Just a short update this time, as I was busy preparing my tax return and rebalancing my personal portfolio last week. Ensuring that your personal finances are in good shape is a critical skill, especially when you don't have VC funding 😅 But seriously, I believe this topic is worth highlighting.
When you're bootstrapping a product alone, it's crucial to be mindful of your money, spending habits, and investments. If the costs associated with developing and running a pre-revenue product don't deplete your personal funds to the extent that it affects your lifestyle, then you gain an additional and essential degree of freedom — the freedom to choose what to work on, with whom, and when. It also has long-term benefits for your physical and mental health, as it minimizes the ambient stress associated with financial matters.
If you've read my “Running micro-SaaS for less than 1€ a month” post, you know that the current cost of running Secutils.dev is negligible (ignoring my time and energy). However, if the need to scale arises or if I suddenly have to pay for all the tools and infrastructure I currently use for free, I can do so without any issues. Even though I planned out the budget for running Secutils.dev long before I started pouring my time and energy into it, I still relentlessly strive to keep costs as low as possible.
In fact, I have a dedicated "Bootstrapping" portfolio separate from my main portfolio to support my side projects and ideas. This portfolio consists of a few ETFs, growth stocks, value dividend-yielding stocks, and even a small allocation to crypto. It's not risk-free, but then again, nothing ever is. Building a portfolio is just half the battle, the other half is understanding and maintaining it over time. Here's a fun fact: I even created a free tool called AZbyte at some point to analyze my portfolio.
Additionally, I adhere to a debt-free approach as a matter of principle. I would only consider taking on debt or loans if they offer significant advantages and can be readily repaid within a week or so using my liquid assets and cash, should the need arise.
Another often-neglected topic, but one that I believe is incredibly important, is tax mitigation — the legal use of tax laws to ensure you don't pay more taxes than necessary. I encourage you to delve deeper into the tax laws of your country of residence to gain a better understanding of your rights and to refresh your knowledge at least once a year. Remember, what you save through effective tax management is essentially what you earn on top of your main earnings!
As you may have noticed, I'm a strong advocate for financial literacy, maintaining healthy personal finances, and adopting a reasonably frugal lifestyle. These high-level principles align with the indie-hacking philosophy and can extend well beyond managing personal finances. They can be applied to various aspects of your entrepreneurial journey and beyond. I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I'll save it for future posts if there's any interest.
That wraps up today's post, thanks for taking the time to read it!