I don't have cable tv or a smartphone or a car payment. I keep my house cold. I'm even trimming my food budget down to a bare minimum. I'm working on being optimistic that things will improve, but I've had some set backs lately with clients going under. Aikido has been a great outlet during stressful times and I'm constantly impressed by the support and camaraderie at the dojo. My thanks to everyone on the forum for sharing your thoughts.
I just wanted to say that I know where you are coming form. I have been and in many ways still am in the same situation financially. During the worst of it I recall having to figure out how to feed myself and my critters on only $10 for the week. Somehow I managed it. I didn't have aikido at the time but I had a horse. For my my horse is family, she was/is the only really good thing in my life. Giving her up came to mind a few times but I just could not let that happen.
I spoke to some fellow horse owners about the situation and they did find ways to help me out. No they didn't' pay my bills or give me a free ride at the boarding stable but someone always had an odd job for me to do with training their horses. Somehow I made it through all of that without loosing my girl.
So if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to keep it in your life. You just have to be open to unexpected possibilities.
After two years of aikido training I can hardly imagine my life without the dojo in it. I somehow think that my teachers would not take kindly to my leaving over this sort of issue.
It is really cool seeing the responses from so many aikido teachers who do indeed disagree on many things but not on their feelings about their serious students. This might be one of the most positive things I have seen on aikiweb in a while.
Talk to your teacher and then be open to allowing things to play out how they will. Even if it is not maybe something you would look for. Be willing to accept the gift.