August 22, 2011
First off, let me admit that we both made some dumb financial decisions when we were younger and stupider. We freely admit to our mistakes. Mine are taken care of, thanks to the above-mentioned severance, but we still have some other debts, including student loans that we're dealing with. If we didn't, the cuts would be much less painful. But, it is what it is and we have to deal with it.
So what are the sacrifices and compromises we're making? Cooking at home is now more than a nice idea-it's a necessity. Dinners and lunches out are being reserved for our newly designated "Family Weekend". More on Family Weekend in another post, but basically, one weekend a month is reserved for family and that's the weekend that we may splurge on some eating out.
Another sacrifice is my Artfire store. I was paying for the Pro level store. I've downgraded to Basic, which makes sense anyway. The amount of time needed to keep the store updated and promoted was more than I wanted to spend and, honestly, cut into the time I was spending creating things to put into the store. I love Artfire and highly recommend getting the Pro level store if you're an artisan with a strong online following, but it's not right for me at the moment.
I've been getting a couple projects underway, and while I don't think of them in the "sacrifice" category, it will take some changes to get them going. I have become an Independent Wine Consultant, which allows me to make a little extra money by going to people's houses and hosting wine tastings for them. It's been fun and has already paid for itself in the short time since I've joined. I'm also starting Smarty Party, LLC which is a science-based children's party concept. I'm hoping that, between the two, I can make up most of our income loss and maybe even end up with a little extra.
These changes are just the beginning. As we get used to our new normal there will be more. That's why this is Part 1. I also realize that, compared to so many others, we are extremely lucky. I'm not complaining about a relatively small loss of income when others have lost so much more. I'm just trying to share what we're doing to compensate, in the hopes that someone might be helped in their own situation.