I’m starting to embrace this idea of making some wholesale changes in my life. For one thing, I’ve had a lot of stress at work. If you are a resident of the State of Louisiana, do not be afraid. The State Government makes it extremely difficult to spend your tax dollars. The irony is that it is so difficult that a lot of money is wasted on salaries and unproductive time trying to spend the little bit of money that we do get to spend. And, I imagine, for many, they just give up and don’t try to spend any money at all. They just collect their paycheck and quit fighting the system. So, their entire salary is a waste. But it looks GREAT on the books! I get really stressed by paperwork and having to fight the system, so I am tired. I need to make some changes in my stress level. My “cleaning out” my storage shed was the first. It felt so good that I thought I’d clean out some other stuff, too.
I’m starting with money. I had about $1500 worth of emergency expenses last month, and I hate debt. I always put everything on those “6 months same as cash” deals and work really hard to pay them off. Well, that’s a lot of extra payments for the next 6 months. So, after breaking down in tears to my friend Jo Ann yesterday about how tight my financial situation is going to be, she asked what I could do. Ugh… I’ve cut back so much since I’ve moved down here anyway. Surprisingly, the cost of living is higher here in Baton Rouge, and I took a hefty pay cut for this job. I paid a little more for housing than I’d like so I can be in a good neighborhood and be able to run and walk whenever I want. I’m certainly not poor, but it’s time to tighten my belt. I asked her for paper, and we got started. I decided I needed to cut about $200 per month for the next 6 months in order to make this work.
Wi-fi at my house has to go. I can access the internet at work or at Starbucks or at any one of a lot of places. Think like a student. Jo Ann also said her sister uses her iPhone 5 as a Personal Hotspot. I called AT&T and asked them how to set that up. Of all things, I ended up saving $30 on my current bill by switching plans to one with the Personal Hotspot. I don’t have unlimited data, but I have some. And, if I need to add more, I can up my bill to the same price I was paying yesterday! Sweet. I reluctantly called Jessica and explained my situation. I told her that she had to go for the next six months unless we could work out a barter of some kind. She’s thinking, but she needs to be paid what she’s worth, so I’ll just have to let the coaching go for awhile if I don’t have anything to give her in trade. I let my facials with Lisa go, too. I called my gym and talked with the gal at the front desk. I asked about teaching yoga or working there part-time to pay for my membership and get a little extra cash. I’ve got the name of the person I need to talk to, and that is on my “to do” list today. Just in that amount of time, I shaved off $247 off my monthly bills. Woohoo!!
All of these are fairly painful cuts. If I can’t get a job at the gym, I’ll need to cancel my membership. These are huge lifestyle changes for me. And, the internet thing means I have to greatly minimize my time on social media. I’ve been trying to wean myself away from it for awhile anyway, and this is a great opportunity to cut even further. Yesterday somebody posted a picture of some terrorist with 5 human heads sitting in pools of blood as a political protest. I am so sick of this sort of gruesome stuff. I avoid the news because I don’t want to fill my head with blood and gore. My Momma taught me that you don’t talk about politics and religion in social gatherings, and Facebook is a social gathering. I am so sick of listening to people’s extreme political and religious views. And, when a picture like that … or a picture of an abused animal … or some other sick, repulsive image is in my mind, there’s no getting it out. So, Facebook, I’ll be around a little, but I’ve had it with you. I’m heading over to Twitter. It seems so much more civilized.
I woke up this morning feeling really relieved to have some solutions which will give me a little more breathing room. I have to reduce stress. Even cleaning out that storage shed helped. Knowing it’s clean gives me one less thing to worry about. And the money thing will be huge. When I cut out television in 2000, it was painful. But, now I can’t imagine paying for cable television. I don’t know when I’d watch it. I’d have to schedule time for TV. Maybe I’ll get adapted to the current state of affairs like that and become less bound by money. Time will tell. I do hope I can find space to get Jessica back, though. That’s probably the one thing that worries me the most. I need the motivation to stay healthy. My next move may be to find a cheaper place to live…. maybe ….