Earlier this month, I wrote about how I’m living on half my income in October. Since the payroll at my new job is direct deposit once every 15 days, and my old job was via checks once per week, there were two weeks in October where the two pay periods didn’t overlap, and I’d be without a paycheque.
I knew this was coming, so I developed a defensive budget for the month of October. I suspended my debt repayment (except for my minimum car payment), and drew up a budget that required me to only spend $245 per week to cover all of my monthly expenses including groceries, entertainment, cell phone, pets, car payment, gas, and insurance. My husband and I don’t have totally combined finances yet, so he takes care of our rent, internet and utilities, along with his portion of the grocery and entertainment budget.
So how has this month of severely reduced spending gone? Well, it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be.
Not Spending – Easy
In most respects, living of less than half my income hasn’t been that different from previous months. In September, I put 60% of my net income towards debt, so this month, I simply didn’t do that. I didn’t change my spending habits, I just didn’t pay off debt. This is one of the huge benefits of living off less than half my income every month – when a lean month comes along, I don’t have to change all that much.
Not Paying Off Debt – Harder Than it Looks
That said, not being able to pay off debt this month has been agonizing. I’ve been so single mindedly focused on paying off my debt for the past 24 months, taking a break from it has just seemed wrong. I haven’t updated my debt owing total here on the blog since the beginning of October, and it’s starting to drive me a stir crazy.
I want activity! I miss making multiple debt payments every week, I miss updating my debt repayment spreadsheet to see how the latest $30 payment will affect my debt free date! After so many months of paying thousands of dollars towards my debt, and after spending so long whittling it down to just a little over a grand left, I just want it gone already. Not next month, now, dammit.
Unfortunately, no matter how much I’d like to just pay off that final $1,121, I can’t. I don’t have the cash on hand, and I’m not willing to deplete my savings. I’ll just have to be patient and wait like a responsible person, for my November 1st and November 15th paycheques to arrive.
After those two paycheques hit my bank, I’ll be free of the debt that inspired this blog. It’ll finally be gone. I can’t freaking wait. It’s been a long journey, and it’s almost over. Right now, I’m super freaking happy that I’ve spent months and months living off half my income, and directing the other half towards debt repayment. Living off half my income every month has gotten me to where I am today.
Do you/could you live off half your income? If you could lower your expenses to half your income, what would you do with the other half?