystem today: commercial banks and central banks.

  • Commercial banks are banks which work with consumers and/or businesses with deposits, loans, investments, and a variety of other financial products to suit the needs of those customers.
  • Central banks are institutions which oversee and manage interest rates, monetary policy, and money supply in a particular nation state.

Let’s go into more detail on these two types of banks.

Commercial Banks

Commercial (I’m referring to commercial here as a private bank – some might call this a variety of things: retail, investment, commercial, etc.) banks offer members of the general public financial products and services such as bank accounts, loans, credit cards and insurance.

These banks can be traditional, brick-and-mortar brands that customers can access in-person, online or through their mobile phones. Others only make their tools and accounts available online or through mobile apps.

As I mentioned above, there are a number of products and services these sorts of banks can provide:

  • Checking and Savings Accounts
  • Certificate of Deposits
  • Investment and Financial Planning Advice
  • Trust Services
  • Loans and Debt
    • Mortgages
    • Credit Cards
    • Auto Loans
    • Lines of Credit 
    • Small Business Loans and Credit Cards
    • Big Business Funding (Loans, Syndicated or Corporate Debt)
  • Payment and Money Transfer Processing

If you live in the United States, I can guarantee you have interacted with a bank like this kind.

Central Banks

overview of economic systemsOn the other hand, there is a type of bank which every day people don’t interact with.

Central banks manage the money supply in a single country or a series of nations. They supervise commercial banks, set interest rates and control the flow of currency.

In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and usually also prints the national currency, which usually serves as the state’s legal tender.

Central banks also act as a “lender of last resort” to the banking sector during times of financial crisis.

Most central banks usually also have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the solvency of member institutions, prevent bank runs, and prevent reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks.

Central banks implement a government’s monetary policy goals, whether that involves combating deflation or keeping prices from fluctuating. If necessary, they can lend money in rough economic times to keep the monetary system from collapsing. In the United States, the Federal Reserve System is the central bank.

The central bank should take actions which are independent of the political environment, but some people believe that isn’t always the case. (potential rabbit hole here 🙂 )

Now that we know what kind of banks there are, let’s talk about how banks make money.

How Banks Make Money

capitalism and marxismThe business model of commercial and private banks is quite simple. There are a few different ways to generate income at a bank, but the most common way banks make money is through interest income.

Interest income is received from the borrowers who are paying back their loans. For example, if you have a mortgage or a student loan, each month, you end up paying a portion to the principal balance and a portion to interest.

The interest rate on loans will vary, and these interest rates are determined through analyzing the risk involved with these products.

For an example, mortgages are less risky than credit cards. With a mortgage, depending on the state, if you don’t pay your mortgage, the bank can foreclose and take control of your house. Also, people need places to live, which incentivizes those people to pay their mortgage.

Credit cards are not secured by any property, and so if a person stops paying, the bank doesn’t get anything in return. Since there is more risk here in credit cards, the interest rate will be much higher to compensate the bank for the risk taken on.

Many banks will target an interest differential of at least 3%, meaning they will look to earn interest at a rate 3% higher than the interest they are paying out in loans.

While it’s a little bit more complicated than this, this goal points to why in recent years, mortgage rates stayed around 3%, while your bank account interest rate was roughly 0%.

To emphasize, banks want you paying interest – it’s the main money maker for them.

Other Forms of Income for Banks

Banks make money in other forms as well depending on the products which are offered.

A few well known forms of income for banks would be the fees that go into opening accounts and loans for a person (origination fees). Another form of income is overdraft fees. To transfer money and process payments, there are usually fees associated here as well.

For commercial and investment banks, fees can be charged for helping businesses with their financing, payments, and investments.

Also, as I mentioned above, some banks offer financial services like financial planning, investment advice and wealth management.

Fractional-Reserve Banking Explained

Let’s dive into how banks work and operate now. To do so, we need to talk about fractional-reserve banking.

What is fractional-reserve banking?

Fractional-reserve banking is a practice where banks take in deposits and can make loans and investments using those deposits while only needing to hold a certain percentage of money in reserve. Since the majority of people don’t need all of their money at once, the bank doesn’t need to hold all of it and instead is able to use it for other uses.

In practice, this looks like the following: I have $1,000 and I want to deposit this at a certain bank. This bank takes my $1,000 and by law, is able to do what it wants with it. The bank will take my $1,000 and turn it into $10,000 and use the extra $9,000 to loan out or make investments.

In daily operations, banks in 2018 usually will have just 10% of all deposits in their cash reserves. This is where “bank runs” can be problematic because if just 10% of people need to take their cash out of the bank, then the bank is in trouble because this would represent nearly 100% of their cash reserves (again, it’s a little more complicated, but this is the general idea).

To complete this thought, these reserves are also in place for any losses the bank might experience.

In the next section we will talk about money creation and how my $1,000 is able to be turned into $10,000.

How Banks Create Money Out of Thin Air and What is Monetary Policy?

