I’m a sucker for “living below your means” stories:
Sure, four years is a long time to ‘go without.’ But, amazingly, it clarified so many things. Frivolous friends (I call them ‘acquaintances’) fell by the wayside and revealed TRUE friendships. They supported my efforts and had me over for dinners and gladly sent me home with ‘bachelor care packages’ of food for the week. They invited me out to simple and casual (and minimal cost) gatherings so I didn’t feel like I was restricting my social life. I turned off the TV and read books — something I hadn’t done for a long time and wanted to do ANYWAY. I went to occasional movie matinees (save $3.00!), rode my mountain bike, drove to the beach and enjoyed the day, etc., etc.