It took planning, strategizing and a whole lot of fantasizing to make it happen. But mostly it took saving. It costs many dollars to go off and quit your job, folks. The last thing I wanted to do was quit my job and head straight into Fretsville. No no. That's not my style.
I didn't do it by offloading sand out of my trousers for 20 years, but it was kind of like a Shawshank prison escape. So, for all you youngin's out there, here's how I saved up enough dough to quit my job and go romp around the world.
My Shawshank Redemption
- Got a number. I sat around at lunch with my coworkers and asked how much money one should save to quit a job. We all agreed on a number.
- Calculate time and money. I calculated how long it would take me to reach that number doing what I was doing now with my current salary.
- Realized it would take forever. I started thinking of ways to bring in that money sooner. I bought stocks and sold paintings. I had a yard sale and accepted friends staying at my place. I didn't charge them anything, but they took me for meals and bought groceries here and there.
- Got cozy. I stayed home more. I painted and used up art supplies I bought three years ago, read books I bought five years, I bound books with a kit I bought six years ago.
- Gave the stuff I made as gifts. It's more meaningful to the receiver, it's a great creative outlet and it's a chance to use up art supplies I already purchased.
- Sold what wouldn't fit my nomadic lifestyle. Like when I sold my big laptop and bought a small laptop.
- I said Absolutely No to things I didn't want to do. When a friend asked me to go to dinner or the movies, I suggested a walk instead. Or, I suggested a movie at home on the couch instead. That way we both saved money, bonded and did things I'd rather do anyway. Win win.
- Became vegan. Okay, so this one is more hardcore. Look at your grocery bill. The most expensive items are meats, cheeses and other non-vegan items. Being vegan makes my pocketbook fat and makes me thin. The cows and chickens like it, too. Win, win, win.
- Had a Come-to-Jesus about what makes me happy. Experiences make me happy. Material things do not. I can't believe it never occurred to me when I was buying and bringing stuff into my apartment that I'd have to deal with it all one day. Now when I see something I like, I wonder if I will sell it at a yard sale, give it to a thrift store or cherish it always. Lose, lose, win.
- Became generous. Tithing is this weird law of the universe. When I leave big tips and donate more, I am gifted with people buying my art, my books and my crafts. I can't explain it but I get back ten times what I put out.
So reader, what's your Shawshank Redemption Plan?