News flash: banks can create money out of thin air. If you knew this congrats, and if you didn’t, maybe it’s a shock to you.

However, most people don’t actually understand how this process works.

In the modern economy, most money takes the form of bank deposits. But how those bank deposits are created is often misunderstood: the principal way is through commercial banks making loans.

Whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.

Let me explain through a simple example.

I’m looking to buy a home and I find one I like. I put an offer in on the house and it’s accepted for $250,000.

Now, I’m going to go to the bank for a loan of $250,000. The bank doesn’t have $250,000, but can create it. The bank tells me I’m credit worthy and decides to loan me $250,000.

Inside the bank, the internal treasury department will then go to the interbank lending market and borrow this amount. Central banks are a part of this interbank lending market and if there is a shortage between banks, will then provide the funds at given short term rates.

The short term rates which a bank is charged is the Fed Funds rate in the United States.

To further clarify this point, many people believe that banks are an intermediary between depositors and borrowers. Traditionally, this was probably the case, but in current times, this is not the case. Instead, as I just described, the banks can create money when they need to, and only need to hold a certain percentage of reserves to make sure they stay solvent and capitalized.

The process described above might happen thousands of times a day in the United states, and can be done without restriction in theory.

In practice though, risk needs to be considered, as well as a number of other factors like laws, shareholder expectations, and the overall economic situation (interest rates).

How do Bank Reserves Affect Money Creation?

As I described above, banks are required by law to hold reserves to ensure they have enough back up for losses or customers wanting their cash.

As a result, this money creation process can’t go on unbounded.

My example from above is slightly inaccurate because the bank doesn’t actually take my $1,000 and turn it into $10,000. Instead, it’s the opposite, they can now create the $10,000 and only need to have my $1,000 as a reserve.

In addition to this restriction, as a I mentioned, there are a number of factors which influence this money creation which I’ll talk about now: monetary policy.

How the Central Banks Set Monetary Policy and Influence Loan Growth

Central banks, as we discussed above, set monetary policy through setting short term interest rates in the interbank  lending market.

In March 2019, the overnight Federal Funds rate was roughly 2.50%.

Higher interest rates make it harder for borrowers (people and businesses) to qualify for loans, and in a similar fashion, lower interest rates make it easier for borrowers (people and businesses) to qualify for loans.

Connecting all of the dots in this post, let’s remember how banks make money through interest income. If a bank has to borrow money at 2.5%, and the goal interest rate differential is 3%, then on average, they will hope to set the average rate on their loan products at about 5.5%.

The central bank moves this overnight rate up and down depending on the economic outlook. Two metrics which the central bank mainly focuses on is unemployment rate and inflation, but will consider a number of other factors in the economy.

At this point, we’ve covered banking almost in its totality, but a question that I want to plant in your head for further consideration is, will creating money out of thin air catch up to us eventually?

Will Creating Money Out of Thin Air Catch Up Eventually?

In the beginning of a credit cycle, money is easy and lots of credit is extended to individuals and corporations. This debt helps to inspire people to consume, build, and create things for the future. However, sometimes, some of this will fail to produce long term growth, and defaults will occur.

Over time, the economy becomes stagnant, slow, and  over weight with debt payments and productively decreases.

Visually, credit cycles look like this:

credit cycle

Creating money out of thin air in an excessive fashion will lead these sorts of cycles with some great periods and some not so great periods.

One point I want to make here is to make sure to consider energy as well. Debt is a claim on future energy. If money is printed to the high heavens, then this is the same thing as saying that energy is infinite.

While in the past, humans have innovated and made due with a number of energy sources, assuming this can continue to happen without consequence is a little short sighted (in my non-expert opinion).

Expanding credit and debt would require ever increasing production of energy sources, which in a finite world, may or may not be the case.

Again, I’m going to go into this in more detail in a later post, but wanted to plant it here since it’s relevant to this discussion on banking.

How Banking Works is Not Too Confusing

Even though I’ve worked at a bank for a number of years and thought I knew how banks worked, as I continued to dig deeper, I found that I didn’t know everything I should have known about the banking and monetary system.

In this post, we learned about what banks are, what services banks provide, how banks make money, and how banks can create money.

Being someone who is concerned in finding and writing about the truth in the economic system, examining how monetary policy is set, how money is created, and looking at how money enters the system is a fundamental piece to understand.

I’m not an expert, but hope that I’ve provided a pretty good overview of how banking works.

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The Earth is a Closed System

In this post, I’ve decided to embrace my non-traditional and alternative thoughts on the personal finance space and talk about a number of things that I’ve been battling with internally about money, the markets and investing. This is the first post in this series, and will set the stage for several posts to follow.

One of the principles of living with an abundance mindset is that the world is infinite in possibilities. In the 21st century here in the United States, people have never in their history had the freedom that we do now to do what we want with our time and money.

Want to go across the country tomorrow? It’s a possibility – get an airplane ticket and you are there! Something to eat? Head down to the grocery store or your favorite restaurant and you’ll be fed! Air conditioning on a hot day, or heat on a cold day? Spin the dial and comfort awaits!

