Dollar Diet: Week 28 – a leap of faith

I missed last week’s update due to illness, but I thought it was high time I spilled the beans on some changes around here in Tawhero.

A Tawhero tree (image credit)

A Tawhero tree
(image credit)

D quit his job.

And is currently unemployed.  He does have some new work lined up, although nothing is set in stone which feels a teensy bit scary.

But mostly I am okay with this turn of events, and have been D’s biggest encourager to quit his job.

During his time at this job, D’s company went from being a small business to a rather large business.  D went from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond, and he felt it was time to move on.

But we owe a great deal to this business – its success enabled us to buy a house without a mortgage, and allowed D to work remotely from Whanganui, so quitting was not an easy decision for D.

Leaving big-city living for a slower pace of life was an easy decision for us.  Most people thought we were nuts to give up our ‘successful’ lives in New Zealand’s capital to go live in a small place like Whanganui.  But nothing makes you assess your priorities more than having kids.  House prices in New Zealand’s main centres have gone through the roof (Auckland house prices are beyond insane).  We knew we would need a bigger house if we had any more kids after Sausage (hello Chip!) as our rental genuinely could not have accommodated another baby.  We would have had to have bought a house in the outer suburbs, meaning long commutes to work; and I would have needed to return to work as soon as possible.

We just didn’t want that life.  Massive mortgage, tedious commute.  Putting our kids in childcare.  The stress.

D and I were in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to say no to that life.  We know many people would kill to be in our shoes.

Like many provincial towns and cities, jobs are scarce in Whanganui.  Despite the ease in which remote working can be done, most IT jobs still want you to come in to an office where the boss can keep an eye on you.  People still cling to old ways of working, of doing business.  We knew that getting a remote IT job that allowed D to live anywhere would be tricky.  So when D’s manager said yes to the idea of him working remotely, we were gobsmacked.  Delighted and grateful, but gobsmacked.

D knew his chances of finding a remote IT job that let him work reduced hours (D was studying at the time) was slim, so being able to stay with his company was brilliant.  It did however, mean that when he felt it was time to move on from the company, he felt somewhat painted into a corner.  As I said, those remote jobs in his field don’t grow on trees.

But life has a way of working out just fine, doesn’t it?

By happy coincidence, as we decided to move to Whanganui D discovered that a friend from University he’d lost touch with was living here.  Who also works in IT.  Long story short, with their friendship rekindled, the two of them have decided to go into business together as a software development consultants.

They have several clients in the pipeline, and will probably start work in a month’s time.  It’s a bit scary to be forgoing regular employment for the uncertain world of self-employment, but I have faith that everything will be just fine.  D and his friend R are both excellent at what they do (they were voted Whanganui’s biggest geeks at a recent event…), and their reputations alone have already garnered them clients.

We had savings prior to the Dollar Diet, but after successfully dollar dieting for over six months now, our savings are in much better shape that they would otherwise have been.  

We are easily able to weather a month with no income, and should be able to survive the ebbs and flows of consulting work in the future.  I no longer feel like we are haemorrhaging money, nor do I feel powerless to stop it.  We know exactly what we spend our money on and have saved thousands of dollars simply by cutting out unnecessary excess.  While we wait for D’s new work to begin we will tighten our belts by spending less on food and non-essential activities.

I have faith that everything will turn out just fine.

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