I have been living relatively frugally, even for me, for the past several months. When I lost my job and wasn’t sure how long I would need make the remains of my savings last, well, things got real quiet. The kids at home were all working. Everyone is done with school (or paying for their own college.) So I really just had to focus on keeping us bed, the four walls taken care of, and my needs. Definitely a different scenario from 9ish years ago when I had four minor children all still in school to support.
Goal = Contentment
I think I wrote earlier this year that my goal for this year is contentment. I have spent most of my life looking forward to the next thing…trip, event, whatever. I had a hard time being in the moment and satisfied.
These last few months, as stressful as they have been financially, have given me that. I have realized that I love where I am at, who I am (and am becoming), and the changes in my life as I enter this next phase. I am content. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to pay my bills again without worrying. But this life, I have, it’s good. It’s better than good.
I have made significant lifestyle changes over the last several months. Once I came out of my funk from the end of my engagement in November, and that did take some time and effort, I found myself ready to reinvent me. While I did join the gym and really used it for a while, I still HATE the gym. And I needed that $26 per month elsewhere.
So I took up walking…and I walked and I walked and I walked. And as of this week, I am up to 3.5 miles every morning before 8am.
I started getting up earlier and earlier. I’m now up daily before 5am. I’m out of bed and productive. And feel accomplished before I leave the house at 6am to walk, and ready to settle into work at 9am after my walk and shower. Of course, I’m ready for bed by 7ish now too. And I’m okay with that.
I don’t have health insurance…again. The 3 younger kids do through Medicaid. So taking care of myself is important. I had prepared by stocking up on my prescriptions so I’m just now on my last 30 day supply of my needed pills. I’m trying to decide where to go from here.
Entertainment? My kids are grown and moving away. Family dinners and game nights are a thing of the past. I still don’t really know anyone or have any friends in this tiny town. I’ve cut out all the paid media options (and gotten rid of the TV that was only occasionally used for Netflix.) Not to mention, I am a serious introvert so leaving the house is not really something I want to do.
I have resorted to an oldie but goodie…reading! I have already read 37 books this year. When I get home from work, I sit and read and read and read. And I love it.
And finally…food. I am fasting way more now that I am not cooking for anyone regularly but me. And I’m eating leftovers more. Because when I do cook, it’s things I will want to eat again. I find myself going in cycles…sandwiches and yogurt every day for a few weeks, then salads every day for a few weeks, etc.
My grocery budget is nothing compared to what it used to be. And with Gymnast leaving in just a few short weeks, I think it will drop even more. He even contributes. I’ve been giving him my grocery money and a list of my needs/wants and he does the rest. If he wants something that goes over the amount of money I’ve given him, he pays without complaint.
There is no regular amount because income has been so sporadic and greatly needed elsewhere. But anyone who has followed me for a while knows that my pantry was well-stocked going into this so it’s just now getting bare bones.
I knew this job loss was coming, about 4 months before it happened. So I had time to prepare. And I did. And I’m really proud of how that has worked out. It has given me a significant boost in moral during what could have been a really hard time.
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Hope is a digital marketing manager and foster/adoptive single mom to five kids. She has run her own consulting company for over 15 years and took a leap of faith returning to the corporate world in 2021 to a job and team she loves! Hope began sharing her journey with the BAD community in the Spring of 2015 and feels like she has finally mastered the balance between family first and wise financial decisions.