Why am I bringing this up?

Unfortunately, this freedom is expensive, from monetary, environmental and energy perspectives.

This series is going to be a challenge to people in the personal finance community, economists (real and armchair), politicians (real and armchair), and anyone interested in investing. Thinking critically is so important if you are going to navigate this world successfully.

I’m pursuing TRUTH and will not stop short of it.

In this first post, I’m going to discuss a topic so frequently ignored and touch on the surface of some of the consequences of this ignorance.

The Earth is a Closed System

I’m sure this is an obvious statement to you: the Earth is a closed system.

Humans know the dimensions of the Earth (diameter of 7,900 miles) and have pictures of the entire planet from space.

In other words, you could say that the Earth is finite.

In mathematics (namely, number theory), finite sets are a collection of things which can be counted and the count of the collection is finite (less than infinity). Subsets of a finite set are finite as well, and are not infinite.

Why do I bring this up?

Something that is so frequently ignored by economists, journalists, personal finance experts, investors, and politicians is that the Earth is finite and limited.

Because the Earth is finite and limited, there are a few things that cannot be limitless: population, man-made energy, and money.

The rest of this post will be touching on population dynamics, energy, and give a preview of the rest of this series.

Population Dynamics in a Closed System

In a biology class in high school or college, you may have learned about population dynamics.

In a closed system, the population of individuals is governed by following differential equation (from Wikipedia):

The solution to this equation is the following:The picture of this equation is the following:

population growth picture

At the beginning of time, the growth is fast, and as you come up to the carrying capacity of the system, the growth slows.

The carrying capacity is a level such that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment. The carrying capacity is a dynamic number based on technology, weather, and a number of other factors, but this number is always a finite number (because of the closed system assumption).

While this is great in theory, how is this playing out in the real world?

Population Dynamics in the United States

I live in the United States, so it’s natural to start there.

Here’s a graph of the United States population over time:

United States population over time

Over time, the population in the United States has grown, and since 1950, has more than doubled.

If you are paying attention, you’ll recognize something that’s a little off. The United States is not a closed system.

While performing my research for this post, I found some information on immigration and people leaving the United States, but to perform a thorough analysis, I’d have to come up with some sort of cohorting methodology which would be outside of the scope of this post anyway…

What I did find is that the growth of the core population of the United States (ages 15-64) is declining and leveling off over time:

working age population united states

The population continues to go up, but the core population is going down? Well, the majority of the change and growth in the population in the past 30-50 years is due to immigration.

What does this point to? A maturing population in a space approaching it’s carrying capacity? I’m not sure the exact reasons, as I’m not an expert on population dynamics, but from our thought exercise, it would seem that the United States population has matured and has reached stability (ignoring immigration).

But why… we will get to that in a little bit. Let’s talk about population dynamics on Earth.

Population Dynamics on Earth

Since we live on Earth, and this post is ultimately about Earth being a closed system, I present below the Earth’s population over the past 500 years:

world population over time
World Population (billions)

Again, we see massive growth around 1950, and little signs of this slowing down. But again, from population dynamics, we know that Earth is a closed system, so at some point, the population should level off.

Some scientists have us leveling off at 9 or 10 billion. Most projections have us between 6 and 17 billion in the year 2100.

Are we approaching our carrying capacity in the world today? Will people be able to increase the carrying capacity of the world? What factors will affect this?

These questions are outside the scope of this post, but leads us to my next point on the discussion of Earth being a closed system.

The Most Important Variable so Often Ignored: ENERGY

When you get out of bed in the morning, what do you do?

Your muscles move in such a way that allows you to roll off the bed and stand up. How do your muscles do this?

Your muscles tap into your body’s energy stores.

Where does your body get this energy? Easy, food.

Where does this food come from? The grocery store, which got it from a farm or food processor.

How did the farm or food processor get the food?

I think you get where I’m going.

ENERGY drives everything in our world.

Since energy drives everything in our world, why do economists, politicians, “experts” and talking heads ignore it? Let’s dive in a little more.

How Energy has Affected Population Growth

Again, I’m sure this is obvious to you since you learned this in history class in high school, but it’s worth repeating.

At the start of the 1800’s, the Industrial Revolution took place and brought extreme change to the way people went about their daily lives. Innovation and new technologies allowed humans to go places faster, do more work and produce things more efficiently.

Steam powered engines, the ability to mass produce steel and iron, and advancements in agriculture allowed people to live more comfortably and build up society to do things that were unattainable in the past.

Because of these developments, more people were needed for growth and building, and the population started to explode.

Over the next 200 years, more technological developments and growth allowed the population to keep its steady pace upwards. Electricity, oil discoveries, solar, wind, and nuclear energy advancements, all of these contributed to a surplus of energy which allowed humans to research and discover new and more efficient ways to produce food, build real estate, and create the society we know today.

