Today marks the first day I am officially plant-based and really, really broke. As of this past Friday, I do not have a steady stream of income going into my bank account, however, I do have some savings to pad me though several months of bills and expenses.
This is not the ideal situation, but it’s the situation and reality I am currently in. Fortunately, my frugal ways has been a thing for a very long time. I have learned how to make smart(er) choices when it comes to saving and spending money. Even when I was earning an income, I was making very calculated choices on spending – from the coffee I drank, to the lunches I prepared. Living in one of the most expensive areas in the country helped me create a way to live my life comfortably, without resorting to spending an exorbitant amount of money.
The Choices I Had Made Before Today
When I could have bought coffee every morning, I made it at home.
When I could have joined my colleagues on lunches out, I meal-prepped instead.
When I could have traveled internationally at least once a year, I decided to keep my trips local.
When I could have lived in the city, I chose to live an hour away with a comfortable commute and a more affordable place.
When I could have had a gym membership, I decided to utilize my underwhelming apartment community fitness center — which has some perks, actually.
Everything’s a choice – I just tried to make the one that made the most financial sense to my particular situation. Growing up, every dime mattered. Emergency funds mattered. This is a mindset I developed the day I turned 18 years old and I was dependent on myself. I didn’t have a safety net, so it always helped that I saw every penny as one worth saving.
Should You Live On A Financial Edge?
It’s okay to live your life a little bit on the financial edge, if that’s your thing. I am just a little bit less…financially risky. But, this worked to my advantage. Today is the first day in a long time that I can finally focus on my hobbies, my passions, and my health — without feeling overwhelmed with a pile that’s constantly being worked on, but never gets shorter.
Today, I get to live my life (while still on a budget).
I am nervous, yet optimistic. I know that I have options. I have savings. And I have tools that I can use in case things get dire.