DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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10 January 2012

One step, then another

When I first gave up working for a living I did that hoping that if we were thrifty, if we cut back, if we gave up a couple of the things we used but didn't really want - like pay TV and a second car, that we would be able to live on much less that we were at that point. The key to this of course was that we had no debt. We'd already put in the hard work to pay off our mortgage - which took eight years instead of 20, we didn't have any other debt and I hoped that by shopping more carefully for groceries, watching our waste and buying needs instead of wants would stand us in good stead. I was right, my idea worked. We reduced our grocery bill substantially, we got rid of the second car and pay TV and our expenses started to look like something we could easily handle. Hanno was still working in our Montville shop at that point (after retiring earlier from work in the mining industry) and when he sold the shop, he went on a pension. Still, we not only managed, we put money in our savings account every month and with the bits and pieces I earn from my writing and bartering, we still do.


I believe the one thing that helped us the most was to track how we spent our money. That was a real eye opener, we couldn't dispute it; we knew how much we were spending and what we were spending it on. That gave us the ability to stop spending in certain areas so we had money for what we really needed. Things like buying lunch when we were out, bottles of water, coffee, magazines, we stopped them all. We just used a pen and paper and wrote down everything we purchased - everything. When those items were added up, they looked more serious than they did as single purchases and seeing the larger amounts helped us make more prudent buying decisions. Everyone has their own achilles heel, tracking your money will help you find yours.


But money is only one part of the equation. Thrift made it possible for me to stop working at a regular job, but if I was going to spend more time at home I wanted joy and enrichment to be part of every day and I wanted to enjoy the day-to-day tasks I set myself. I would have short-changed myself with anything less. When I was working for a living, I wondered why I didn't feel "at home" here. Now I know that to get that feeling of comfort with one's surroundings, to live in a nurturing home, you have to give it time and you have to customise your home to suit you, your family and how you work. That doesn't come over night and it doesn't come with buying a house full of furniture. I have found that it starts to happen when you home-produce what you love having around you and when you cook and bake and fluff up your nest. You have to put time and love into a home. Cooking a meal every night and having a family gather at the table to eat together, strengthens family ties every day and helps form the feeling, for every one in the family, that home is a safe harbour and that you can be your true self there. Now more than ever we all need a place where we can relax and recover from the stresses most of us face in everyday life. My home is that place for me; your home holds that potential for you too.



We have done a number of the things we do now for many years. We've kept chooks and had an organic vegetable garden for over 30 years, we've stockpiled for many years, cleaned with vinegar and paid off our debts fast. But it was only when we did these things with a purpose and in a loosely organised fashion that it made sense and worked the way we wanted it to. Home needs to be the focal point, you need to rely on your abilities and yourself and move away from buying convenience. When you get that, it starts making sense.  If you came to our home you would think it is like any other home. We are average people. There is nothing special about us and if we can do this, you can do it too. We won't all do it in the same way - we all have our own values, family circumstances, income levels, abilities and goals, but that is the beauty of this - there is no "right" way.


So where are you along the road to a more simple life? It only takes one thing, then another, and before you know it, you'll be on the same journey Hanno and I are on. I wonder how you started, I wonder what your next step will be. There is always a next step, there is no final destination, the journey itself is the prize.

44 comments:

  1. I love the reminders you give to us that follow you everyday and for those new to your blog..We can all do this and make it our own..We can be who we were meant to be..Thank You for making us accountable and keep us thinking..
    I have linked a part of my blog post today to this post:)
    ~~peace & love & joy & blessings~~

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  2. I really need to drink a coffee before i start reading. I thought you said, " with the bits and pieces I earn from my writing and bartending..."!!!

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  3. Hi Rhonda - good post. I'm slowly working toward that goal. Just last week, I started making my own laundry soap. I got a liquid recipe and a powdered recipe and am going to see which one I like better. Didn't have to buy any extra ingredients since they both called for the same ones. I've noticed my whites already whiter and a fresh clean fragrance when I walk into the house. I'm getting some hens as soon as the cold weather improves a bit. We've been gardening and composting for about 4 years now.

    You, my dear lady, have helped us get this far. We love living in our little farmhouse. Love the smaller space. All debts are paid off, and we are making a smaller "footprint". Thanks for all your inspiration, your ideas, and I'm looking forward to your book becoming available!

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  4. It's funny, until I read how you wrote it here, I hadn't put my finger on exactly why I felt more "at home" in my home this past year than I ever did before. But, really, I do think it's from the more making, less buying focus I've had since choosing to stay home with my daughter.