Here’s the thing though: while yes, there have been strides in renewable energy, we cannot ignore the fact that the majority of the world is still very dependent on oil and fossil fuels. As we know, the Earth is a finite mass, and a subset of the Earth (oil) is also finite.

If energy drives growth and productivity, and one of the main sources of our energy disappears, what will be the result?

The Interplay of Energy and Earth Going Forward


While the financial media typically stays quiet about energy outside of the cost of different commodities, there is quite a bit of talk about it among academics and politicians (though not always as thoughtful or well-meaning as we may like).

Certain people argue that since humans are a dynamic species, we are adaptable to our different situations. Over time, if we run out of oil, we can find some other energy source which will fit our needs.

While this sounds great, in reality, people have been working on alternative energies for the past 50 years and these energies still aren’t as efficient as we’d like (or there is some other force blocking the widespread use – potential rabbit hole here).

Other people argue that the world is undoubtedly finite, and the rate at which we are using oil and other fossil fuels is unsustainable, and because we are so dependent on this type of fuel, we are in for a rude awakening.

Countries and businesses are spending more money, going into more debt, and getting less return on their investment for less of a yield.

Is this sustainable? Are new technologies on the rise? I don’t know.

I don’t know how the future will look, as I don’t have a crystal ball, nor does anyone else.

My point of this is to highlight that we cannot ignore something so fundamental to living and daily life in our macro projections.

Energy, population dynamics, and the environment drive the economy… it’s not the other way around

This statement is worth repeating since it’s so important: energy, population dynamics, and the environment drive the economy… it’s not the other way around.

I’ll be going into more detail in later posts in this series, but some statements which automatically fall out of this statement are worth mentioning here:

Again, I will touch on a number of these later on in this series, but wanted to make these statements here to get the ball rolling.

Keep these concepts in mind in the upcoming posts

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m not an expert, but want to write in such a way which will spark original and critical thought in your brain.

Consideration of the impact of energy on the economy, productivity, and markets is critical and should not be ignored.

The world we live on is not infinite, and as a result, we should take care in our discussions to consider this.

In the upcoming posts, I will be talking about some concepts which are fundamental to the financial system today:

I’m searching for the truth, and while I’m not there yet, this will be a fun set of posts for me to learn more about the world, and hopefully give you some good food for thought.

Thanks for reading,


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Can You Actually Make Money Blogging?

A few years ago, I decided to start researching ways to make more money on the side of my day job. Searching “how to make more money” in Google kept leading me towards websites saying “start a blog”, fill out surveys, or join some silly apps.

After some thought, I decided to take a step towards creating an online business, and started a blog.

My goal with my blog was to see if I could turn it into an income stream and make money from blogging.

After 2 years of writing, hustling, and grinding away for hours and hours, I haven’t made a lot of money, but I have made some money.

Can you actually make money from blogging?

Short answer? Yes.

Long answer? It’s complicated.

In this post, I’m going to share with you my results from my first 2 years of blogging, what you can expect if you start a blog, the skills necessary for growing your blog, and an answer to the question if you can actually make money from blogging.

What a New Blogger Can Expect During The 1st 2 Years of Blogging

I launched The Mastermind Within on the 1st day of 2017. It’s now 2019, and I’ve been blogging for 2 years.

During this time, I posted a ton of content, redesigned this website a handful of times, made a ton of mistakes, and have made some money.

Overall though, after two years, my return from my blog is a large negative.

When I started blogging, I didn’t know how to build a following, provide value, and monetize this following.

Over time, I learned, but it’s been a long slog.

Below are the revenue statistics from the first two years of blogging on The Mastermind Within.

What You Could Expect in Your First Year of Blogging

In the first year (2017), I made $161 and received 40,957 page views (~3,500 page views a month).

blog income report December 2017

Not included in the picture above is the expenses. In 2017, I spent around $1,300 on different software, website hosting, and education resources.

During this first year, I added nearly 175 pieces of new content to the website, but my marketing wasn’t fantastic.

I wasn’t on Pinterest, wasn’t doing any Facebook advertising, and wasn’t super consistent with my posting or outreach.

Also, I was still learning how to make an appealing website, and was struggling with focus for my new and existing readers.

Some of this was addressed in year two, but after one year, I still didn’t really know what I was doing (and it shows in the results)

What You Could Expect in Your Second Year of Blogging

During the second year, I focused in a little more, secured some sponsored content contracts, and continued to build up the content on the website.

In the second year of the blog, I made $2,520, and received 128,932 page views (~11,000 page views a month).

blog income report decebmer 2018

blog statistics december 2018

During the second year, I posted 3 times a week, but the main driver of the increase in traffic was from search engines.

For money making, I was experimenting with a lot of different ways to make money blogging, but none of them really worked out. Some were based around affiliate marketing, other ideas were based around ads.

One blogging money making method that did work out was securing a sponsored post contract with an advertising agency.

Sponsored content is not for everyone, but I wanted to see if it would be beneficial. For this website, it seems it has been okay.

