The other day I came across a saying that made me really give thought to the amount of time I have left in my life and what I want to do with it. Comparing the time I have left to accomplish my goals to the balance in a dwindling bank account made me really reflect on the similarities between the two. Here is part of this saying:
A few weeks ago I was reading an older article about a family killed in their sleep by carbon monoxide poisoning. Just like that, a family was wiped out overnight because of a silent killer in their home, one that could be present in any of our homes at any given moment. Without a carbon monoxide detector to alert them, they had no idea that the pilot light had gone out on their ancient heater and gas was filling their home; they just never woke up.
I want you to think about something for a minute — What would you be doing for a living if you could do exactly what you wanted to do? Do you have something in mind? Good, that’s terrific. Now I want you to ask yourself a few questions — Why aren’t you doing it? What’s holding you back? What’s limiting your potential to doing what you are currently doing versus what you want to be doing? Is it credit card debt? Your children? Your health?
My monthly rent just went from $1,500 per month to $350 per month. Yes, you read that right – I just started saving $1,150 on my rent each and every month! (Do I sound like a Geico insurance ad?) This is part of the move I have referenced as of late and part of my long-term plan to hitting the road full time within the next 12 months. The place I was renting in California was a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom stand-alone house with rather high utility bills each month, while the place I am now renting in New Mexico is a studio-sized bungalow near town with all the utilities included. Counting rent, utilities, and entertainment, my costs for the house in California added up to about $1,750, while the costs for the studio in New Mexico add up to, well, exactly $350. I no longer have cable TV, and my heat/water/internet service is included in the rent, so my monthly expenses for the place end at the full cost of my rent each month. This may be too much sacrifice for some people, but for me it’s a means to an end — one I am looking forward to.
Remember when I wrote about downsizing my apartment to save money? And then I moved again soon thereafter? I know, I know – it seems like I am always moving around. And truth be told, I am; I have already moved three times in the past three years. 2011 will almost definitely see me move once more, as I have decided that my trial experience of living in California again isn’t worth what I would have to do in order to afford it and live comfortably the way I want to live. Everything in California is more expensive than almost everywhere else I would ever consider living: gasoline, groceries, utility bills, taxes, car registration fees, home rents, etc. – the list goes on and on. Sure, the weather can’t be beat, but when you have to work extra long hours just to make rent, well, it’s not worth it to me. I know it’s counter to the “American Dream” to not really care about making a lot of money or buying a big house, but those things just don’t interest me. I would much rather live a life of my own choosing on my own terms, and to do that requires me to live somewhere a lot cheaper than California. So 2011 will see me moving back to where I originally went to escape it all – New Mexico.