Living Without a Salary

How to reduce your expenses, so you can live without a salary!

Break-Ups Cost Money June 23, 2010

Sometimes, I wonder if people realize the economic cost of divorce. To say nothing of the emotional and mental costs…divorces hurt, and they hurt bad. It’s never a good thing when couples split up after being together for a long time. (It also hurts when they have been together for a short period of time, but that is not what this is about.) The pure cost of a divorce can be staggering, and it’s not just the lawyer fees and court costs–it’s life after a divorce that becomes expensive. If there are children in the mix, there’s child support along with everything else. Of course, if a couple has been married 10 years or more, the spouse not making as much money usually gets spousal support. Whether the other spouse wants to or not, this is what the law allows. Budgeting and planning during this time can really be a nightmare. Here’s how to keep your sanity, as well as some of your money.

Know Your Boundaries

There is a certain limit that all of us have when it comes to money and time. If you are not clear on these, there are ways to figure this out. First, you want to get very clear on what the plan is when you do split from your spouse. Are you going to live in an area that is relatively expensive, or will it cost less where you are moving to? If there are kids, are you going to share custody or will there be an unequal amount of custody? These issues will determine who gets what and how much. It will also determine how much you need to live on compared to your spouse. And if your spouse seems reluctant to share anything, it may be best to speak with a lawyer instead of your spouse. This will save time and your sanity. And if your income is low, you could seek out a volunteer or pro bono lawyer who could give you some guidance. You must be clear on what is happening before you move forward, or it could become a lot worse.

Set Clear Limits

This is not the time to stay silent on what you want. Make a list of everything you need, including some wants in there. Be clear in what you are expecting and what your limits are. This will keep you from being stretched too much financially. If you are the spouse that needs the child support and/or spousal support, get very clear on how much you will need to maintain a household and take care of everyone’s needs. Set limits on how low you can go, because the other person may want to give the least amount possible. Create a boundary that the other person cannot cross.

If you are the spouse giving the financial support, realize that you made a commitment many years prior to take care of this person for life. This does not end just because the marriage ends–you will end up financially supporting that person for life. This will cost you some money, but if you think of the time your spouse invested in you, it may seem only a pittance for that.

Resistance Does Not Work

Compromise may be difficult during this time, but it is not impossible. Tensions are running high anyway, but not giving in to even the smallest requests will turn the entire process very ugly. Determine what you need or can give, and then build on that. As a supporting spouse, you do not need to be so selfish that your soon-to-be ex and children are living in squalor while you’re living the high life. And as a supported spouse, you also do not need to be that greedy where you are demanding every single penny. There is a middle road where everyone can have their needs met and still maintain some semblance of order and normalcy in their lives.

Common Sense Tactics

During a divorce, probably the last thing you want to think about is money, but this is the cornerstone of life–at least until a better solution comes along. Money makes living life a lot easier, and it one of the things that, if each spouse has enough to meet their needs, can smooth over a lot of other issues. There will still be healing that needs to occur, but it’s one less thing to heal about. Be reasonable and use common sense in all your dealings, as this could mean the difference between constant frustration or finding some peace.


Spending Money is Good for the Economy June 22, 2010

Yes, this goes against what everyone is telling you these days–“Stop spending money”, or “Save your money”. But spending money can be good for the economy. There are the obvious reasons why this is true, such as it create jobs, helps small businesses stay in business, and other things like that. However, no one really talks about the real reason why spending money is good for the economy.

Money Goes ‘Round and ‘Round

Have you heard the expression, “Money makes the world go round”? You may have thought this meant that we need money to live on or survive. While this interpretation is true, it is not the entire story. The myth of money is that there is only a “fixed” amount of money in the world. Physically, this is true. However, this is not exactly the way things work. Money must circulate on a daily basis for the economy to be healthy. This is similar to the way blood must circulate constantly for the body and mind to be healthy. In fact, the body needs several thousand quarts of blood every day, but on any given day, there is only 5 quarts of blood in a body. How do we get what we need? It is circulated.