In the second year, I hired a few people to help me with this blog, but the return on that investment was not instantaneous.

Overall, for the second year, I took a monetary loss of $650, as well as all of the time I spent on the blog.

Can You Actually Make Money Blogging?

Let’s go back to the original question, can you actually make money blogging?

Yes, you can make money blogging. Affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored content, partnerships, paid products – all of these can lead to income if done right.

I’m currently working on a paid product that could bring in $3,000 a month if done right. We will see the result when I’m done with the product!

Making money online is certainly possible, but will take effort and patience.  For me, in my first two years, I made nearly $3,000.

However, to make this money, I spent about $4,500, and worked countless hours on writing, designing and learning how to become a better online business owner.

I made a lot of mistakes, but also have grown a ton from my experience.

During my first two years of blogging, I was exposed to the following concepts and experiences:

I wouldn’t have learned any of these blogging skills, or had some amazing experiences with other awesome people if I didn’t start.

Also, what’s amazing about these relationships and skills is they will not go away over time.

For example, one of my side hustles to earn more money now is freelance web design. I design websites for small business owners who don’t know how to get started online.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve earned nearly $3,000 from this side hustle. This more than makes up for the loss I’ve taken on the blog.

In year three on my blog, I’m continuing to focus in and learn more about what makes my readers tick, how I can serve them, and what will lead to growth on this blog.

Can you actually make money online and make money blogging? Yes.

Will it be difficult? Yes.

Should You Start a Blog to Earn More Money?

Above, we talked about what you can expect during your first two years of blogging.

Maybe you are still thinking about starting a blog, or maybe you already have a blog and are looking to grow.

Buying a domain, getting paid website hosting, and installing WordPress on your website can be done in less than an hour for typically less than $150.

It’s never been easier or less expensive to launch an online business than it is today.

Even with my less than stellar results after two years, I’m still very thankful I took the plunge and started this website.

If you are on the fence about diving in deep on the blog, let me share some more thoughts on the benefits I’ve found from blogging.

The rest of this post will be talking about your mindset towards creating a great blog, how to start a blog, and my best tips I have for new bloggers.

Take Action and Do Work

On this blog, I talk a lot about the importance of action.

Back at the beginning of 2017, I started The Mastermind Within. I registered the domain, https://personalfinanceblogs.com, and got to work building out the website.

I decided to take bold action, and put my thoughts and opinions out into the wild World Wide Web.

What started out as an outlet to help others, to connect with like-minded individuals, to document my journey, and to potentially create an income stream has become all of this and more.

I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and am looking forward to continue on this journey in year number 3.

It would have been easy for me to not start this blog, but I decided to take action and do the work. It would have been easy to not write thousands of words spanning hundreds of blog posts, but I decided to take action and do the work.

There are so many “hard” things that are necessary for success in this world. But, speaking frankly here, they aren’t actually that hard. The difficulty comes in the consistency and application of discipline.

Ideas are Worthless Without Action

How many million dollar ideas have you came up with over the last few years?

How many of those have you implemented?

For all of your ideas that you’ve implemented, what was the gain or loss?

I have plenty of ideas, but have realized that all of these ideas are worthless unless I actually try and capitalize on them.

Starting a YouTube channel, buying a rental property, starting a blog, getting started with a new hobby, getting into shape, building a new company – all of these things make for great conversation and goals, but without actually doing the work, nothing will come of it.

This blog, The Mastermind Within, wasn’t the most original idea. There are plenty of blogs which talk about personal finance, self improvement or entrepreneurship.

Here’s the thing: you don’t need an amazing idea the first, second, fifth or tenth time you do something. Surprisingly, taking action actually will lead to bigger and better ideas!

Over the last two years, I’ve seen some fantastic results personally, on the blog, and in my other hustles.

These results include:

Let’s go into these in more detail.

The Raw Output of Taking Action on Your Blog

In 2018, I added nearly 200 pieces of content to this blog, with the word count totaling 253,515 words. In 2017, I added nearly 175 pieces of content to the blog, with the word count totaling 216,269 words.

That’s a lot of freaking writing.

One of my life mantras is the following:

Simple daily disciplines over time will lead to MASSIVE SUCCESS.

Over 2 years, I stayed consistent with my writing and growth on this website.

There were days when I didn’t want to write, days where I didn’t have a great idea, and days where I could’ve just pushed it off for another day.

Now, I have a strong foundation, and with consistent efforts, you could create a site like this as well.

Personal Growth and Self Improvement from Blogging

Growing up, English was my worse subject in school. I got B’s and C’s in English, whereas in my math and science courses, I got mostly A’s.

In college, I graduated with a math degree, and only took 1 writing class.

Communication, English and comprehension has always been a struggle for me.

With these as weaknesses, why did I start a blog? If I’m bad at these things, then why try?

Something I like to do is spin situations and look at them from a different angle. With these weaknesses, maybe they are reasons why I actually should start a blog or podcast!