    I actually can't remember my very first simplifying step, except for a general commitment to consume less. There is always a next step, though, as you say. My next big step is learning to sew :)
    -Jaime

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  5. What a brilliant post.

    We too are on a journey, one we started three years ago with our move to the country, we dabbled and planned and are now about to move to a cheaper place so we can save in earnest to buy our own country place.

    We love our simple way of living, growing the fruit and veg and raising chickens for free range eggs which we eat and sell.

    Life is simple and so very good.

    It sometimes takes reading a lovely post like yours to make me realise how far WE have come.

    All our debts are paid off and now we can concentrate on getting our 'forever home' together.

    As you so rightly say 'life is a journey' and a very exciting one at that. Even the destination doesn't really matter as long as you reach it with the one you love.

    Sue xx

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  6. Thanks Rhonda. I needed the words 'the journey itself is the prize'. Sometimes it's so easy to feel snowed under by the simple life as you juggle work, family and home. I keep trying to remind myself that living this way is a choice and something to be savoured and enjoyed - 'one thing, then another' is a great way to break it down and keep enjoying the journey.

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  7. Thank you, Rhonda! Your writings are very special for me. They help me to go on when I fell down... Thank you so much!

    Yana from Bulgaria

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  8. Thank you for the lovely post! I think I started living this way as a child on a farm. My parents had a garden every year, as did my grandparents, and we canned and froze a great deal for the winter. We raised our own meat and went picking wild apples in the winter. I would go out and harvest wild salads when I was pretty young. We made our own pies and cookies and nothing from a store ever tastes so good.

    I enjoy your blog!
    Lisa Lynn
    http://littlehomesteadonthehill.blogspot.com/

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  9. Our dollars trickle away on food and drink when going to town, and with 3 children in the family that adds up to a whole lot over the year. I aim to overcome this this year by planning better, just yesterday I fed and watered the tribe before we went out, then I insisted they not ask for anything while we were there. Also I kept the trip short, no longer than 2 hours, so far so good.

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  10. Dear Rhonda,

    Your always manage to say everything in such a clear, commonsense and compassionate way. You say...it was only when we did these things with a purpose...that resonates with me very strongly, I have been doing many things to simplify our lives for some time now, cut back debt and waste, try to follow your blue print as much as possible, live healthily and care for all things but I haven't felt that it's all connected, it's been fragmented at times. Now I get it! Purpose in everything.
    Thanks Rhonda,
    Vicki xx

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  11. I've just started tracking where the money goes by writing everything down in a notebook. Just doing this simple step has increased my money awareness, making me much less inclined to part with my hard earned cash. I whole-heartedly agree that a home is a refuge, a safe harbor at the end of the day. That means something different for everyone, the important thing is to take the time to discover what works best for one's family. Thanks for your excellent posts.

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  12. I am just now taking a short tea break from organizing my "craft room". I decided I needed it to be more airy and light in order for me to accomplish all that I want to in there. There are quilts to be made and clothes to be sewn. My next endeavor is to weave a rug for our living room from all the old T-shirts I have been saving. Last week my daughter and I made our homemade laundry soap and she has slowly but surely learned that vinegar and baking soda are wonderful cleaners! This spring will hopefully find us in the backyard starting a vegetable garden. I can't wait to taste fresh foods from our own backyard.

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  13. How wonderful to have you back blogging Rhonda..you make my day!
    I think we started on our road when we moved to this house with the aim of starting our vegie patch and owning some chickens...finding your blog was really the catalyst and your words reawakened the homemaker in me and since then i have been taking little steps towards that simpler life i think.
    Since having the twins i have enjoyed being able to stay home, make bread, collect eggs and vegies from the garden and make our own cleaners and laundry liquids.....it has become the norm for us and i am still suprised when i hear others commenting about me 'making everything'!
    You are right....our home just feels more like a home now and i really do thank you for starting us on this path.
    We still have debt to pay off but we are getting somewhere and i am still able to be at home with my girls at the moment so that's all i could ask for.
    Love the photo of your chookies..have a great day Rhonda!

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  14. Hi Rhonda

    I have been on my journey on and off for years now. This last year have been extremely stressful. We are living through seismic activity that just will not abate. Just when you think that it has settled down 'Wham' the nightmare continues.

