Davies Allen Accounting Firm Interviews Jordan Page of FunCheapOrFree.com
D+A: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your businesses.
Jordan Page: My main business is my blog, FunCheapOrFree.com. I teach mainly women with families, all about budgeting, frugal living, and how to live a fabulous life of their dreams, on any budget. The blog and social media keep me busy! As well as the fun opportunities that my blog leads to, such as speaking all around the country, holding events and conferences for my readers and other influencers, and my favorite, doing TV segments (the Today Show, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, USA Today, and more.) I also have a super fun online budgeting program, BudgetBootCamp.com. It’s a video program that walks people through, step by step, setting budgets, getting out of debt, teaches them to stop fighting about money, how to afford the things they want and need in their life, even how to grocery shop better, and help others. It covers it all! It was a lot of work to build the program, but the reviews have been humbling. It’s changing lives and I am so grateful to have a platform and opportunity to help others on such a large scale. The best part about what I do is the shock-factor. When people look at me, usually wearing some form of sparkly outfit, with heels of course, driving a new car living in a beautiful home, they would never guess I teach people how to be frugal. I explain that living the life of your dreams happens BECAUSE of frugal living, not in SPITE of it. It’s fun to change people’s perspectives and see their lives change for the better.
D+A: How did you come up with the idea for FunCheapOrFree?
Jordan Page: My husband and I have always been frugal, but it wasn’t until we were newlyweds and hit our “F.D” as I like to call it (Financial Disaster) that we were forced to manage every dollar well. We moved abruptly from 2 incomes to one, as my husband followed his dream of starting a business, then down from one income to NONE when we had our first baby and I became a stay-at-home mom. We had a failed real estate investment that left us with (literally) $0 in savings, and we found ourselves with a car we couldn’t afford and a mortgage we couldn’t get out of, living off of credit cards…all within a matter of months. I learned in that moment that being frugal isn’t enough. Being financially free involves so much more. Understanding debt. Making more money when you can’t make ends meet. Being on the same page as your spouse. Setting goals. Raising a family and teaching kids to be self-sufficient and independent. Learning to live with money, even when it doesn’t come naturally to you, you’re terrible at math, and haven’t ever taken a finance class (like me!). And ultimately, how to make money your friend, not your enemy. So many lessons we learned in that year, as we miraculously paid off $15K debt in 13 months, on a $31K salary. Though we had very little (and sometimes no) money, we were living an abundant life, sometimes having much more fun than any of our friends who had plenty of money! I started blogging about the fun/cheap/free things we were doing as a family in Utah in 2011, and it eventually morphed into a blog that teaches to fish, instead of giving fish. Instead of telling people where to shop and what to buy, I have them set the budgets and make the decisions for themselves. Instead of telling them what to tell their spouse, I have them sit down and work it out together. My money management principles are…unique, to say the least. It’s fun to be a trail blazer and show the world that you don’t have to be a Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman to manage your money well…you can be a down-home, Target-going, sitcom-watching, regular ol’ mom and take charge of every dime!
D+A: What inspires you, and how do you consistently come up with such great content?
Jordan Page: If I’m being honest, I don’t have to dig very far for content…because I’m in “the grind” right along with everyone else! Sure, things change. We now have 5 kids, instead of 1 baby. We now don’t have debt, and have several businesses that are (THANK GOODNESS) paying the bills well. We don’t have to scrimp and cut like we used to. But we still live every day squeezing and milking every penny out of every dollar, just like everyone else! So 99.99% of my content comes from what I’m figuring out and doing day-to-day myself. It’s also fun to ride this wild wild west phase of the internet and social media. Things are changing so quickly, you have to stay on your toes to keep up! Blog posts used to be “the thing”. But now it’s shifted and I’m doing much more video on YouTube, and quick social media tips. The ever-changing online world forces me to come up with new ways of sharing my message with the world, and it’s fun to have a “job” (though I think of it much more like a Passion Project) that isn’t the same day in and day out.
D+A: Do you have any special systems you use to keep yourself on-track?
Jordan Page: Over the years the #1 balance point I’ve had to work on the most is remembering that my 3 priorities are 1) God, 2) husband, 3) kids, in that order, and that work comes AFTER all of that. I’ve had to get really good at saying NO to almost everything, and YES to few. I really only get a few hours a week to manage my (3) businesses, (3) employees, and still run a household and keep 5 young kids alive. If I’m not constantly checking in with myself and my family, making sure their needs are met and I’m staying in balance, I get sucked into the world of “projects” and neglect my other duties. The system I have that seems to work best is to compartmentalize my day. In the mornings, it’s family time and exercise time. After lunch when the littlest kids nap, that’s my working time. If kids are awake (grrr!) they know to play quietly and let mommy work for an hour or so. Once the kids wake up and the older kids are out of school, the laptop closes and it’s time to get ready for dinner, do homework, and organize chores. Then, once the house is clean and the kids are in bed, it’s time for my husband and I to relax and catch up on the day. If I don’t set aside time for things, my whole day is consumed with my computer and social media, and I get out of balance. I am still definitely a work in progress and have some improving to do, but when I stick to that system, it seems to work well.
D+A: How do you feel like the world of social media has shaped your business?
Jordan Page: Social media IS my business! It wouldn’t exist without it. I don’t have a brick and mortar building, I don’t have formal working hours, I don’t have a giant in-house team. Social media has allowed me to work while my kids are napping (or, supposed to be napping!) and build a thriving business and also helps my employees, all also stay-at-home moms, to help support their families while still putting their families first. Social media (blog, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook mainly) has allowed me to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and families, all from my computer at my kitchen counter, in my PJ’s with PB&J crumbs around me. The online world is so powerful, and I’m grateful to have a platform that allows me to use it for good.
D+A: If you could go back in time 5 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Jordan Page: I would give myself permission to say NO sooner, and “just do me”. I’ve always been a little different than the average blogger/online influencer, but it took me years to have the courage to fully pave my own path and do what felt right for me and my audience. I would encourage myself to think less about how things are done and how I feel they should be done, and do them the way I feel they should be done.
D+A: Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting out who want to follow a similar path?
Jordan Page: Find what makes you unique, and run like HECK at it. So many others follow, LEAD instead. Also, listen to your audience! If you have one customer, or follower, or viewer…listen to them. Ask them what they want, what they like, what they don’t like. It’s scary and humbling to allow for constructive criticism. But at the end of the day, your business wouldn’t be a business without them, so treat them as if they are the most important person in the world to you.
D+A: Can you say how having an accountant has helped you with your business?
Jordan Page: For so long I figured outsourcing books was what “big companies” did. Though my business makes money, I thought you needed to be at double-digit employees and in your own office building before you could hire out accounting. Boy, was I wrong! There’s so much comfort in knowing my precious numbers are being taken care of. They have helped me with my taxes and write-offs, my books, big and little, and have allowed me to take my precious time and allocate it elsewhere. Best business decision I’ve ever made!
To read more about Jordan Page and her website, go to www.funcheaporfree.com