Achieving my goal of quitting my job won’t be easy. It helps that my wife and I have spent the last ten years manuevering ourselves into good financial health and it helps that we saw no direct impact to our incomes or cash savings through the course of this recession.
It also helps that we don’t carry much in consumer debt (namely credit card). We do have a mortgage and a car loan, and we have a credit card we use for all of our purchasing that we pay off each month and earn travel rewards on, so we do have debt. It’s not crushing, but it is debt.
Our income right now is enough to comfortably pay our debts, save money and spend money, but it’s not an ideal balance, since in exchange we’re both giving up forty to fifty hours per week, and giving up this time for income creates a bankruptcy that I can no longer abide.
The thing I realized consciously after reading Everett Bogue’s Minimalist Business is that achieving this goal is as much about the kind of life you lead as it is about the income you earn.
So this isn’t just about quitting my job, it’s about changing my life; which makes perfect sense when you say it out loud but is another thing that I didn’t consciously realize. It is interesting to note that this push to change coincides with my thirty-fifth birthday which is a multiple of seven and according to my wife a cyclic time for change (hence the “seven year itch”)
The change is growing, but it started with stuff, with getting rid of stuff that was doing nothing but taking up space and energy. We’ve been shedding stuff for years, the real shedding started back in 2002, when we closed down our DJ service and got rid of all of our equipment. After that as we prepared to sell the gigantic house we had purchased and move we had to get rid of 20 years of my parents accumulation (we had purchased my parents house and a large portion of their accumulation with it) as well as 5 years of our own accumulation.
We never really stopped shedding stuff, but we’ve also added things over the years and though we evaluate some or all of our stuff at least once a year, this particular time I’m going through it with a judicious eye with a goal to really shed and reduce what we have.
Truthfully I’d like to sell nearly everything, the house, the cars and most everything else we own and start from there. Doing so would give us a sizable sum of cash to work with and free us from our debt as well as the need to care for all of these possessions. My wife is not of the same mind, and so as we chart this path together we have been having discussions about where we want to go and how we will get there.
Title(s): Portrait a Day – 312 a and b
Media: Digital Photograph