Comparing two pairs of water shoes for the weekend getaway I splurged on, the superior pair was nearly $30 more expensive. Even though I’d get a lot more use out of the pricier pair (they are good for water and hiking), still I paced through REI’s shoe section for nearly ten minutes before ultimately taking that expensive pair to the register.
After my post-workout and morning shopping splurge, I was too hungry to wait to get home for breakfast. I figured I’d get some blueberries at The Co-Op and snack on them while I drove the rest of the way home. When I arrived at The Co-Op it was the blessed “Members Save 10% Day.”
I left The Co-Op with CoQ10-Organic-Buckthorn-Oil-Argan-Stem-Cell Conditioner, Evan Healy Rose Petal Facial Tonic, kelp noodles, raw chocolate, bulk granola and the other “essentials” in my bag and $95 now out of my bank account. I didn’t leave with blueberries.
Returning home I felt a quiet panic arise. When I had walked into The Co-Op I thought to myself, “you know how to save money” and I replied to my own thought with, “live abundantly.” While I’m aligned with the thought: living in scarcity brings more scarcity, referencing the law of attraction; I needed to be grounded in cold, hard facts.
I was panicking because 180s are tumultuous. There are ebbs and flows of everything, especially cash flow. Most recently I had chosen a stream of creativity-inducing experiences that hit hard on my wallet and at the same time, I let myself turn down several consulting projects in order to fully let go into these experiences. My gut knew I needed to make those choices, but there was one thing I hadn’t done that would’ve put out my panic before it had a chance to creep in.
That thing is just this: get real with finances.
Before I decided to leave my well-paying job for the 180 lifestyle, I organized my assets. What money is in the bank? What’s invested? What’s fully liquid (defined by me as not invested in stock or mutual funds)? What is locked (i.e. retirement savings, ROTHs, etc.)?
The next thing I did was take a look at my current spending level. I made the following buckets:
- Dues (Homeowners Association, Clubs, etc.)
- Utilities (Internet, Gas, Electric)
- Insurance (Home, Earthquake, Car)
- Entertainment Budget (Including subscriptions like Netflix and Audible but also enough to save for weekend camping trips, expensive water shoes, etc.)
- Household Misc Expenses (Cleaning, etc.)
I liberally assigned numbers to the budgets and buckets, again, not wanting to be in scarcity. Then I added up the monthly expenses and divided that into my fully liquid amount. From there I could see how many months of “runway” I had, essentially, how long could I live off of my savings without changing anything at all.
That number gave me ease when I began my 180 and if you are considering 180 and haven’t done this yet, it is an absolute must. The problem was, after the initial number gathering, I let myself get lazy. I knew I was making money through my consulting work, but I didn’t keep great track of how much I was making versus how much I was spending. So naturally when I allowed myself to turn down several lucrative projects and then a few weeks later I’m still liberally shopping at The Co-Op, Whole Foods and REI, it makes sense that fear set in.
So the answer was simple. Get back into the numbers. Readjust. See where things are at. I used the same spreadsheet and rechecked all of my numbers.
In my case the numbers were actually much more promising than I thought and chances are, yours are too. We tend to think situations are worse than they actually are when we don’t have the facts. That’s our bias. Through the numbers I learned that not only had I not spent any of my runway yet, but I had actually managed to save an average of several thousand dollars each month.
Now had things turned out with a more grim outlook, would I feel differently? Absolutely. But, the difference would still be the same: I would know where I stand. Once you know where you stand and what you need, you can put together plans to get you wherever you need to go.
I’m really excited about where I’m at in my 180. Today I’m swimming in inspiration and I’ve got energy to put into creative pursuits while still managing to cover that long list of monthly expenses. I’m doing more of what I love too: seeing friends daily, traveling regularly and doing so much yoga the yogasms are limitless! (Yes that’s slang for yoga-orgasm. Ask me later).
With all of this opening up for me, I am officially making myself available for private consulting. If you’re considering a career 180 or you’re in the midst of any transition, let’s talk. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t have my coaches along the way.
With so much love and gratitude,