Saturday, March 15, 2008

White Knuckles in Oaxaca

I like to obsess about money. Before we moved here, I made all sorts of charts and plans about how we could manage to get by in Oaxaca, on less income, but less expenses as well. Part of the equation involved us living off our interest without touching our principal.

Well, thank goodness that wasn't the entire equation. The U.S. economy is in the toilet, and our interest--which was supposed to generate us about $1800 per month on which to live--has dwindled to $1100 per month, and probably heading down fast.

The Fed meets Tuesday, and I can only imagine what might happen after that. The crumbling economy is a scary thing to ponder.

But this experience is teaching me to be more like Steve. He's had his own businesses for his whole adult life, and has learned to count on the ebb and flow of freelance dollars. I never understood it before, how you could depend on the unfathomable and unpredictable (it sounded like chaos theory), but now I see that what seemed like the most predictable thing--savings with interest--is far less steady than getting an influx of creative gigs. So, I got two more freelance writing gigs this week. I never saw this coming, becoming a freelance writer and, more significantly, depending upon being a freelance writer. It's a little like riding a roller coaster, fun and scary at the same time.

I must say that suddenly it also seems imperative that we buy a house here, to get rid of some of our increasingly worthless dollars and have a fixed asset. When will this craziness end? Or, when will I stop caring so much about it?

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