Blogging has drastically improved my communication and ability to think on my feet. Writing over 200,000 words in a coherent matter takes practice (my first posts looked horrible – and my new ones still have room for improvement!)

With this improved communication, I’ve seen improvements and an impact in my relationships and career.

Communication is incredibly important for having a successful career, and through my efforts to improve my communication, I’ve seen an increase in my salary at my day job.

Another skill I’ve learned from blogging is web design. As I discussed above, this new side hustle has helped me increase my side income.

Designing websites and making improvements to this website has been a lot of fun, and also helped me in my day job.

Learning HTML and CSS isn’t too difficult, but there is definitely a learning curve to get started.

Now, I’ve been able to market this skill and help others with their websites!

From blogging, I’ve learned a lot of great skills which will help me going forward in my hustles.

Making New Connections, Forming New Friendships and Finding Love

When I started blogging, I had no idea that there was a huge community of other bloggers who all loved talking about money, hustling and personal growth.

Over my first two years of blogging, I met and interacted with hundreds of awesome people at different meet-ups and media conferences.

I even dated someone amazing for about a year who I met through this blog!

A number of these people I met over the last year I now consider some of my best friends 🙂

Discussing interests, having accountability buddies, sharing great stories and experiences, and raising my “average” (you’re the average of the 5 people you spend your time with in all ways – wealth, social skills, health, interests, career success, etc.) has been so much fun and so great.

I’m very excited to continue to keep having fun with these new blogging and finance friends, but also meet new people too!

A New Income Stream

In the first section of this post, I told you that one of my goals with this blog was to make money. When I started, I took inspiration from other bloggers who had turned their personal website or blog into an online business.

As we saw above, through the first two years, I made roughly $3,000.

While this isn’t a lot, it has set the stage for a potential income stream going forward with the correct actions and efforts.

Time will tell if I’m able to make it into a profitable endeavor, but if others can do it, then so can I.

What Can You Accomplish?

One of the sayings I hate the most is, “I don’t have enough time for X.” 

Yes, I do understand that there are situations where kids are involved, multiple jobs are being held, or because of past choices, there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything you want done.

But for many people, a lot of time is spent on their phone, watching TV or laying in bed. Heck, I used to play 3-4 hours of video games EVERY DAY. That’s over 1,000 hours a year!

What is interesting, is humans underestimate how much they can accomplish in a year (or 3, or 5 years).

In my second year of blogging, I added over 250,000 words and nearly 200 posts to this website. In the past two years, I’ve added over 450,000 words and 350 posts to this website.

Could I have done all of this in 1 day? No.

Could I have done all of this in 1 week? No.

Could I have done all of this in 1 month? No.

What about 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? Yes 🙂 (I did it!)

Think about this for a second: in 5 years, you’ll be on this Earth for 43,800 hours.

How many hours does it take to reach your goal? 100? 200? 500?

I think you can carve out 100 hours in the next 5 years 😉

Spending 30 minutes a day for 200 days will hit lead to hitting your goal. Spend an hour a day for 100 days and you’ll hit your 100 hour goal.

I know you can do it.

Take action today. Do the work, and you’ll be on the path to success.

6 Steps to Starting and Growing Your Blog

At this point, you might be interested in starting a blog, but don’t know the next steps to getting your website started.

Maybe you are skeptical that you should start a blog.

There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t create a blog:

While these are valid concerns, I will address each one of these concerns here:

You don’t know what you would write about

There are millions of things you could write about.

What are your interests?

There are millions of things you could write about; it is important to brainstorm and think big.

You don’t believe your writing skills are up to par

When I started blogging, I knew my writing skills were not perfect (I told you above, I’m a math major, not an English major 🙂 ).

That being said, I have been able to work on these skills over time and have developed a skill set that has helped me in my day job and in other settings.

Communication is extremely important in today’s world.

You don’t want to put in extra time to build a blog

As I will discuss later in the post, I only spend about 5-10 hours on this blog a week.

Setting up your blog does take some time initially, and depending on how big you want it to grow, you can put as much time in as you want.

As I said before, after setting it up and getting it rolling, you probably will spend 5-10 hours on the blog a week going forward.

You don’t know anything about blogging and are scared to learn

There are so many amazing resources on the web to learn about content creation, web design, email marketing, and successful blogging. Later in this this post, I’ll provide some amazing blogging resources which have helped me grow my website.

With these concerns out of the way, how can you start your blog today?

Steps to Setting Up Your Blog

There are 6 steps to set up a blog:

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Choose a domain
  3. Get web hosting
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Design your website
  6. Write your first post!

Let’s dive into each one of these.

1) Choose a topic

First and foremost, you need an idea for starting the blog.

For The Mastermind Within, the idea was to start a community that focused on discussing trying to live a balanced life. A balanced life would include being financially successful, holding a great job in the field you are passionate about, and pushing to grow over time.

For you, what are passionate about?

There are many different avenues you can take here.

2) Choose a domain name (website name)

After you have picked a topic, now is the fun part: coming up with a website name.

