Phase 1 – (Seattle, USA, 2010)
I started my career as a software engineer in 2006 and then I got transferred to the USA for client site work – a dream of a software engineer came true.
I started earning in US Dollars rather than Indian Rupees – my US salary became approximately 5 times my Indian salary.
But I was not happy. I was earning well but the work was juiceless. Boring to death.
I was not doing anything meaningful for the world or for myself. I was spending 90% of my time in the excel sheets rather than actually coding software.
I wanted to start a business but I had no courage to leave the job.
My dreams (of starting my business) shattered every day.
I wanted to work on my own terms but I was addicted to my monthly salary.
Monthly salary is like cocaine
It’s hard to leave the job once you are addicted to waiting for the SMS “Your salary is credited in your bank account” every month.
I knew that I would never become rich from my salary. My job was paying me just more than my requirement but not enough to make me rich. Because if employees can become rich and financially free then who will work day and night in the companies?
I was doing the job just to earn the money but I could not imagine myself doing the same shit for my entire life.
See.. I am from a Baniya family and business is in our DNA. I was waiting for the right time to quit and start my life of freedom. .
Phase 2 (Back to India in 2013)
I lived a frugal life and saved dollars from every possible expense in the USA. I figured out ways to save money using credit cards and actually earned $2500 just from the signup bonus from credit cards.
I came back to India with a decent saving.
All my friends advised me to buy an apartment in Gurgaon because real estate was at it’s peak. Even my manager was making more money from his real estate investments than from his salary.
I was very clear what to do with my hard saved money.
I divided my saving into 3 unequal parts
- Emergency Fund (Equivalent to 10 months of expenses)
- Financial Runway ( = 24 months of expenses)
- Business Investment (Rest of the money)
I paid off all my debts – invested my money into a business (Cloud based ERP for schools) and eventually left my job.
And you should not be surprised to know.. Running a business is not easy.
I worked hard to sell the product that I built in 8 months. I realised the truth that building software is easy but selling is hard. We sold our cloud-based solution to a few clients but barely earned enough to pay the salaries of the team (forget about the profits).
There was a limit how much money I could pump into my business. I was disciplined not to touch our emergency fund for business investment.
We ran out of business funds and had to took the hard decision of shutting down the company before even first anniversary.
I was in dilemma, confused, clueless, jobless, moneyless.
One thing was clear that I did not want to go back to the same job.
And I did not left with my money to start my second business.
I was not worried about the monthly expenses for next couple of months (because of my Financial Runway, check #2 if you forgot how I divided my money).
so I had some time to think..
to learn and try out things.
Yes, I failed at my startup attempt but that was not the end of the story
Phase 3 (May 2015, Birth of CashOverflow)
I received this advice from my mentor
- Spend 30% time to earn using existing skills
- Invest 70% time to learn new skills that would re-define the future
I prepared a list of my skills and what I wanted to learn in the future.
- Content Writing
- Software Programming
- Project Management
- Software Testing & Optimisation
- HTML & Basic Web Design
- Blogging & Marketing
- Storytelling & Presentation
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
Difficult things become easy when we think deeply and write on a paper. Do the practice of writing journal when you want to get more clarity about yourself.
I got the clarity that I will learn Digital Marketing in a practical way by starting a hobby blog. That’s how I started my personal finance blog. Making money from the blog was never a goal, all I wanted to learn was content marketing skills.
Luckily I got some freelance content writing work. I was not earning enough to pay all my monthly expenses but that little side money reduced the stress on my burning Financial Runway.
I woke up at 4:00 AM every single morning to write content till 8:00 AM. Spending 2-3 hours daily was sufficient to earn Rs. 20,000 from content writing work.
Rest of the time I spent on reading books and blogs to learn marketing and personal finance.
Honestly, I never thought that my blog would become popular. In 2017, CashOverflow won the Best Blogging Award from Indiblogger in the personal finance category.
My blog enabled me to live my dream life without worrying about money or getting fired from the job. I enjoy month-long vacations twice a year and take mini-retirements.
- Staying in Goa for a month in the budget of 4 days vacation
- Enjoying 50 days in Thailand with Family even when I was earning just 80,000 per month
- A month long road trip from Chandigarh to Karnataka (without burning our pockets)
4 million people have visited my blog from 2016 to 2019 and read 6,800,000 pages to increase their financial knowledge.
Despite the traffic fluctuations, I was able to earn my living from my blog.
I will keep updating this page as and when new updates would come. Let me know in the comments if you want to know something more about me.
Founder of CashOverflow
Also known as Kanjoos Baniya