I have a new found appreciation for money. Walking away from a corporate job means walking away from a good salary and bonuses. So naturally it has me a tad freaked. Not because I fear not making money ever again, but more from just leaving what I know in terms of getting a set paycheck every 2 weeks for the unknown. Since I am on a path of not fixating on what is scary, I chose to look at this as a great opportunity for me to really reevaluate how I spend my hard earned money. I admittedly buy things (a lot of things) when I want to without being on a strict budget, but this is not a habit I want to carry with me. Knowing that my income is going to be based on how hard I hustle, I am not taking any of it for granted.
Case and point. I am probably the only person you know that has a land line. Why you ask? For whatever reason, the condo community that I live in requires a local area code to have the gates hooked up to a phone so that residents can buzz guests in. (Seems antiquated but there you have it). I thought I was paying about $20 a month which had me thinking, I probably buzz people in about a dozen times a month. That’s like $1.50 a visitor. Which is lame. Totally lame. I discovered by asking my condo association that google voice would work. Oh and that is FREE. When I called my phone carrier to disconnect, it turns out I am not paying $20. I actually pay $49 (which is more like $4 a buzz). Who is the biggest sucker? ME! And it is my own fault. I clearly do not pay attention to my bills on auto pay, and I am quite annoyed with myself for wasting that much money for the last few years for no good reason. Needless to say, I cancelled my old school land line and now have google voice up and running. I can buzz my guests in from my mobile phone, and I no longer need to consider charging them a cover to get in.
Wait, there’s more!
Take skin care. I pay A LOT for that (probably about $250 for a 2 month supply). I have realized that I have been buying that stuff for over a year and I do love it. But I also am fortunate that I am benefiting from ketones helping my skin. That is 100% true and I do not mean that to be a sales pitch (well ok maybe a little. #shamelessplug). I know we only get one face and I definitely want to swim in the fountain of youth for as long as I possibly can, but I am convinced I can do it on less money.
This next example, as funny as it is, is actually haunting me. Up until a few weeks ago, I had been getting a gel manicure and pedicure about every 2 weeks. I skipped the mani the last time I went simply because my nails have gone to shit. So anyways, having my nails just completely natural, it had me realizing, I will survive without glitter and designs on them. I know this will cause heartache for my friend, Cari, who looks forward to those Instagram posts of my nails but at last, something has to give. I calculated how much I spend on beautiful, glamorous, sparkly nails (ok yeah I am having some separation anxiety). Be warned: This info is not for the faint hearted. It comes out to be about $170 a month which equals $2000 PER YEAR. I have never felt so vain as when I came to that epiphany. That is money I could have taken quite a few trips with. Or money I could have put towards my mortgage. Or money I simply could have just put into savings. I mean seriously. Done and done.
I am definitely going to miss my job perk of having free DIRECTV. I do not see myself paying for traditional cable because not only can my money be better spent, but my time as well. I have so much to do to get my business going that I will be in serious trouble if I am glued to the boob tube all day long. (Although I cannot under any circumstances not watch Outlander every week. I will probably pay for the STARZ app because hello? Jamie would miss me too much).
Don’t get me wrong. There are extravagances I do not see myself giving up, like my car. I am a total sucker for Lexus. Not just because they are so pretty but because they are seriously way smarter than I am. I have grown accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of them, and for now, I can justify the expense.
All these examples in my financial evaluation I am doing is a reminder for me to take better inventory on my money and where it is going. Priorities change and I should be adjusting my spending to tailor to it as needed. I still intend to go to CrossFit and buy ketones because those are the foundation for me to stay healthy and happy. I probably on the other hand do not need to go to Lorna Jane every month or so for new workout gear. It is important to find realistic compromises. I will be so bold to say that it is possible perhaps you may want or need to take stock of your own situation to see if you have any reckless spending patterns like I do.
My biggest lesson though is realizing that yes, it is absolutely wonderful to have financial freedom, but I have taken advantage of it. I am certain I can give up fancy manicures and top of the line skin care without sacrificing the quality of my life. I am certain that I will survive if I do not catch all my television shows in real time. I am certain that life in itself is going to keep me busy and fulfilled that I will not miss what I am “giving up”.