I have spent my life working minimal hours and finding ways to pay my bills and not spending much money on anything else. I am tight with my money, I try to save the little extra I can and spend time building new skills instead of repeating the same task over and over. I also like to travel if possible, and have been able to spend weekends in Iceland and Ireland in the past 5 years.
In the past decade I have worked many jobs including security (old folks home and art museum varieties), teacher (in over 10 subjects), airbrush artist, vendor, tattoo design, body painter, illustrator,
Its funny how the economy turn has not effected my life drastically, like it has others. Partially because I am already used to pinching my bills, and being crafty with money. The one luxury in my life is taking a hit though, and that is healthy food. My recent switch to being a vegetarian and eating organic foods is the biggest expense in my budget, and as the hours dwindle and my pay checks pay less of my bills I go from organic cheese to store brand cheese and right down the line I start eating a little bit worse.
At the same time, we are growing a little porch garden with fresh herbs and tomatoes; and cooking more often. Our little garden is helping to balance the less organic purchases from the grocery store. We still go to the farmers market for veggies, and eat lots of salads but find ourselves still shelling out good money for food.
I do not seem to be spending more time working, but spending a lot more time organizing ways to save money or plan ahead for future jobs. I guess that's the biggest difference for me, a starving artist, during the recession; spending more time planning ahead. My free time is filled with applications, grants, and proposals. It seems I am working harder for less money, just not the same way most people are. Or maybe everyone is doing this.
Hard to say.
Back to work.