I had never worked as an entrepreneur until I resigned from my public job in 2018. So I decided to leave to be a consultant in non-violent education. My husband was already an entrepreneur at the time and with my leaving my job, our income dropped to less than half. I like to think that income has decreased, but in return, it has increased my self-esteem, time with my son and my inner peace. This job change brought me important learning about what was important to me and what kind of life I would like to lead. Further adjustments were needed to learn how to organize family financial life in the new budget.
What did we do then?
At that time, when our income decreased, it was necessary to make a series of new family choices. Some things we decided not to give up, others we thought could be changed. For us, for example, our son’s school was important and we would like to maintain it. My running group and my husband’s football club were considered important in order to have a good quality of life. We decided to greatly reduce the amount of consumption in toys, clothes, shoes, unnecessary appliances, delivery of food very often and tours in places where we consumed a lot.
I clearly remember that when I thought about quitting my job, I would look at the clothes inside my closet, the absurd amount of shoes, more TVs than people in the house, practically unusable appliances scattered around the house and I thought: what for? do i need it all? I worked to give the best things to my son and my family. But I realized that the best things cannot be bought, they need to be experienced. I struggled, but I was too tired to give the attention that my son and myself deserved. And that is why I decided to change.
Why am I telling you all this?
When the pandemic started, both my husband and I were already entrepreneurs and lived off the income we earned every month. In other words, to have money it was necessary to work. And if we didn’t work, we wouldn’t have an income, simple as that. This was and has been the reality for many families in Brazil and worldwide. Maybe it’s yours right now.
How do we organize ourselves again?
Having gone through all those adjustments in 2018 brought us a little more tranquility and agility to make the choices that would be important for this moment that we are living. Being clear about what is really important, what is needed and what can be replaced or eliminated helps a lot when making decisions. That’s what we did, again. We put on paper what was important, which for us we would not like to give up, what could be suspended at that moment and what we could eliminate.
My work was already largely done online, but my husband’s was not. We opted for him to stay at home for a long time and we negotiated the accounts we had as the companies made them available. School reducing tuition, suspended football clubs, disabled tours and so on.