This name should be simple and memorable (3-5 words).

For this website, the domain name is https://personalfinanceblogs.com.

We picked The Mastermind Within because we believe everyone is the creator, owner, and master of their lives. In addition, when someone is called a Mastermind, there is the implication the person has control on their lives.

By reading our blog, you can become more successful in life and become the owner of your life.

Once you have an idea for your domain, you can check the domain availability on a website like Instant Domain Search, or when you go to buy paid hosting.

3) Get paid web hosting

A web host is the server your website runs on. Web hosting is like the land, and your website is the house on that land.

Why paid web hosting?

When starting out blogging, some people will start with a wordpress.com or a blogger.com blog. While this is perfectly okay, there are so many limitations for designing, monetizing and growing your following on those sites.

It is possible to still have a free blog, however, to have complete control over your website, and have support if something went wrong, I still recommend a paying for web hosting.

For web hosting, you want a web hosting service that has been reliable, stable, and high performing.

Personally, I’ve used Namecheap, Bluehost and Siteground, and now have all of my websites running on Siteground. Siteground is super fast, affordable, and has great customer service.

If you need paid web hosting, I recommend Siteground. I will earn a commission if you buy through following link, but I truly believe Siteground is a fantastic web host for bloggers.


After clicking over to Siteground, for new bloggers, you can get the start-up plan, and then create your account.

Once you find a domain that is available, then you will enter your personal details and select the package information settings.

I recommend getting the “Domain Privacy Protection” for $0.99 a month.

If you are trying to stay anonymous, this will hide your name and phone number from others. For the other settings, I don’t select any.

The only one I considered selecting, in addition to the “Domain Privacy Protection” setting, was the Site Backup Pro. For me, I back-up my site manually, and save some cash.

4) Install WordPress

After purchasing hosting, it is time to get WordPress. To continue with our analogy, Siteground is the land, your domain is the house, and WordPress is the materials to build the house.

Just like you can pick different materials (i.e., wood floors vs. carpet), you can pick different blogging software.

WordPress is a fantastic blogging software application which makes managing and customizing your blog very easy.

Installing WordPress on Siteground is very straightforward.

After the install, you are ready to get to work on the web design and content 🙂

5) Design Website

There is a couple of things that are important to mention at this stage.

1) Theme (Free or Premium)

When you first start-up WordPress, you will probably have the generic WordPress theme activated.

This theme is fine for starters, but this one is as default as they come and may not have the customization you want.

There are many free themes you can get. The positives for these themes are they are free, and they will have more customization than the default WordPress themes. The negatives are there may be little to no support, and the theme may get abandoned and become outdated over time.

For starters, it might be wise to stick with a free theme.

For The Mastermind Within, we use the XTheme. This is a premium theme and costs $59.

The reason why I decided to go with a premium theme is premium themes are supported, the layout is more professional and the customization is superior to free themes.

To install a theme, go to the Appearance tab on the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard, and select themes. You will be led to this page:

xtheme wordpress theme

2) Plugins

Plugins are extensions to a base WordPress theme. These extensions help you do many specialized tasks.

Some plugins I use and I suggest are the following:

Depending on your goals, there are thousands of other plug-ins out there you can use to make our website perform how you want it to perform.

3) Integrate a Free Email Service

Growing your brand and following on your website can be done on social media, but an email list is what you want to start building from day one.

To start building an email list, you need to sign up for a free email service.

I recommend Mailchimp or MailerLite for new bloggers. I’ve used both, and think they are both great (plus they are free!).

After signing up for an email service, you will create a list and a form to collect emails.

Then, after creating your email form, embed this form on your website and you can then collect emails.

If you start collecting emails, you will need a privacy policy on your website. Contact and data storage is a HUGE area of scrutiny for online businesses.

These email platforms keep the data safe. But for your customers, they need to know exactly what you are doing with it.

4) Site Layout and Design

Once you have your theme and plugins, you can start to customize the layout of your website.

Go to the “Appearance” tab on the left sidebar and click “Customize”. Here you will be able to customize many different aspects of your website, from fonts to widget placement to backgrounds to menus to headers and footers.

There will be many different combinations you can choose from.

Find the one that is best for you!

If you need more customization, then you can create a child theme and change the template files.

6) Write your first post (and then your second and third…)

After completing the first 5 steps, you have your idea, you have your website, you have your design. Now, it’s time to produce some content for your readers.

Here’s the awesome thing: you can do whatever you want!

Maybe you want to do an introduction page, or an about me page.

It’s possible you want to get right into writing about your passions and save the intro page for later. Maybe you want to start promoting a product, such as an e-book, right away.

The possibilities are endless! You now have your own platform to do whatever you want on it!

Resources to Help You Grow Your Blog

Now, that you’ve set up your blog, you are probably wondering, “What’s next? How can I grow this website?”

There are a number of fantastic resources I’ve used over the past two years which have helped me improve my knowledge around blogging.

