Living without for the better

by Laura

A few years ago I found myself suddenly in a position where I had to start managing my money more responsibly. The bills were starting to pile up and work hours were declining. Plus I had education loans on top of that. I was struggling to keep my house afloat. I knew something had to be done quickly.

I remember reading to several reports over the past few years of people who paid off their house in 5-7 years, or they took extreme measures to save for a down payment. So, with no other choice that’s what I did only I took extreme measures to keep my home.

I cancelled my Internet. This was difficult and I actually had Internet withdrawal (if there is such a thing). I also sold my second car. A second car for me is necessary because I was a single parent. If one car had to go in the shop I always had another to fall back on. And now I no longer had that luxury. I also cancelled my TV and movie service. On top of that I let my cell phone contract run out and applied for one of those government phone plans. One last measure I took was to keep a close eye on my food purchases. I started using coupons and planning my meals for the week so I wouldn’t overspend.

Once the withdrawal for having no Internet, TV and movie service was over I felt much better. I found that I no longer relied on these things to live. I used my sisters’ computer for the little Internet that I did need to communicate with my child’s teacher and the like. I started to become interested in baking. It is cheaper and more nutritious to make my own breads and desserts.

Today, I have my Internet back and a cell phone plan but without all the extras. I continue to make my own breads, desserts and homemade meals and still watch what I buy at the grocery store. I learned a valuable lesson. One that has stayed with me even today.

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