Sunday, June 14, 2015

Michael says...our ego costs us more than we realize.

Some months ago, I was informed that my employer had lost a piece of business, and therefore, my requisition was not being renewed. In other words, I was losing my job.

After the initial panic, I took a breath, and assessed my situation. Within days, I realized that I had nothing to worry about. Not because I was (or am) wealthy, but because every job transition I have ever experienced ALWAYS resulted in a better job situation than the one before it. I'm not kidding. EVERY one. So, strategically, I was safe. Just keep looking for a job, and the right one will come.

So, having that pressure removed, I began to consider the TACTICAL aspects of this scenario. There are two ways to survive the financial rivers in life: Increase income, or reduce expenses.

It just so happens that the focus was about to be on reducing expenses ;)

Just at this point in time, my lease was about to end on my car. It was a nice car. A Volvo. With all the Goodies. I leased it when I had a "real" commute of 25+ mostly highway miles. It was great for that. Now I live in a city. I drove the car once  week. To Whole Foods. Seriously.

So...I had the lease payment, the insurance, and the parking garage. Let's just round it to $1000 per month. Yeah...I know. Insane. (And I'm ignoring the 5 blown tires from potholes and fancy low-profile tires)

We had a second car, too. (I just gets more absurd, right?) My wife's car is a 2003 toyota, fully paid, and runs like a champ.

So, I start thinking about what to do when I return my Volvo. I know I want to lower my payments, so we look at other cars.

Then one day, I wake up (literally and figuratively) and look at my wife. "What the f*** is wrong with me?". She looks at me, puzzled. "Why do we even *need* another car?". She smiles. I comment, out loud, to myself about the once a week trek to Whole Foods.

I'll put it to you, this way. My car doubled my shopping expense.

We are now a one car family. And it's just fine.

A few other things have gone, as well. I have disconnected my cable (Fios), in favor of a simple, but effective broadcast antenna. Combined with Amazon Fire, and Apple TV (my wife and I worship different gods) and all the networks' streaming apps, who needs cable?!?

Again, what was my ego costing me?

Oh, and I now walk to work every day, instead of the local light rail. It's not much, but all does add up.

So, I encourage everyone to consider their life, their expenses and their egos. How much does *yours* cost you.

And the job?? No worries, I had an offer the day after my job ended. And it pays more. And it's a better company.

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