Step Four: Starting a New Lifestyle
We had been living in Austin, living large and spending lots of money we didn’t need to on rent and bills. We decided to majorly downsize and moved to a small town about an hour away from Austin. It was close enough to Austin to do any of the events that come into town, but far enough away to not have Austin pricing. By moving we were able to cut our cost of living in half if not more.
Once we down-sized our living situation, we went back to spending a little more. We ate out again, though nowhere near the level we use too. We also were able to start buying books again! That was the hardest part to give up when we cut shopping completely out. For years we had a tradition of going to two or three book stores and drink coffee as we bought several new books. It’s how our collection reached well over 500 books.
The six months of living with zero disposable income left a lasting mark on our relationship and psyche, but for the better. We no longer spend without thinking. We still buy coffee, but we order strong basic coffee and never from Starbucks (goodbye sugar rush). We buy books, but now we support local sellers who usually have used books. We also are able to discuss money openly and not feel ashamed when we tell people, “No, we’re not going to eat there.” or “No, we’re no going to see that movie. We’ll wait for the DVD.” and we tell them we don’t see the value in spending our money that way.
I was still working for Uber at the time, but I was down to only Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I had more time to write, and spend with my family. I was making less, but we had way more disposable income. That would all change when proposition 1 passed in Austin and I found myself without a job again. However, where that door closed and new and better door opened. But before that came, Step Five: Shit Happens