If I quit my job today, I will have enough money to last me 6 months. If I sell off all my assets, I will have enough money to sail into the sunset for 3 years and 6 months.
I have always had a bigger purpose for the money I’ve earnt. Some people save for the next high, others for a fancy car. I have been saving all my life to finance my dream of becoming a writer.
Growing up, I was told that writers only have two options: to struggle or to give up.
Being the kind who doesn’t like to give up, I decided to struggle. Or so, I thought those were my only two options.
Fast forward a few years of working non-corporates and low-income jobs, I can say that my finances are in better shape than most people working high-income jobs.
Having it drilled to me from the start that I would never achieve financial success in a writing career, has made me strict about my expenses.
All my life, I’ve forgone the daily necessities of modern life: makeup, coffee, and alcohol.
I have never faced the mad rush of putting on makeup in early morning traffic, nor lived for the first hit of morning coffee. I don’t know how many shots it takes to get me drunk, because I have never tested the limits of my body in such expensive ways.
I keep my life simple.
When I need to feel pretty, or confident, I replenish my energy from the inside. I read books, I write, I go outside, and I talk to friends and family.
I am an advertiser’s worst nightmare, but this has saved me a lot of money.
To emphasise how much one can save on a low income, I’ve broken down my weekly expenses as best as I can:
- Groceries: $50
- Mortgage: $325
- Electricity and internet bills: $20
- Transport: $40
Total weekly expenses: $435
I share my expenses with my sister, which makes it possible to cut down on individual costs.
Next year, I will be turning 28. I have yet to experience the highs that people my age have experienced. I have yet to travel to Egypt to see the pyramids and ride on camels.
But for now, I substitute fancy vacations with long road trips, night outs with night ins, take-outs with homecooked meals. And I’m OK with every single choice.
I set this lifestyle into motion when I was 12 years old, training my mind from an early age, not to desire the things I don’t need.
I am now 27. If I wanted to spend 3 years in isolation, writing a novel, I could. If I wanted to quit my job and sail into the sunset for 3 years, I could. But I’m not going to do that.
My mind is set for the long term. Writing is a long-term game. And in the beginning, financial support is a writer’s best chance of staying in the game longer.
So, to writers and dreamers everywhere, I urge you to learn to support yourself financially.
I urge you to set yourself up to succeed in a world that doesn’t want you to.
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