    I have been working for the last five years and this last year has just about done me in. We have had to move our premises four times as earthquakes have damaged the buildings, staff have left and the burden has fallen mostly to myself on top of which my son who has a disability has been chronically ill. So, these holidays I have tried to focus more on how to survive if I gave up work completely or at least reduce this to 10 hous a week. I have put an enoumous effort in to my garden and it is paying off. I have changed my shopping to fortnightly with bulk products being bought monthly. I am hoping to get some chickens this year as we eat a large amount of eggs. I have also looked at my spending and made some changes there as well. Your post has come at the right time for me. Thank you.

    Regards
    Suellen

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  15. You are right, once you start there is always the next step. Even though we have been whittling away at our stuff for years I plan to do even more this year. There is such a sense of freedom I feel when we don't have so much stuff and the things I choose to have have around me have meaning.We started on this journey many years ago now.We consume mindfully, grow our own food and put some away for the winter.I love reading about how other people approach this journey and have learnt so much and picked up many worthwhile tips which I have incorporated into our lives, like your laundry detergent, and I am now passing it on to my adult daughters.The journey is wonderful and so fulfilling!

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  16. I found your blog not long ago and it is already on my "favourites" list. We're on our own journey towards simplicity here on the opposite side of the world and I find a great deal of inspiration by reading your blog. Thank you!

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  17. Oh, I love "the journey is the prize". You are so right! Life is a process and gaining wisdom is so wonderful.

    This year I plan to hang on to your comment last year about "saving a dollar is easier than earning a dollar". I plan to acquire little, make more meals from scratch, own chickens, start bee keeping and focus on what matters-the little people in my home.

    My goal is to see how little I can spend so that I don't have to focus so much on "earning" a living.

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  18. Lovely post...it has really got me thinking! I probably started on the path to a more simple life as a teenager when I began making my own paper and soap for gifts and doing up old furniture to save money...by 20 I had discovered inspirational books, yoga and meditation...which later led to a career change from Graphic Art to Massage Therapy!
    Since becoming a mother living a simple life has become all about staying at home, growing vegies, baking, sewing, working from home and making our house into a nurturing home that we love.
    The journey is definitely the prize. Thanks :)

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  19. So true Rhonda, it's the little steps each day. Sometimes I get a little frustrated and think I've been busy all day and yet what did I do. Well it really is the comfort of knowing the bathroom is clean just in case a friend or neighbour drops by. There is always enough in the pantry and freezer to whip up a scrumptious meal or snack. I have plenty of food preserved for winter when the growing season is a bit slower. We have clean mended clothes each day and lots of projects ready to complete. I can never say I have it all done but I can say I love living this life even though for us caring also for two elderly parents in our home is hard work sometimes. Life is good and we are living it to the best of our abilities, trying to be as self sufficient as we can be without feeling we are deprived of anything. Still really enjoy popping by your blog each day, my friend. You are such an inspiration. Just love those two cuties of yours.
    Blessings Gail

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  20. Hi Rhonda,
    great to see a reminder about tracking spending, and yesterday that you will be going of some of the basics about this simple life again.
    Like it or not, how we handle our money makes all the difference to how we are able to live a beautiful,simple life. I always need to remind myself of this!

    I started on the path 15 years ago when I met a family who were almost 100% self-sufficient. I'd had no idea such a thing was possible, and immediately wound up my business in Sydney and moved to the country.
    I've just picked a bumper crop of peaches and expecting apples soon. I started with gardening, learnt to sew and knit and am now renovating my cottage. I had a quote for almost $2000 for some painting work but decided to do it myself. I paid about $120 for the paint and although it's been hard work, how satisfying! I told my little boy I'm putting lots of love into his room as I paint ( which I am) and I've used leftover paint to revitalise his second- hand bed. I'm filled with pleasure and pride everytime I see my work.
    Have a beautiful day, madeleine

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  21. Your post made me think today Rhonda of when I began this journey towards a simple life. I guess I have always lived this way but always thought myself different to my friends who wanted careers. I love being a stay at home Mum so much so that when my children grew up I did not want it to finish so offered my home for foster care and that is what we do now. Thankyou for your blog as it has shown me that I am not alone in this lifestyle of living simply, something that is very hard to find living in a city.

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  22. Dear Rhonda,
    I have made lots of steps to move towards a life of real freedom. I'm hoping it rubs off on my children and their families.
    I believe really keeping track of all spending is true genius!
    That is something I want to implement immediately.
    We are currently researching beekeeping and we are very excited to begin this new venture.