Searching on Google will lead to some other amazing blogging resources, but these should definitely help you get started.

Will You Make Money Blogging?

In this post, I’ve provided you some amazing resources and tips to get your blog started, or get your blog growing.

As I mentioned above, I’ve gained some amazing skills, met some awesome people, and created a space for myself on the internet for my thoughts.

While this website might never become profitable, the connections and abilities I’ve acquired are totally worth it.

For you, my number one tip is to start, and be consistent with your actions.

Simple daily disciplines will lead to massive success over time.

Can you actually make money blogging? Yes.

Will you love blogging even if you don’t make money? Absolutely.

If you have any questions or comments about blogging, web design, or marketing, feel free to contact me. I read and respond to every email.

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Benefits of Living with an Abundance Mindset

“Abundance mindset” has become a fairly common term, especially in the world of personal development. In this post I will explain what it really means to live with an abundance mindset and give examples of ways to apply this mindset to your life, resulting in a win-win attitude.

I wake up each and every day excited. I’ve been on a roll lately, and I’m not stopping.

The following quote has been on my mind:

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein

Become a person of value. Put the best version of yourself out into the world. Give and keeping giving, and give some more.

It’s a law of physics: for every force, there’s an equal and opposite force. Put a different way:

The energy you put into the world comes back.

Give, push, and grind – you will be rewarded.

What does all this have to do with living with an abundance and growth mindset? Let’s first talk about what an abundance mindsets means.

Living with an Abundance vs. a Scarcity Mindset

abundance mindsetImagine you and I are walking down the street, side by side.

You breathe in. You breathe out. I breathe in. I breathe out. We both need oxygen to survive. Would it cross your mind that there would not be enough oxygen for both of us? Of course not—air is abundant.

Now, imagine we are scuba diving and my scuba tank starts to malfunction. I signal that I need to share the oxygen in your tank. All of a sudden, the air becomes a precious commodity. Its scarcity makes us worry. What if there isn’t enough for both of us?

Many people live with a scarcity mindset – a mindset which is zero-sum.

You win, I lose.

I win, you lose.

People with this type of mindset have a hard time sharing success with other people and are jealous of others’ success. As you can see above, this mindset results in a win-lose attitude, where there has to be a loss in order for there to be a win. When you live with an abundance mindset, you have a win-win attitude.

Why I’m Choosing to Live with an Abundance Mindset

Instead of a scarcity mindset, I’ve tried to implement an abundance mindset – and view the world as unlimited in it’s potential.

Starting out, it was tough. I definitely struggled with living with abundance as a kid, always competing with my sister in different ways. It always seemed like, ‘Erik got this, so that’s not fair that I didn’t,”  or “What? She got to go do that, why didn’t I?” were common phrases around the house.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that everyone is unique and there is enough to go around.

Enough? Enough money, enough love, enough time, enough effort, enough praise, and enough success to go around.

If I lose my job, there’s another one for me somewhere. If my relationships don’t pan out like I’d like them to, there are other people out there who will appreciate me for me. If my business fails and I lose $10,000, I’ve learned something along the way and will be better for it the next time around!

For a concrete example, take this blog:

Scarcity Mindset: I’m a math major who isn’t very good at writing. People aren’t going to read my content because there are already hundreds of blogs out there. What do I have to say? What can I add? Who’s going to read me? There are so many people with thousands of followers – how will I get any?

Abundance Mindset: I’m a math major who could work on his writing. People might be interested, and hopefully I can help people with my message and story. I’m unique, just like everyone else! Maybe someday I’ll have thousands of followers and be successful like those other amazing bloggers.

It’s the same concept of seeing the glass half full or half empty! Which way do you view it?

I’m very glad I started a blog and have been practicing living with an abundance mindset. Life is so much better when you realize there is so much potential out in the world and you can unlock it for yourself!

6 Exercises to Practice Living with an Abundance Mindset

Here are a few exercises you can try to help you live with an abundance mindset:

Being a Servant and a Giver

I’m finding incredible happiness, energy, and purpose in creating content for this site, building and designing websites and applications, and having coffee and phone calls to provide my perspective on a person’s life, or gain perspective for me to pass on at a future time.

Giving my time and energy has resulted in some amazing opportunities and relationships. Just being open to the possibility of meeting a special someone, getting that next client, making the big sale, or making a new connection can result in wild success.

Open yourself up to the world with an abundance mindset!



There’s so much potential for wealth, love, support, praise, success, the list goes on.  Being open to these areas of life, both for you and for other people, and taking action will allow you to experience things you have never been able to experience before.

You can win and I can win. We can win at the same time! Your success is my priority – something I work toward each and every day on The Mastermind Within.

I’m going to give you my time and effort – with consistent blog posts and podcast episodes.

I’m going to give you my wisdom and tips – I’m going to continue to pour my heart out into every post and podcast.

By living with an abundance mindset, we all win.

Readers: do you live with an abundance or a scarcity mindset? Are you a giver or a taker? 

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