Sunday, July 6, 2014

Money ≠ Happiness

I took a huge risk this past week.... I am quitting my full-time, lots of benefits job to move into a part-time, no benefits, higher responsibility job. 
At first, I was a little panicked.  How would I pay for everything?  How would I make sure that I had a roof over my head, food in my fridge (and in Apollo's bowl), gas in my car, electricity, internet, blah blah blah.  But then something dawned on me. 
So what.... who really cares about money (bahahahaha I do)?  I sat down.  I made a budget.  I figured out that I could survive on my new job's salary, as long as I cut some things out of my life, and started doing different things.  My car is getting paid off this month, which alleviates the $360 a month payment.  Found some natural (and cheaper) alternatives to my medications (minus the thyroid and BC, because, well, BC is free, and the thyroid is finally working) = $15 a month.  Quit paying for that gym membership, because there's equipment at my apartment complex = $23 a month.  Stopped getting my Graze boxes, because I don't need someone to send me yummy snacks = $12 a month.  My next door neighbor offered her internet, free of charge, which saves me about $70 a month.  Electricity in this place is so much better, so I'm saving about $75 a month just living here!  And that's just the basic stuff I looked at.  Going to add in coupons for everyday things, and shopping locally at markets to make sure produce is cheapest.  So far, I've saved $555 a month, just by figuring out the things that I definitely do not need.
Simplification is one thing that causes many people anxiety.  We are so wrapped up in the materialism that society forces down our throats on a daily basis.  You need this car.  You need these jeans.  You need this credit card so you can buy all this crap. 
Yeah, that definitely sums it up.  There are things that we need, like food, shelter, running water, etc.  And there are things that we don't.  I actually have started to hand wash all my laundry, and hang it up outside on my patio, so that I don't have to spend money at the laundry mat, and I'm not wasting water.  It takes some time, but my clothes smell fresher, look brighter, and feel better without all those nasty chemicals in them.  I have found lots of fun things to do, that are completely free, within my area.  It's all a matter of perspective.
So if I can't survive on this pay in this new job, I will find another part-time.  But I have found that I am beginning to be much more happy because I am not so focused on my money anymore.  I know what I have, I know what I can spend, and I don't get sad when I can't afford something, because deep down, I probably didn't need it anyways.
My challenge to you is to sit down, examine your budget, and decide one thing that you can cut out of your life.  Are you paying for the gym without going to it (I was)?  Do you pay for Netflix, but barely watch it?  Do you pay for a delivery service for a product that you could easily do yourself?  Figure out ways to simplify your life.  It will bring you peace in the end.
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” ― Epictetus