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  23. I worked for 10 months last year thinking it would help make our situation better. It didn't. My husband got deployed. I quit my job, but I was still stuck in the non-frugal habits I formed while working because I was too tired.

    I am now going back to the beginning in frugality. I'm tracking out expeneses. My goal this year is to pay off 4 of our 7 debts. I plan to put in a small garden, begin making my own cleaners, look for healthy frugal recipes... I'm going to start small & build from there.

    Thank you, as always, for your inspiring posts!

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  24. I appreciate your honesty right up front about debt. Being a graduate student, college debt in a strange way promotes me to live simple, if only for the fact I don't have money (no, not only, I was raised to live simple, but having little money doesn't make it a choice). However, I make it a goal to live more like you when I have a place, a family, and a garden.

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  25. Dear Rhonda,
    Thanks to you I have cut down on my monthly expenses and I have also started to put away money each month to a savings account.
    And like you I am writing down all of my expenses including what I spend on bus fares. I have also minimised taking the car to work to only 2 days per week and have halved my fuel bill. I must say, I prefer taking the bus to work as it leaves me free to think about things and also to take a small nap if I am tired.
    I have also started to declutter our home and my mother and I are on a decluttering missin this year.
    Thank you for your invaluable guidance.

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  26. Great post, Rhonda! I used to write all my expenses at the beginning of our marriage, to understand how to cut down. Then, with the children it was not so easy, for me, to control all the money we spent. Now that they're grown enough (17 and 14) to understand the value of the money, I try not to waste money for stupid things and doing some things by myself. Of course the example you give us would be easier to realize, for me, if we live in a farm. Living in a flat in the town, 'cause of the children's school and our jobs.........
    My husband and I hope that, once the children are older and at the university and we can retire, we will live in our summer house (there we have a lovely garden!) and live a more simple and genuine life! It's my dream, with my sewing machine and all my stitching tools!!!!! Enjoy your life, Clara.

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  27. I love the way you talk about ordinary every day stuff. Through your words everything sounds so easy. Of course it's not, at least not everything. But although one might face obstacles or difficult tasks, you teach us that everything can be learnt - when you are willing to and when you identify yourself with it, when you want it from the core of your heart. You are an inspiration for all of us. Greetings from Uschi in Austria

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  28. To be honest with you I have fallen so far off the wagon I actually doubt if I had ever been on any part of the wagon in the first place. "Life issues" have been getting in the road...and by that I mean personal things that have become such a road block to me and who I thought I was and have had me questioning so much about myself and what my life has been for the last 20 years...I have begun since just before Christmas to get rid of lots of "junk" the kids have been through and got rid of lots of rubbish and donated lots of things I have been through a lot of stuff...making SPACE for myself, as each spot becomes a bit clearer I start to feel better within myself so that is what I am concentrating on at the moment (and some days not much happens as health issues have once again raised their ugly heads) My positive step outside has been to realise that every year my neighbour is going to prune his shrubs down to fence height so that we spend the next 6 months looking into his kitchen and whole back yard (they do a lot of entertaining so there is a lot to be witness to) so that I need to dig and plant on my side of the fence to give ourselves some privacy so that I can sit on the back veranda and relax I already have one in the ground and another 2 to go in....they are pittasporams (or something like that spelling) as they are such quick height growers and the ones I've picked wont get out of control....I am putting herbs in the ground as I go along digging....so that I can have fresh flavouring all year round...my first step for helping myself with cooking....now my task this week is to talk to my husband about chooks....this I have always wanted...I now have a bit of a bargaining tool and I know it's not right really but I'm going to use it to push the chook shed and run....because I want them and I use eggs and I like chooks....and now i'm shutting up because I've dribbled on quite long enough

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  29. Before I start what might be considered a bit of a rant, I must state this is a general comment not aimed personally at you at all. When I criticise I am aiming it elsewhere. There is a place for a more simple life yes and I enjoy reading about yours but that ideal seems to be very mixed in with the idea of being frugal and choosing to be so. There are blogs who are very zealous and dictatorial in their manner and quite frankly they get my back up!

    I find it odd that it is considered that a frugal life style is a choice. I live a thrifty life and have done so all my adult life and I am now 46. However, it is not through choice but through circumstance. I have no house, no pay to view TV, no car, no cell phone etc and never have done as I have never been able to afford them. In order to downsize you have to have a certain life style in the first place. As a non property, non furniture owning person it’s hard to see how one can downsize. When you have two properties to sell and do, and then buy a smaller property with cash from the proceeds, then it is easy to decide to live a simple life. You need hardly any money to do it at all. (I give the above example from someone I know). It is not even necessary to work full time; a minimum wage part time job suffices. Downsizing is a luxury. If you are in a position to consider it then you are doing well and better than a lot of people.

