Okay guys, got a fun one for you today :)
I don’t even know what to make of it all to be honest with you, but I loved reading every second of this and thought you guys might too.
It’s an email shot over by a listener of our new podcast – M.O.N.E.Y. – and I find it all kinds of fascinating. Probably because it never ceases to amaze me just how different our lifestyles can be, yet still revolve around the almighty dollar whether we want it to or not! And Melanie here has been experimenting with it quite a bit lately, haha…
Please to enjoy – the most interesting email I’ve ever received!
Story for J. Money, a man who appreciates working less when it’s possible & going with your feeling instead of all of the facts.
J, you talk about having been a workaholic and finally making peace with chilling the f*ck out.
That is ME!!
Some background: I used to be a youthful anti-money anarchist. That mentality lead me to the notion that I needed to drop out of the money system. My plan to drop out of the system revolved around saving $$ (for the first time) so that my husband & I could live in the woods “for free”. < — my vague youthful thinking.
So when I was 26 (waitress) and my husband was 22 (grocery story worker) I came up with a plan for us. In the end we saved $24,000 in 18 months at our $hitty jobs. Saving money was a huge eye opener that money isn’t evil, I’m still me regardless of what the numbers say. It actually made me LOVE money but I couldn’t break the mental dogma so we kept with my original plan.
We bought land in another state and lived in a 150 sqft tiny house with no plumbing for 1 year. During that time I was working at the best restaurant in the tourist town 15 minutes from our land. I was a major workaholic. I kept pushing myself to work more and often worked 50-70 high volume hours a week. I think a major reason why I worked so much was to avoid the new lifestyle that I signed up for.
Here’s a video I made of our tiny house right when we first moved into it:
My husband has never been anti money and didn’t like living without plumbing. So when I completely burned out from overworking I looked at him and said, “Can we sell the tiny house and land?” He said YES! In that moment I knew I needed to wipe the slate clean on the anarchist bull$hit I was holding onto and the insane “clean eating” standards I’d been obsessed with for 15 years.
It was pretty much me saying YES to the life I want instead of the life I thought was “right.”
So I quit my job, we put the tiny house on the market and moved back to Dallas. For the next 18 months we live almost jobless and on less that $10,000 a year. For 18 months we dumpster dived stuff and sold it on ebay (mostly clothes). For 9 months solid we ate trash, dumpstering 99.9% of everything we ate so we wouldn’t have to pay for food. PLUS it completely chilled me out with distorted identity around being “vegan” or “paleo” or “clean eating”.
We had almost no expenses except our cheap apartment and gas $. We had no bed time, no morning alarms, no restrictions, no stress. It was amazing, I’d never had so little while feeling so free.
When being the dumpster diver became my identity I had to walk away from that too. At this same time I recovered from all of the pinned up stress and was ready to really make some money again. We changed our eBay business overnight and started making a real living wage without having to dumpster dive anymore. We buy stuff now but we’re making much better $$$.
There’s not really a conclusion to this story. I’m just writing to say that I feel ya when you talk about re-calibrating your values.
She was right that I appreciate a good story! And that I’m all about going with your emotions even if they tend to fluctuate over time (which of course they will as we’re constantly evolving as people).
This is the stuff that separates Paula and I a lot on the show – where she’s the more analytical/ business type person and I’m the “do what feels good” type of guy. No one right way of doing things, but either can lead you to that ideal lifestyle, and even better if you can balance the two!
So thank you so much for the story, Melanie! Can’t say I woke up thinking I’d see that gem in my inbox, haha… Love the passion, and even more so that you changed it up when you realized it wasn’t working for you guys anymore. That’s hard to do – especially if you’ve been broadcasting it all over. For anyone wanting to follow Melanie’s journey, you can catch her on her blog @ anarchistkitchen.wordpress.com.
And for those interested in rocking an eBay biz as she alluded to, check out our recent episode with Jay and Ryanne where they tell us how they make $100k/year flipping items and renting out their AirBnB on our podcast. Again – so cool how many different ways there are to make a living!
PS: Speaking of our show, thank you guys SO MUCH for all the support over the past two months! We recently crossed over 100,000 downloads and are learning a ton in the process… Both from our guests on the show, but also the uniquely different medium that is podcasting. Can’t say I’m used to it yet, but it’s definitely been interesting :) If you like talking about money as much as you do earning it, might be something to look into yourself! (Or to discuss any topic, for that matter).