I've gone from having a household income of $150k per year from 2000 - 2009 to now earning less than 19k. I short sold my nice home that included a 2 car garage and in-ground swimming pool down to an efficency apt. I had to sell virtually everything of any value we have ever owned. Motorcyle, wave runners, extra car, all kinds of useless junk accumulated over the years...even had to pawn my wifes wedding band at one point but I did get that back.
Our lives changed so quickly and so drastically that we really didn't have time to worry. It wasn't long before my wife and I noticed that our unexpected and involuntary shift from comfortable middle class consumers down to uncertain, low income survivalists turned out to be one of the most liberating things that ever happened to us. We are lean and mean now. Nothing we don't need and only the things we do. We can be mobile in less than 24 hours. We have never been happier and less stressed in the 25 years we have been married.
Ever since I graduated college all my wife and I ever did was try to collect more stuff. We wanted more all the time. We knew we were both stuck on a hamster wheel with no way off but we thought that was normal. If we hadn't both lost our jobs within 30 days of each other...we would probably have gone to our graves having lived most of our lives as slaves to the machine.
We have far less than we used to but want for nothing. We'd like a bit more money but only so we could buy more silver or so we could give our daughter a helping hand every once in a while. But one thing is for sure, regardless of our money situation, we will never buy a big house again and we will never purchase anything on credit again. We owe nothing and we essentially have nothing but thats exactly why we are both so care free and sleep so good. I can't imagine how great our lives would have been if we had minimized back when we decided to buy a $200k house in 2000. We could have had a blast but we were programed. I was expected to graduate college, get a job, buy a house, get a dog, have 1.5 children, and get together with family once in a while and compare all the neat $hit we had accumulated.
All the things the rest of you are pissed off about are also on my mind. I just refuse to let them piss me off. Occasionally when I'm being harrassed at the bank when they want 3 forms of ID, a thumbprint, and my next born in order to cash a $50 check...I accidently get upset...but I always quickly regain control.
It just takes practice. Training yourself to be in control of your emotions is a powerful feeling. I get more upset at myself for allowing myself to get upset than I do for whatever it was that upset me. (that doesn't sound right but you get my drift)
END THE FED!
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