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Being broke changes your lifestyle


I have been living relatively frugally, even for me, for the past several months. When I lost my job and wasn’t sure how long I would need make the remains of my savings last, well, things got real quiet. The kids at home were all working. Everyone is done with school (or paying for their own college.) So I really just had to focus on keeping us bed, the four walls taken care of, and my needs. Definitely a different scenario from 9ish years ago when I had four minor children all still in school to support.

Goal = Contentment

I think I wrote earlier this year that my goal for this year is contentment. I have spent most of my life looking forward to the next thing…trip, event, whatever. I had a hard time being in the moment and satisfied.

These last few months, as stressful as they have been financially, have given me that. I have realized that I love where I am at, who I am (and am becoming), and the changes in my life as I enter this next phase. I am content. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to pay my bills again without worrying. But this life, I have, it’s good. It’s better than good.

Lifestyle Changes

I have made significant lifestyle changes over the last several months. Once I came out of my funk from the end of my engagement in November, and that did take some time and effort, I found myself ready to reinvent me. While I did join the gym and really used it for a while, I still HATE the gym. And I needed that $26 per month elsewhere.


So I took up walking…and I walked and I walked and I walked. And as of this week, I am up to 3.5 miles every morning before 8am.

lake view during my morning walk

Lake view during my daily morning walk

I started getting up earlier and earlier. I’m now up daily before 5am. I’m out of bed and productive. And feel accomplished before I leave the house at 6am to walk, and ready to settle into work at 9am after my walk and shower. Of course, I’m ready for bed by 7ish now too. And I’m okay with that.

I don’t have health insurance…again. The 3 younger kids do through Medicaid. So taking care of myself is important. I had prepared by stocking up on my prescriptions so I’m just now on my last 30 day supply of my needed pills. I’m trying to decide where to go from here.


Entertainment? My kids are grown and moving away. Family dinners and game nights are a thing of the past. I still don’t really know anyone or have any friends in this tiny town. I’ve cut out all the paid media options (and gotten rid of the TV that was only occasionally used for Netflix.) Not to mention, I am a serious introvert so leaving the house is not really something I want to do.

I have resorted to an oldie but goodie…reading! I have already read 37 books this year. When I get home from work, I sit and read and read and read. And I love it.


And finally…food. I am fasting way more now that I am not cooking for anyone regularly but me. And I’m eating leftovers more. Because when I do cook, it’s things I will want to eat again. I find myself going in cycles…sandwiches and yogurt every day for a few weeks, then salads every day for a few weeks, etc.

My grocery budget is nothing compared to what it used to be. And with Gymnast leaving in just a few short weeks, I think it will drop even more. He even contributes. I’ve been giving him my grocery money and a list of my needs/wants and he does the rest. If he wants something that goes over the amount of money I’ve given him, he pays without complaint.

There is no regular amount because income has been so sporadic and greatly needed elsewhere. But anyone who has followed me for a while knows that my pantry was well-stocked going into this so it’s just now getting bare bones.

I knew this job loss was coming, about 4 months before it happened. So I had time to prepare. And I did. And I’m really proud of how that has worked out. It has given me a significant boost in moral during what could have been a really hard time.

Read More from Hope

My first budget on BAD – March, 2014

A Cluttered Life – a look back at where I was – July, 2014

Financial Goal #3 from 2021 – March, 2021

Here’s How to Avoid Overspending on Your Cross-Country Move


Moving can involve a lot of time and money. A cross-country move is even more expensive to handle. If you’re trying to manage debt, you don’t need additional expenses to weigh you down. However, there are ways you can save money as you make your move across the country.

Have a Yard Sale

Did you know that outstanding debt makes up 30% of your credit score? Before you move, ease your debt burden by getting rid of items you no longer use. You can sell those items at yard sales, post advertisements on Craigslist, or take them to a thrift store. Use your profits to pay a debt or current expenses for your cross-country move.

Rent Your Own Moving Truck

The American trucking industry transports over 72% of all items used in the economy. Some of the things they transport are personal items belonging to people starting new lives in different cities or states. If hiring a mover is too expensive, consider renting your moving truck and making the move yourself.

Move In the Off Season

If you have plans to move this summer, understand that many others have the same idea in mind. As a result, the roads will be filled with moving trucks on their way to new residences in different neighborhoods and states. As a result, those movers will charge more money for their services. Don’t forget, you have three other seasons to move. If you have enough flexibility in terms of time, you may want to consider waiting for summer to end before you pack up for a new home on the other coast.

Check the Post Office

Did you know the post office may be able to help you save on a move? When you go to the post office to change your address, you may find moving coupons in the package containing the form.

Get a Referal

Most businesses bring in new customers with the help of referrals. If someone you know has completed a cross-country move, they can give you a referral from a mover that helped them. The referral may also come with a discount, especially if you’re a first-time client.

Buy a Portable Home

Over 60% of Americans prefer renovation over moving, often to avoid uprooting the family. If you must make a cross-country move for a job, you can ease your residential burden by purchasing a steel container home instead of a traditional one. Container homes have become more popular for many reasons, such as how portable and inexpensive they are. According to One Key Resources, completed shipping container homes typically cost between $10k and $35k. Plus, if you have to uproot your family at some point, at least everyone will have the comfort of being in the same house with the same memories. The only difference is the location of the house can change.

Drive to the Location

Even if you hire movers to relocate your belongings, you must get to your new location as well. Making a cross-country flight during certain times of the year can cost you several hundreds of dollars. However, you could ease your transportation burden by driving yourself. Thanks to GPS, all you have to do is plug in your coordinates and hit the road. You can always find cheap accommodation to stop at for a night or two if needed.

Having an opportunity to live on the other side of the country can be exciting for anyone. America is a big place to explore, and you can live in a completely different climate by making a cross-country move. Luckily, taking advantage of this opportunity won’t have to break the bank if you follow some of the above advice.

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