After 8 years, 2 months, and 28 days of working, working, working, I am taking some time off. I haven’t quit my job, but my company has been generous enough to allow me to take a leave of absence until the end of the year. I am doing this primarily to take care of family matters (which I hinted at in a previous post). However, this will be good for me as well.
One of the perks of simple living is that it allows you to do things like this without much agony. Living below your means equates to more money in the bank and the freedom to take a break when life throws you a curve ball.
Even so, we have been (and will be) making some adjustments to our budget to avoid dipping into savings as much as possible:
- We are holding my retirement savings and savings for college (not a good long-term way to manage a budget, obviously, but it’s a good way to cut some cost while on leave)
- We downgraded our cable to the basic package (we don’t watch enough TV to justify it anyway)
- I removed the data plan from my cell phone
- With Frugal Food Month, we are already eating out less and at less expensive places, so now we just have to continue to keep that up
- We’ll continue our approach of only buying things we really need (it will be interesting to see if our definition of “really need” changes with less money available)
I have no qualms about giving these things up. In fact, I’m kind of excited to be “forced” to be even more frugal, because I know there are expenses we could live without. And having the freedom to take the time off and do what I need to do is absolutely amazing.
In fact, I’ve heard from several people: “Wow, you are so lucky to be able to do that!” and “I’m so jealous.” The thing is, many Americans could have the same opportunity if they moved away from the consumer lifestyle to the “simply enough” lifestyle. And the benefits go beyond freedom… It’s good for the environment and allows you to “share the wealth” with those less fortunate.
During my time off, I plan to experience a few things that I haven’t gotten around to while working:
- Be home when my daughter comes home from school and simply be available
- Practice yoga
- Run as long as I want to
- Write an eBook (or at least get started!)
- Prepare wholesome, seasonal dinners on a regular basis
- Spend more time with friends
I am an over-scheduler by nature, so I’m trying my very best not to plan too many things for the next couple of months. (More on that in an upcoming post…). However, I do plan to write blog posts more often, because it makes me happy.
A couple of question for my dear readers:
- What costs would you cut, if you had to (and how would cutting them make you feel)?
- If you could take two months off from work, what would you do with your time?
See you soon!
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