RE: Rates, minimalism, and musings about the long term

Subject: RE: Rates, minimalism, and musings about the long term
From: "Chantel Brathwaite" <brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 17:43:03 -0400

David,

I took some time to really read what you wrote again and I think you've made
a very important point. I was underemployed for a while - by choice at
first and then out of necessity while I was self-employed but also looking
for a full-time gig. I think what saved me was that I was unintentionally
positioned to be able to survive the recession. Because my underemployment
it was by choice initially (going back to school to complete my master's
degree), I pared down my life quite a bit. I slashed my living expenses by
about 70%, lived with roommates, wiped out debt, saved like crazy, cut out
all unnecessary expenses and the like. I had planned to be out of work for
a year or at most two, but when the recession hit, it took about an
additional year to find a writing job. Starting my own business helped a
lot and by then I was already in survival mode so I could take jobs that
paid a fraction (and I do mean a very small fraction) of what I made in the
past to help make ends meet.


That being said, I think that those who have had to make lifestyle changes
due to the downturn in the economy will probably be the ones who become more
frugal when better times return. I know that I think completely differently
now about job security, debt, spending, even about the way I run my business
(which for the moment is just a side gig). I too did the whole storage
thing and finally, after a year, ended up pairing down to several boxes of
stuff that could easily be mailed to my new location. As a result, I'm
finding that I just don't need or desire a lot of things. My hunch is that
those who don't have to make much of an adjustment during this recession
might forget its lessons when better times come again.

I think also, that if we live understanding that at any time we can have own
personal "recessions" due to ill health, career obsolescence, or other life
circumstances - this can help us to live thriftily, even in times of
abundance.


Chantel

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References:
Rates, minimalism, and musings about the long term: From: David Neeley

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