In 2009, I was making good money working at a very expensive private university in a major US city, while my now husband SB was making good money working at a public university nearby. We paid $1200/month in rent for a one bedroom condo in a cute suburban neighborhood, ate or drank out a few times a week, and did most of our travel on our employers’ dimes. We owned one car, a fair amount of furniture and household goods, and two cute but occasionally quite expensive cats.
Then came the move to a college town in the Upper Midwest, where SB took a dream job and I rapidly drained my savings while looking for a good job, then a job, then any job. About a year ago, I took a job that paid dramatically less than my previous position, but that offered benefits and a salary, which shouldn’t be sneezed at in this economy.
For the last year, I’ve struggled to embrace austerity and responsibility – at least in comparison with my previous moderately spendthrift ways. Gone are the days when I can drop $100 on clothes, $30 on happy hour drinks, $40 on a spontaneous perfect gift. I can’t fly home for a long weekend because I have neither the money for the plane ticket, nor the vacation time for the visit.
Inspired by South by Sacrifice, though, I’m going to give this austerity thing a try by posting how I want to spend my money – and how I’m going to make it happen by forgoing other things.