I would like to share a few thoughts on frugal and simple living.
We look back now at our retirement and how we planned for it. It has been over 14 years since my hubby retired, just before he turned 60. He had worked 35 years in law enforcement for our town, so he was eligible for early retirement, something that we put much thought into before making our decision. We have been able to make ends meet, even putting money into our savings. There are even more ways that we could cut back if need be. Prices have gone up tremendously in those years. Retirement has worked out well for us even with the economy, by living simply and being satisfied with what we have and making good choices on how we spend our dollars.
Here are a few things that we have done and continue to do to make retiring work for us. Our home had been paid in full for many years before making our decision to retire. I might mention that we have lived in our home for all of our married years. It will be 49 years this coming August. We have a small cottage that we bought shortly after being married. This was our son's only home until he and our 'daughter' bought their home a few blocks from us when they were first married. There were times that we thought we needed something bigger, but are so very thankful that we chose to keep what we had. Smaller homes are less expensive to maintain. Smaller homes are easier to keep clean. As we have gotten older it is nice to have a small home and a small yard to keep up and to tend to. I might mention that we were debt free when we went into retirement and have kept it that way. We do not buy unless we have the cash to pay for it.
Our vehicles are now older. We keep them in good working order by maintaining them. This makes insurance, tags and taxes much more affordable than having a new vehicle.
We have a small kitchen garden and herb garden which supply us with fresh produce throughout spring, summer and fall. If we had more space, growing grains and fruit would be nice. Also, with more space, having animals for eggs, milk and meat would be wonderful. We do not have that kind of space but we do live in an area where we have friends who own farms in the country and have stands set up where they sell their produce and we are thankful to buy from them. We buy most of our groceries from a full service grocery store (market and deli) that provide healthy, local and organic foods and produce while also supporting the sustainability and well-being of our community. It is community owned. For Mother's Day a few years ago, my hubby bought me a share in our community owned market. It was such a thoughtful gift and we both love shopping there. We also buy from local farmers and our local farmers market.
We cook our meals from scratch. Homemade tastes better, is healthier and keeps us within our food budget.
I haven't made our clothes but enjoy making homemade items for our home and for gifts.
We have an outdoor clothesline that I use when the weather is good. My hubby also bought for me an inside folding wooden clothes drying rack made by the Amish. It always has a bit of laundry drying on it. We also have a compost bin and a rain barrel which we make good use of.
We think that it is important to try to become as self-sufficient as possible by using what we know, by what we learn and by what we have.
A few ways to save money ... take a walk ... have a picnic ... watch a movie or play games with family and friends. We still love to take little getaways and out and about days, but we plan ahead for these special times. We always take a small cooler and a basket filled with nutritious drinks and food. We enjoy nice meals out, just not every meal. Even with the gasoline prices being a bit lower than what they were, we plan our getaways not far, far away. We did buy a small RV and have enjoyed getaways in it. It is our little home away from home.
These are just a few ways that we have found work for us. I hope that you find something that might work for you as well.
I think that if there is one thing that we both love to do ... does not cost a penny ... is homey and comforting is spending time on our front porch. We have been sprucing up our front porch to make it cosy and a quiet place to sit, chat, read, work on a little project, watch our hummingbirds at their feeder and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea ... a quiet retreat and a place to enjoy family and friends.
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Old Fashioned Words: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
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We are thankful for simple living.