Have You Ever Lost Your Job?
Had a severe salary gut or lost a significant amount of hours at work? What do you do in this situation? It is very difficult for anyone to deal with, especially if you have nothing saved for these very situations.
I have been toying with the idea of “financial starvation”. The concept is simple. The follow through is quite a challenge.
Let me preface this by saying, I do not make much money. I have debt. And I do not spend much money as it is. Even with these “challenges” in place, I still find money for the things I enjoy. I buy books, go out, and occasionally pamper myself in a few select ways. So if I were to lose my job, or lose a significant portion of my income, my (fully funded) emergency account would not go far.
The idea behind financial starvation is to remove EVERY SINGLE extra that you possibly can. In addition, you would have to cut every expense possible. We’re talking live off the land kind of starvation. It’s kind of a “what if” for the worst possible financial situation.Â Just the idea of it makes me cringe, but I also see it as quite a challenge. How well would I do if I were to remove every single extra in my life, and live as “simply” as possible?
The length of time for a potential “financial starvation” period also comes into question. The shorter the duration, the more difficult it would be to truly experience the “rock-bottom” effect I would be trying to achieve. Not to mention that it would no doubt be uncomfortable…but probably more so for those around me than me personally. I would love to do a one-week trial run, but it seems too short to actually get the effect. If I really commit, a month seems like the right amount of time, but I would definitely have to run that by the Mrs.- and I’m not so sure that she would be on board.
Actions I Would Employ-
When I say starvation, I really mean it. We’re talking about eating the cheapest food on the planet, using the least amount of electricity possible, dropping the cell phone, canceling subscriptions to anything, including magazines and cable. You starting to get the idea? The goal with this plan is not to make more money, but to see what I could do with no (or almost no) money. As far as bills I already owe…well, I can’t do much about that. They would have to get paid as normal.
Should I or Shouldn’t I?
As I said, I am still on the fence about this idea. It could be fun, it could be a complete disaster. I guess the question I should really ask myself is, How much could this actually benefit or teach me? I feel as if I am pretty well versed in handling money and balancing my wants and needs. But I also feel that I can always learn more about both personal finance and myself. Would you try it? Why or why not? Should I try it?
I’m looking forward to some responses on this one!