    I can't cut back and save, my life is all about hand to mouth. This winter there is no money for heating and so there isn't any. No money for extra blankets, draft exclusion, insulation etc either. Even charity shops are too expensive. So I am just cold. Not a choice just a fact. It's not a game and it's not enjoyable and there are no rewards. Clothes when I get them which is hardly ever, always come from charity second hand shops. I only ever have one pair of shoes at a time. This year I have not been able to afford boots so when I have to I wear wellington boots. I have to choose to pay essential bills or food. There is no incentive, no happy reward for being ‘careful' with my money.

    I find so much thrifty 'advice' laughable as it is made by people who live in rent free/mortgage free homes. They have free fuel available at times as they have wood burning fires, solar panelling etc (which they can afford to have put in); they have well paid jobs and are able to afford to install money saving measures. If you tell me to get some curtains to block out drafts it would be an expense too far. I find it insulting that some blogs try to tell others what to do when all it is for them is an elaborate game involving counting their many pennies and putting them in a pot. Much of what is said is absolute hogwash. When the dish washer breaks down it is no problem to renew it. Buying crock pots, mini ovens etc just does not happen when you have so little to begin with. The irony is we actually need them. There are no savings to be made by people like me to go into the holiday pot as a reward for being so clever and frugal all year. I find many of these blogs smug in the extreme.

    Many simple pleasures come with some sort of a price tag. I do not have a garden and I live a bus ride away from any green space. It is free when I get there but I can't often afford to get there. The library also requires a bus fare. So do the shops really, but I walk.

    I have no idea how I manage from year to year but one runs in to the other and I am still here. I also live in continual fear of being homeless but that is another issue.

    I would love to have a home which I knew was 'mine' no matter how small.


    Do I sound jealous? Envious? Pehaps I am, but I wouldn't have thought so especially. We are not all equal in life chances that is how it is, life is not fair even if you work hard. All I am saying here is that I am fed up of reading ridiculous twaddle from smug people, that far from being helpful annoys me so much. I know I am not the only one.
    Madeleine

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  30. I think it helps to give yourself (and hubby) a little cash from the budget for 'blowing' .. and have found this to be a good way of sticking to the monthly budget .. helping us to stay out of money set aside for other things. Then there is no guilt if you want to have coffee out with a friend, as long as you use your 'blow' money. We have lived on one income for 27 years now. Moving to a rural area five years ago, building a new home .. and have 10 more payments to go .. with no other debt. We have lived a frugal lifestyle .. and yet indulge once in a while. It's a feeling akin to graduating .. we're in the home stretch. You are always so encouraging and spot on.

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  31. Rhonda,

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you have "paid down all your debt"....the American way has been to borrow and when we quit borrowing we will have money to do what we need to buy or even want to buy.

    Our goal is to be debt-free....everything else will fall into place if we stay that way.

    I agree with keeping track of your money...I am also keeping a grocery journal.

    This was our first year buying everything with cash...and it felt good!!!

    ~~Renee

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  32. Oh gosh Rhonda, I wish I'd discovered you years ago, you're a saint! So much common-sense advice, makes you wonder doesn't it how can anyone possibly get bored at home, there's so much to do and enjoy. May you carry on blogging forever xx

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  33. You really have to be focused to try and "slow down", consume less and become more thriftful...and reading blogs like yours keep us that way! One of my goals is not to buy an item of clothing for myself this year and it has simplified my life in so many ways and caused me to go back to the closet...I really do have something to wear! If I do that in other areas....it will work! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  34. I feel like I have so much less stress in my life now that I am debt free! I really value the time I spend on cooking, baking, growing food, and gardening. It's wonderful to have a nice quality of life. I'm now at the point where I don't "have" to work, and it's very freeing. Working at home is satisfying and saves me a tremendous amount of money. It makes me question every financial decision, including car trips and classes. I'm now off to harvest more lemons. This is the third large bowl full I'm picking from one tree. The compost and mulch do a great job of feeding my fruit trees, and they are free!
    awakened soul

