Cutting My Budget and the Grass
Early this year, I decided to change my focus to do less social media, “Girl Friday”, virtual assistant work and more writing. Despite arguments to the contrary, the writing life doesn’t pay very well. The upside is that writing is a solitary, at-you-own-pace sort of thing as opposed to accommodating the stressed out clients who forget to tell you about something their publisher needed last week and “Would it be possible to have it done in an hour?”
Of course it would.
Getting that particular sort of freedom back meant my budget would need a bit of elasticity because my income would be cut to about 25% of what it had been.
Yes, selling one’s soul has it’s benefits, but it’s still your soul.
Thus began the cuts…
We started with the Cable package. The only reason we had one in the first place was because it cut the cost of internet (they always get you on the bundling). So I called Time Warner Cable and asked if they could please just take that phone (which I’d never used anyway), the cable box (I use the app through my Roku), and cut out the television package. Well, Time Warner Cable being the evil empire that they are, explained that I had to keep the box. No, I couldn’t just turn it in and get a receipt for it, I had to have the box. Yes, even if I was just going to leave it in my closet to collect dust. As for the television package, the least expensive option to still get high speed internet involved keeping the phone and basic cable. What sense does this make?
The next thing to go was the Netflix DVD Package. We stream often but who has time for snail mail anymore? We also found we could borrow newly released DVDs from the Public Library at no charge (unless you return them late, they they really get you!).
The last budget item to go was one I hated losing, lawn mowing service. For about $70 a month, I had a team come by every two weeks that did a bang up job on my little lawn. It became this beautiful place I wanted to spend time in. But the cost was suddenly prohibitive and changes had to be made. So I bought a push mower for the cost of one month’s mowing.
Then the rains came.
Springtime in Texas means rain – Big ole fat rain, tiny stinging rain, even rain that goes sideways. That rain makes the grass grow.
Did I mention how difficult it is to push a push mower when the grass is wet? Yeah, you don’t want to do that.
Did I mention that the blades rust overnight in Texas’ humidity?
It’s been several weeks since I’ve been able to get outside and push that new, yet rusted, mower around and cut the grass in the backyard. My backyard looks more like a tropical rainforest than a yard. I’m beginning to rethink the value of a service.
I would drive for Uber or Lyft to pay for that lawn service again, but I hate driving as much as I hate mowing tall, wet grass with a rusty blade.
Surely there’s something around the house I can sell instead of my soul?
That’s it! A virtual garage sale! Look for my next blog on creating a bigger home by cleaning out the garage!