Contrary to what the title implies, my name is actually Jeff. And I’m a hubby, daddy, and tight-wad enthusiast.
And if you really want to find out who the heck is Jason, then summon a homing pigeon. Or just email me the old fashioned way.
My passion for parsimony started as a method of survival. Saving for final-bill notices, avoiding debt collectors, and harvesting coins through couch expeditions were all routine. But after years of this acclimated behavior, it’s now become a game of excellence and prosperity. I went to college for English, reading neat books, watching high-brow films, and ironically misspelling enlish on my Facebook for humor. I enjoyed it, and still hold avid dreams of writing wacky lit books. To date, I’ve written 1 wacky lit book. Here’s a promotional video I made for my book:
But the finance overlords punished my myopic decision. I graduated in 2008 (which didn’t help either), and was struggling to find employment. After hours of interviews and rejections, I had to settle for an independent contractor position for an ecommerce site. It was an interesting job, because I learned a lot about internet marketing, SEO, and SEM. But nonetheless, I was relentlessly bored, and partially depressed due to the nepotism that crippled any advancement opportunities. And with an unemployed wife, unemployed 1 year old, and voracious mortgage monster, it became obvious that I was never going to retire in my current situation.
So I went a little crazy…
In 2013, I started a mud run series. Mud runs were then next booming fitness trend, and I wanted to capitalize. I thought I could design a course, toss up a few obstacles, and watch thousands of registration come rolling in. But the registration never cam rolling in, as the mud run trend phased out of popularity, leaving me in the
dust mud. I ended up working over 1200 hours without getting paid. But here are some neat feats from the experience:
- I put on (3) total mud run events. Here’s a newspaper article for one that I did in November 2013
- Between the 3 events, I attracted 1100 registrations, and earned about $74,000 in revenue. Here’s a spreadsheet, documenting all the sales.
- Even though I made $74,000 in revenue, I made $0 in profit. Here’s an expense spreadsheet for the last event.
- I secured over 15 sponsors between all the events
- My 1st event was April 13th, 2013, on a 700 acre horse farm. The event was terrible. The biggest complaint was all the horse shit.
- My 2nd event was a great improvement. But the damage was done. I had a 65% decline in registrations compared to the previous event.
- My 3rd event was the best. It was on May 10th, 2014, on a 600 acre corn field. But regardless of the improved organization, course, and registrations, I still missed financials, and had to euthanize the series.
- I no longer have the Facebook or website for the event. But the event’s Twitter page still exists. I love the logo.
Here’s one of the many fond memories that I have of the event:
But this was no time to celebrate. I was in trouble. My business just went up in smoke. And I was burning through savings to cover living expenses. I was haunted by visions of moving my family into the YMCA. But regardless of the bleak outlook, I earned a lot of business experience. But most importantly, Project Management experience.
In July 2014, I secured a position as a Project Manager for an industrial painting and flooring contractor. My job involves soliciting work, estimating work, selling work, and managing any work that I do secure. It covers the full spectrum, and I love every minute of it. I’m never bored, I’m always busy, I’m well compensated with opportunity for commission, and I would never have secured it without the mud run experience. So although the mud run never compensated me for my time, it taught me how to manage and coordinate and organize a shit load of responsibilities. Needless to say, I’ve come a long way from reading neat books.
And here I am. Still living with my unemployed wife, an unemployed 3 year old, and a 2nd unemployed 1 year old, all whom I love dearly. And I’m still fighting off that voracious mortgage monster. But even though things have gotten easier, I still carry these same habits.
- I buy my clothes at Salvation Army.
- I only buy generic brand groceries.
- I always pack a lunch.
- I drive a $1500 1997 Mazda Protege that costs me only $0.13 per mile (according to my car-cost-calculator).
- I invest aggressively.
- And I even side hustle with Craig’s List gigs.
It’s a slow battle, and I may have gotten a slow start. But financial independence is still looking more and more feasible. And every day I’m learning new saving tips and tricks to help boost how much I can invest.
And that’s the jist of my tale. I’m certainly no legend, and my story isn’t a myth. I’m a happy hubby and dad, and enjoy new challenges and hobbies. So bring it on.