Paying The Rent And Pursuing Your Dream: Authentic Self Post #4

This is the final post in a blog series designed to get people thinking about what a career can offer emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually to your life and what it can just as easily take away. This post is getting down to the nuts and bolts of life and asking the questions that a lot of people forget to ask themselves from time to time.

Most people work very hard to support the lifestyles they have accumulated over the years. We each have our own way of spending the money that comes in every other week. Some people travel to exotic places, some people own lots of fancy clothes, others live in nice houses, others drive expensive cars, and others (like myself) spend all their money on buying quality food. For the most part we live within our means or as close to them as we can manage and we get by. But if the job that pays for that lifestyle makes you unhealthy or doesn’t allow you to pursue your pastimes or hobbies, is the lifestyle you have accumulated worth it?

These days most people know how to make a budget. But less people know how to examine their monthly budget and address which expenses within that budget bring them joy, make life easier and improve overall quality of life. There are expenses associated with work that we sometimes forget even though we remember the income; commuting costs, parking costs, work clothes, and stress related medical bills.

Lots of people use benefits as an excuse for staying at a job, but now health care is readily available for families outside the realm of a corporation and while it may cost more per month, it may lower overall stress if you can find an amazing job that doesn’t have benefits but pays more.

How about student loans as an excuse? If the enormous student loan debt is your reason for staying in a bad job consider Income-Based Repayment plans or refinancing your home to lower your interest rates. There are lots of places to get free or very inexpensive counseling on how to handle financial issues without getting scammed or spending more of your money.

Living with less does require a bit of adventure and a little creativity. My husband and I have been living with only one car for 18 months now and though it takes work, but we both love it. When we were apartment shopping we took all expenses into consideration (driving costs, electricity, heat, laundry, access to services, access to highway, proximity to work). We ended up with a more expensive apartment than most of our friends, but we probably had the cheapest place overall because all of our expenses are included and we can be a one car household. Saving money does use more brain power and research but is worth it in the end.

Life is a creative process. In order to truly love your life you have to make it uniquely yours. Everyone has different values, different desires and different priorities. Everyone has money problems and often they reveal much more about our psychology than our place in the universe. If you want to leave your current job but fear the money, then think about how basic you could live. Here are some extra expenses we occur each month that we could easily live without or easily decrease to save money.

  • Buying Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Buying new clothes
  • Buying new shoes
  • Cable packages
  • Cellphone packages
  • Gym memberships not being used
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Buying books
  • Eating out
  • Expensive cars

Sometimes it is helpful to start with the nuts and bolts to convince yourself it is possible, but most of the time you need to dream first, imagine what is possible and then try to figure out how to make it work in the short term, and do the work necessary for a happier, healthier long term.


More Resources for Your Journey

Other Articles In This Series

Intro Post: The Authentic Self: Why We Must Give Our Unique Gifts to The World

Post #1: The Creative Journey to Design A Career

Post #2: Convincing the Self That Happiness Is Worthwhile

Post #3: Why The World Needs Your Authentic Self

Post #4: Paying The Rent and Pursuing Your Dream


Image credit: karenr / 123RF Stock Photo

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