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  35. Hi Rhonda,
    Your post has me thinking about re-evaluating myself.
    Having survived the holiday consumer madness relatively unscathed, I almost feel shell-shocked. I feel the need to focus and write down goals for the year or 5 years, as my husband likes to do.
    I know what I want.
    I know I have made some giant changes.
    But I feel the need for an organised plan. A step by step.
    Something akin to a lifesaver/evacuation plan and I need to be able to see it big and bold pasted up on a wall somewhere. Just for reassurance :)

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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  36. I have been cutting costs, living on less now for around 6 months, even though i have not paid out any debits yet i find it easier to pay the bills and even have a small amount of savings and it feels great. I do have one problem and that is hubby. How do i get him to work with me on this? I have discussed with him what i am wanting to get out of all this but i feel that he is fighting me all the way. He was brought up as the type to be given money and takeaway form his parents instead of guidance and love. He gets mad with me when we are out and he askes for things (wants) and i say no. He likes to get take away food for lunch on the weekends and junk food, coke and magazines and keeps reminding me that her earns the money so he should be able to get what he wants. It makes me feel guilty so i sometimes give in a little. So my question is HOW TO I GET HIM TO WORK WITH ME AND NOT AGAINST? help me please.
    Sharon

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  37. Sharon, can you give DH a small amount of money every week that he can use to buy some of the things he wants. Maybe $10 - 20 a week. It might help him get used to the idea of budgeting and move him closer towards shared responsibility of money management.

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  38. Thanks Rhonda, i have him $5 per day and double that on Fridays for work for him to buy coffee etc. Do you think i then should give him $10 more to spend on the weekends?
    TIA

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  39. Sharon, I mean no disrespect here but doling out money every day to him will not help him budget his own money. It's continuing what you said his parents did. Could you give him his whole week's money in one hit. From what you said, he's now getting $20 during the week plus $10 on Friday = $30 + $10 for the weekend = $40. Give him $40 on Monday and tell him that's his week's pocket money. If you can afford it, you should do something similar for yourself - a frugal amount that will give you a bit of change to buy a couple of personal items. Discuss ideas you might have about him managing his money out so it lasts the full week. If he continues to get a small amount every day, he won't learn how to manage his own money. And it really is just about self adjustment and learning new ways of doing things. It's tough and no one wants to fight over money but I think he needs to take some responsibility for managing his own money.

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  40. My "journey" to simplify my life began several years ago. The book, "your money or your life" had a huge impact on my way of thinking. I have been on and off the "frugal wagon" but feel much more at peace while on it. It has been a process for our family, but one we are committed to working on. To become debt free will be an immense feeling of freedom, so we must continue to work at this.

    Angie

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  41. Your right, he has no idea how to manage his money, even before we were married and he was living with his parents and earning a very good wage, its spent all of it each week and never had any savings. He was never taught the value of money. He tells me that is work mates laugh when he tells them that he has no control over the household finances and that he is given "pocket money" and when he tell me this i ask him if he has told them how bad he is with money. Im sure he thinks its all a great joke.
    I will start him on his new allowance plan from Monday. many thanks for your time. Keep up the good work :)

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  42. We were not sure how our savings and retirement money would due us. Way before it was time for retirement therefore we kept a strict accounting of every expense. We were already frugal but doing the budget accounting gave us even more insight as you know it does. It turned out to be very reassuring too. We knew what money we would have coming in during retirement and we found through the accounting that yes indeed retirement could happen even a few years earlier than he had planned! We did the accounting for over 2 years to get averages and allowed for the cost of things to go higher as we lived through retirement. Naturally we will have to keep to our simple lifestyle. This we do naturally so no problem there. We prefer it. There are always more things we can do to keep expenses down and we continue to redefine things. So far now we are several years into retirement and everything is going well. We have time to volunteer and pretty much do what we want each day. We still keep the accounting going as now it is part of things we just naturally do. Budgeting is part of keeping the home going easily and peacefully. Now too we have time to help others with their simple life and hopefully they too will soon be retired from the fast pace of working life. Rhonda I too keep learning new things from you or comments here. We all need to keep our minds humming and thinking. This community is just that a community. Sarah

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  43. I'm so inspired by this post! We're just purchasing our second home and moving to a rural location with septic, rainwater only, solar electricity that is paying back into the grid and a big block ready for our vegie patch etc. Unfortunately the location means we'll need to keep our 2nd car at this point but we'll be cutting off one mobile phone and planning our meals and lives a lot better I hope! I can't wait to use the ideas from your blog and your book to help us be more frugal and create a home that has lasting benefits for ourselves and our children! Thanks for this post!

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