Once again, Jessica, you are speaking the important truth we all should listen to and act upon.

I learned several years ago that I could live on very little. It was the price of getting out from under an abusive and controlling partner, and well worth it to regain my dignity.

Money's not as scarce now--even a grad assistant's wages are for me a step up from where I was--but I'm resisting the urge to upgrade my lifestyle. I like knowing that I'm off the grid financially. No TV. Bicycle to get to classes and a 16 year old Mitsubishi for longer trips. Clothes from Goodwill. Home-cooked soup with veggies from the farmers' market. (I'd grow my own if this Arkansas clay would let me.)

One thing I'd add to your list: Learn a craft. I've built half the furniture in my home. Can't describe how satisfying it is to sleep in a bed I built from boards.

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee: ko-fi.com/edrobson. ecrobson@gmail.com

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