Money circulates in the same way. It changes hands from one person to another, creating a healthy economy. What one person’s extravagant spending is another person’s amazing successful income. Eventually, that money comes back again as income for you. If the circulation slows or stops, everything falls apart and we have a sick or dead economy.

Spending Responsibly

While spending money may be good for the economy, it may not always be good for your economy. What this means is that, while it is okay to spend money every so often for more than just your needs, it’s not always prudent to do so. You must prepare for your needs and some wants, but you do not want to spend so much that you are in debt and stressing out about your finances. If you strike a nice balance, then you do not have to feel bad about spending money on yourself every so often.


The Point of this Blog December 5, 2008

Filed under: Living without a Salary — joetb @ 8:18 PM

I haven’t updated this for a few days, as I have been busy actually living my theories. Meaning: I have been working at odd jobs, and getting a free table for my kitchen. Living without a salary does not mean you have to live without money. After all, we all have bills to pay and need food to eat. Living without a salary frees me up to make money by any means I want to, and how it resonates with me. I recently completed a job for someone where I ripped up the carpet and cleaned up the staples, etc. It took a few hours, and I got a good workout. Just because I don’t have one of those “jobs” where I have to slave away all the time, even when I am sick, doesn’t mean that I don’t work, or that I am lazy. All it means is that I am in control of MY life…no one else is.

The key to all of this is to begin assessing what it is in life that you love doing. Are you an artist? Then create, and then find venues where to sell your art. Do you love working with numbers? Great! Find a market where you can provide accounting or financial planning services. Personally, I enjoy doing odd jobs, such as general labor or mental work on the computer. This lets me meet new people and make friends. And I get a great workout without having to pay a gym for the privilege to exercise.

One more thing for now: someone pointed out that I had mentioned in a previous post that my ex-spouse is still supporting the kids and me. And that is why I can make these claims. However, I barely get enough to squeak by, which is why I set up this blog. I want it to show the process I am going through to reduce my expenses, while reducing my dependence on someone who I would rather not have to depend on. As time goes on, and I learn more about living without a salary, I will be posting it here so that you can see how the process can work for you as well.

But for now, I still need to depend on the money I do get from my ex so that I can transition to being independent and self-sufficient. And unfortunately, right now, the money hasn’t been deposited that I needed. So, yes–I am struggling just like everyone else. But to feel sorry for myself would be self-defeating, because what purpose would that solve? Sure I can get depressed or stressed out, but being positive is much more fun, and I can begin pulling positive events towards me that much quicker. (More on that in another post.) So, for all who are wondering, life doesn’t have to be depressing even in the face of not knowing when money will come in next if you keep a truly positive attitude. Until next time, keep positive!


“How to Survive Without a Salary” Review December 1, 2008

Filed under: Reviews — joetb @ 3:50 AM
Tags: , ,

In his book, “How to Survive without a Salary“, Charles Long takes a good hard look at the benefits of living a “conserver” lifestyle. A conserver lifestyle could be seen as “cheap” or “frugal” living…possibly done out of necessity or hardship cases. However, as Charles puts it, “…it’s a choice, not a life-long necessity.” Basically, living life on a lowered cost basis, rather than an earnings basis, is all how one deals with the rising costs of living in today’s economy. Many of his principles were solid and spot-on, including the idea that using and reusing something until it is un-fixable.

The conserver lifestyle is not to be looked on as being “poor” or done out of necessity. With the economy as it is right now, it makes sense to conserve and save money by using what others throw out, or do without, if necessary. Consumers consume…conservers conserve. What sounds thrifty: consuming or conserving?

If you are ready to start conserving and begin living without a salary–not money–but a salary, then follow me to find all the bargains, freebies and tips to reduce your expenses by at least 1/2!