Welcome to DIY Thrills
Welcome to DIY Thrills My name is Josh, I’m a UX/UI Designer in a software development company and I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions early on in life that I am currently paying the price for now.
I originally created a blog called Side Hustle Flow where I documented my progress of side hustling to eliminate over $21,000 in debt, I showed what worked for me and also shared some tips so you don’t have to walk down the track I went down.
I really ramped things up around 2018 and managed to save enough for a house deposit with my fiancé and in September of 2020, we purchased our first home. Although I am not 100% consumer debt free right now, the name and website site was limiting me as to what I really wanted to be creating and sharing with people. Here we are, welcome to DIY Thrills!
Debt sucks, there’s no doubt about that! My vicious circle of debt started back in 2008 when I thought it would be ‘cool’ to get a personal loan so I could build a show car. That started the cycle of fortnightly loan repayments, which to this day, I am still paying! It has prevented me from being able to live life to the fullest and I’m totally over it!
Between 2008 and 2018 is where I wish I made better decisions regarding money. What’s done is done and I have learned a hell of a lot over the years. In January 2019 I decided enough was enough and started on my journey to becoming totally debt free.
I’m not one to rely solely on one source of income, so to achieve this, i’ll side hustle my way out of debt!
My Money Mistakes
Mistake 1: Took out a loan to fund a show car – 2019 and it’s still not finished
Mistake 2: Started my own business and to cover some personal health expenses, I used a credit card
Mistake 3: Got involved with the wrong business partners and ended up closing everything down, had to add to the personal loan to pay off a business debt
Unexpected Expense: Computer decided to cark it, got a new one on an interest-free promotion
Mistake 4: Added to the personal loan again to pay off more business debt
Mistake 5: Want to move on with my life and propose to my girlfriend so I buy a ring on an interest-free promotion.
(Just to be clear: Having to take out a loan to get the ring is considered the mistake. Getting engaged to Karina is a huge win for me!)
My Money Wins
Win 1: Paid off the credit card, closed the account and chopped it up!
Win 2: Paid off the computer loan
Win 3: Paid off the ring loan
As of March 2019, I am hammering down the personal loan to become totally consumer debt-free.
My Debt-Free Plan
The obstacle at first was looking at the number and trying not to stress over it. Just over $21,000 is a lot of money and financial stress is a real thing! I knew I needed a plan to get myself out of this mess.
Knowing my expenses by creating a budget... and sticking to it!
Prior to creating a budget I had no idea of where my money was going, I started by listing all of my weekly expenses.
I now know my exact weekly and monthly expenses along with how much I can be putting towards paying off my debt.
Doing this has really allowed me to see just how much I am spending on useless shit that I really don’t need. Funny enough most of the unnecessary spending was on eating out and other food and drink purchases!
I get paid weekly and the best thing I did was set up automatic debits that come out each week and get distributed for rent, debt payments and savings. It’s like organising my money into separate jars each week.
Limiting my grocery spend
Another area I worked on was my weekly grocery spend. Prior to getting serious about eliminating my debt, I would buy whatever I wanted when doing my weekly shop.
Taking an hour each weekend to create a shopping list with a list of ingredients that can be used in multiple meals for the week is helping us save over $50 a week.
Limit social outings and cut materialistic items
We cut down dining out to once a fortnight. This is our ‘date night’ and the interesting thing about this change is how much more I appreciate that one meal and spending time with Karina. We plan it and go somewhere a little nicer compared to just getting pizza delivered.
I grew up with an brother who wore brand clothing which I just happened to fit in to, so up until a few years ago I would always buy brand name clothes. Now I search for deals and places like Trader Vics that sell factory seconds.
It’s only when you make the mindset change of not needing the materialistic items that saving money becomes easier.
Finding new ways to make additional income
I have never really considered myself as a ‘side hustler’ and don’t even get me started on the whole ‘entrepreneur’ thing. Instead, I prefer to think of myself and those who chase this path simply as super driven individuals, all in the pursuit of a better life.
My main source of additional income right now is freelance website projects. I also have several side hustle website projects of my own I am building that overtime will generate additional income for me. I am still trying to find a balance with this. It has been a huge amount of work to get a website project up and running after coming home from a long day at work.
I’ve experimented and failed more times that I’d like to admit, however, one thing that sets me apart from a lot of people is that I keep learning, I keep adapting and that’s what’s kept me going.
I will continue experimenting and sharing with you different ways to make money outside of your 9 to 5 day job.