At least my living room is beginning to look like a living room as opposed to just a mass of stuff. Moving an entire house into a basement suite has been a challenge to say the least.
I’ve actually been hinting at this for awhile, but moving seemed somehow inevitable in my life. The only uncertain element was where I would be moving to.
There was a point at which I thought I might be moving to Abbotsford, BC, but I’ve decided to remain in Calgary for the time being.
So, my move was simply from the northwest side to the northeast side of the city. In all, I think it has been a very positive thing.
With that in mind, there are a couple of things I’d like to touch on with this move.
I could go on and on about my personal finances, but the short version is that I had a lot of trouble sustaining the type of lifestyle that I had become accustomed to at house; especially without roommates.
Up until 2010, I had three long-term roommates (two at a time), who were all great friends. They all got married within a span of about two years of each other. This resulted in the rather sudden departure of each friend; one at a time.
It was a little unforeseen, especially since one of my roommates shared the house with me for about five years. I suppose it’s something to look out for if your roommates are all between their mid-20s to mid-30s. They might want to get married.
I also didn’t put any great emphasis on finding more roommates, which in retrospect may not have been wise. However, my fourth semi-permanent roommate turned out to be a disaster, and that kind of turned me off of the idea.
These are just estimates, but this is more or less what I was bringing in when I was still living in my house:
- Music Lessons – $6,000 – $8,000 yearly
- Performance & Workshops – $2,000 – $5,000 yearly
- Recording, Producing, Mixing – $800 – $1,000 yearly
- CD Sales – $100 – $160 yearly
- Theatre Tech – $600 – $800 yearly
- Rental Income – $1,000 yearly
- Online Marketing – $12,000 yearly
- Entrepreneurial – $4,000 – $6,000 yearly
- Total – $26,500 – $33,960 yearly
And then there are a myriad of other activities that essentially pay nothing; like my podcast for example (although I have reason to believe that’s going to turn around pretty quick).
It’s not a bad income, but as you can see there are obvious gaps. Simply streamlining my life and reducing monthly expenses has and will make a significant difference in my financial life.
Was I spread thin? Well, not exactly. There are seasons for everything. Sometimes it can feel like madness, but at other times I was left waiting around for the next gig.
I think my new place is going to bring greater focus into my life. This next year will be a good chance for me to narrow in on the things that are working, and to let some other things go.
This move was not void of heartache. It was mostly short-term, but nevertheless intense.
For me, it has meant the end of an era beginning with my early 20s. I’ve already talked a little bit about my roommates – I think we did a good job of facilitating an environment of passion and creativity.
Initially I thought the era was ending when my roommates moved out of my house. However, the real end of era has come with me moving out.
I will be talking more about this later, but I also had to dismantle the studio. Temporarily, it has meant the lack of a recording space. This is what ended up happening to the custom-made studio desk:
I can still work on music (which I’m not doing much of at the moment), but this suite probably won’t be a conducive environment for a studio.
I’ve kept the gear, and I know there will be a future opportunity for an even better recording environment. But I wasn’t bringing in a lot of money with the studio, so this may not be such a bad thing.
We also had to destroy the Wurlitzer organ. I know this is pretty sad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few haters emerge, but we had to do what we had to do. No one made an offer on the thing, it was too darned heavy, and truth be told it was only about 60% functional.
More to Come
I’m a believer in the concept of ridding your life of clutter, whether mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical. There are always new things waiting on the other side.
I’ve had several new opportunities offered me since making my move, and seeing as how I still have more to rid of, I’m sure there will be other rewards for discarding what no longer has any use.
I think this goes hand in hand with being a giver. People aren’t designed to be reservoirs; we’re not supposed to store up stuff. We’re designed to be channels. When we have excess and overflow, we can give, sell, and bless others with the surplus in our life. This allows for continual flow in and out of our lives.
In any case, I’m sure there will be more insights coming out of this move. It may take some time, but I thought I would let you know that I’m still alive!
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