Holy crap, I just realized it's April 6th - which means it's been over a year since I left my day job to focus on painting!
When I first quit, I had no idea my savings would last this long. I mean, I thought there was a chance I'd still be a full-time artist in a year's time, but only if I were making a good chunk of money each month from said art. But frankly, I'm not making too terribly much yet and what I do make goes right back into buying more supplies*. The money I pay my monthly expenses with? Pure nest egg, baby!
How have I made my money last this long, you ask? I credit two things: happiness and hermit...ness.
Happiness, because I love my life so much that I don't often feel a need to "reward" myself with trinkets and goodies like I did when I was devoting like twelve hours a day to my office job**. I mean, it was a very nice office job, don't get me wrong - great atmosphere, great people, opportunities for advancement, etc. - but I've always felt that full-time work takes up a cruelly ridiculous amount of time. We shouldn't have to sacrifice our lives in order to maintain our livelihood! And so I'd get out of work bummed that I had so little time to do the things that really matter to me, and I'd find solace in a $4 chocolate bar or a $400 pair of boots. (Okay, the $400 boots only happened once. But still!).
Hermit-ness, because being a homebody means I spend almost no money on restaurant meals, movie or nightclub admission, or (and this is the key difference between now vs. before) even laundry - I can easily stay in my pajamas for a week at a time vs. the old days when I wore a different office-appropriate outfit every day. And since I'm not out in the world that much, I don't have a chance to see things in stores and want them. I don't think I've bought a single new item of clothing in the past year except a bulk pack of socks, and that's only because my previous socks were getting threadbare. Being a dorky loner has been great for my budget.
But I think I should start looking into having an income again***. A part-time job, maybe, or temping...something that'll make my remaining money last longer while still leaving time for me to paint (and list paintings on Artfire, and hang paintings at the Arts Market, and make paintings into necklaces and magnets and prints and greeting cards to sell also, and blog about it all to you guys!).
TO THE RESUME UPDATEMOBILE!
*The best advice for entrepreneurs that I've ever heard: if you're gonna go into business for yourself, pick a field you love so much you'd do the work for free - because for the first long while, you will be.
**Only eight hours at the actual job, but then there's the commute time to and from work, doing laundry in order to look presentable at work, making lunch so I'll have something to eat at work, etc.
***Upon reflection, I probably shouldn't have shaved most of my head recently. Hindsight.