It's been a full week since the lay-off. this is the first day I've been willing to look at the budget. We know there will need to be a strategy for dealing with the job loss; but 'buy nothing' is not an adequate strategy. It's time to examine priorities. What do we want our life to look like? How do we get there?
In my ideal picture, I have enough money to live a basic but comfortable life: food, shelter, transportation, travel, race entries, maybe museum visits and concerts, running and cycling gear...
I'd also like to know I can work from anywhere - not be tied to an office, working for someone else. I'd want to set my own hours.
What's keeping me from doing this now? (outside of the fact we just lost our main income). I know I've been on auto-mode for several years. Working part-time and trying to manage the home, plus train for races and homeschool the kids has left me unwilling to analyze my priorities. We've just been moving forward. live each day. feed the people. run the miles. pay the bills. I think we are ready for more than that. We must do more than that.
I'm looking at what we have been spending monthly over the past six months. Then i'm going to outline what we need to cover just the basics: mortgage, food, insurance, utilities and transportation. that is all I can plan for.
How much will it take for us to live this basic existence? How do we manage it without feeling totally deprived? Can I put a sporting mentality on it, so it feels more like a challenge than punishment?
Being frugal does not mean we are poor. It means we are smart. We are choosing to live within our means.