I don't know about you but I have just gone through the most tumultuous financial time of my adult life this past year.
After watching my retirement savings disappear, customers disappear, and a general malaise set in with the real estate business, I decided to go into a self evaluation that has lasted almost 3 months.
I have emerged nervous, fearful and in general, a changed person. My life had taken a turn in recent years, that in looking back, I will call nothing short of extravagant.....there was nothing that I wanted that was unattainable. I own a wonderful house which I rent out in the summer for top dollar; I have a fabulous automobile; my business has been a flourishing one---that is until now.
November, 2008 is when it all came to an abrupt end. I had just sold and closed on a very large property in September and I had cleared up my outstanding credit card debt, started making arrangements for a debt free existence and it all skidded to a stop--I lost 3 deals that were scheduled to close over the next 2 months. My service people came out of the woodwork asking for more money--because of the cost of gasoline! Everyone I had lined up as a regular service provider had their hands out, telling me their costs had to be passed on to me.
Now, I am more than happy to pay my fair share. If someone who works for me needs money I am even more than happy to slip them some extra funds...People who know me well, know this. This year however, I can't give anyone the customary holiday "tip" for work done over the past year. This bothers me a great deal because I know they can use the extra money. I, however, don't have the money!
So, now I have made the biggest decision of my life: No longer will I be looking to hire people to do the things that I am physically able to do; I will mow my own lawn, clean my own house, make my own repairs where I can and cut out all the service people that I had become so accustomed to using....maybe I can find a replacement for the pool company that overcharged me at the end of last summer! Or better yet, learn how to vacuum and clean the pool myself!
These may seem like unusual "give ups" to others---I am a very fortunate person to be able to own my own house and to have been able to do several "big" deals in the last 2 years...but my days of excess are now over!!!....and I can't begin to tell you how good I feel!!! I may even use the little corner of my back yard to grow some tomatoes this next summer..........