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Old 12-08-2007, 09:35 PM
 
392 posts, read 1,681,413 times
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I'm on the two-three year plan to get out also. I would have been gone years ago but my husband seems to think it is wonderful here. For now I am just biding my time, but I've got my whole escape well planned.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,472,880 times
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We tailored our spending habits to mostly mimic those thrifty examples set forth in 'The Millionaire Nextdoor', we focused on tax-planning and cut our tax liability to zero, and we invested.

Then when I got my pension at 42, I was able to retire.

We moved to a very low cost-of-living area, bought rural farm land [at $900 per acre]and here we live.

On a riverbank, in a forest, with abundant fishing and hunting. We have chickens, goats and pigs. We are considering tapping some maple trees to begin sugaring this spring.

Mostly we find ways to amuse ourselves.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:13 PM
 
392 posts, read 1,681,413 times
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Simple Living is a choice, poverty is not. I think what other posters might be trying to say though is more Americans could choose to live simply but do not because they don't recognized the possibility. A great number of people do not understand the difference between wants and needs (and no I am not interested in arguing about what is a want and what is a need).
That is not to say there isn't also a large segment of the population that struggles to have the basics. You have to have something to downshift from.
From my experience I can say I lost the difference between what I thought I wanted and what I needed and it was hard to get back on track. I still have far more than I "need" but I have also removed myself from the constant struggle to attain more. My life is far simpler than it was so I consider it Simple Living. It is my personal definition since I don't know exactly what it is.

Last edited by Global Friend; 12-11-2007 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: to remain on topic
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,124,096 times
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Greenie, great topic. I think it is an important one, too. Too many people are competitive with each other to have "things." I know many people who have lots of "things" but are very unhappy in their lives, with their spouses, and with their jobs. But they have things!

For me, I've always lived simply because my values were not in "things." Surprisingly, although I make much less than many people, I also live in one of the most expensive and beautiful places in the country, and I have managed to travel extensively. People are often amazed at where I have lived, and wonder how I do it -- I do it by not worrying about keeping up with the Jones's, and focusing on personal values, not purchasing things.

My car is almost 10 years old and as long as it keeps going, I'll keep it. My daughter and I get a kick out of shopping at Goodwill and consignment shops. She's gotten some really good designer clothes at incredibly cheap prices in those places. In fact, I guess it's an embarrassment to many people to not buy these designer clothes "new," so one store we go to actually puts a sign in the window stating, "We will not reveal your name to anyone!" I happily accept hand-me-downs from people, and many buy good quality clothes – I've even gotten clothing from some extremely wealthy and well-known people (by virtue of people who know them).

I can crochet, so I make some very interesting scarves and items out of those beautiful exotic looking yarns, and frequently people will ask where I got them …. from me!

I also believe that cooking well and with good food is worth the price – my mother always used to tell us that if one ate well, one would stay well – and I've heeded that advice – thus, most of my meals are homemade, and healthy. So, I save on restaurants and fast foods.

I love hiking and wandering around beautiful scenery – and that's free. There are so many national and state and county parks all over, that it is easy to enjoy beauty often and with little cost. I can walk along the ocean beaches, I hike the redwood trails, I can just sit in my own backyard and watch blue jays and hummingbirds, while I smell the fragrance of blossoms nearby. Those simple pleasures give me such great joy.

I have traveled on the cheap all over the world. A friend of mine lived in India for five years on only $1,000 and she gave me many tips about traveling cheaply (throughout the world). I listen and learn from others who have many saving tips.

I also subscribe to on-line coupons, such as for Borders Books – they send out email coupons a couple of times a week, and I have saved significant amounts of money using them. And being a Senior, I also don't pass up any senior discounts! Around here, some nights are "senior" nights, and then there are discounts on shopping.

And when I lived in San Francisco, I used to get to attend great plays and theatre events by volunteering to be an usher! It's free to attend these events that way -- a great way to see great theatre or concerts! Volunteering is an excellent way to not only attend events for free, but to also meet great people!

Just the other night my daughter thanked me for helping her to learn so many things that she can use as an adult, such as how to shop for deals, how to sew, how to cook, how to play the guitar, how to draw, how to search out information that will help her financially. She's also proud that I am a bit "weird," but "cool," as she puts it. We have traveled quite a bit, I was able to manage to get her scholarships (which took a lot of time and work but were worth it) to have a free exchange program abroad and attend high school in another country – and now she is bilingual. She is not going to an Ivy League college, but a well-respected state university nearby, and majoring in a field of business that will give her marketable skills.

Because we live in the mountains, we don't even get cell phone reception, so we're spared that expense; I have minimal cable, only because we have no other reception; we do have high speed internet now, but didn't for years. We have a friend who owns a computer company who has taught us that buying the "best" brands doesn't make much difference, so we buy "cheap" computers that last as long as the expensive ones.

We are very conscious of our budget, we don't have a lot of money, but we have a wealth of opportunities to enjoy life in ways that many I know who have money don't. There are so many natural wonders, so many free concerts, art shows, fairs, and other activities, that it's easy to not spend a lot, but still have a high quality life. When I compare myself to those I know with a lot of wealth, and see how unhappy they are in spite of it, I know that one creates their own happiness, and that living simply, is simply good.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:21 PM
 
20 posts, read 52,599 times
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Default Simple living

I am living as simply as I can, and found out that I don't miss movies that much; reading a book from the library is just as entertaining, lasts longer, and is way cheaper. I laughed when I almost bought a plastic water pitcher from a mega retailer for $1. Sure it is only a buck, but the plastic pitcher was about the same quality as the plastic jugs the juice I buy comes in. Wash the labels off and what do you know free water pitcher complete with screw on cap.

Once you get started it becomes much easier; getting over the urge to make impulse buys was the toughest for me. I am pretty good about going into a store to buy what I need, and nothing else.

working jobs we hate to buy stuff we dont need...
Life Unplugged - Sustainable, Off Grid, Homesteading Resources
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:41 PM
 
148 posts, read 419,471 times
Reputation: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbyehollywood View Post
I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. I traded in a tiny beach shack with loud, obnoxious neighbors four feet from my bedroom wall for a 2900 SF house on almost three-quarters of an acre, with wonderful neighbors, complete privacy and a lake less than a block away. There are trees and greenery and lakes and mountains. I miss L.A. a lot, but the expense just became impossible to justify. Even five years ago, L.A. was doable, but all that changed. It's all such a tradeoff, but at some point you have to ask yourself: Is it really worth working 65 hour weeks to live in a dump? And do I want to do it forever, because I'm sure not saving enough to retire someday. Good luck to you, recycled!
I hear you brother (or maybe sister?)...but aren't you the one still keeping an eye out for properties in Marina Del Rey and Venice?
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:16 PM
 
2,344 posts, read 3,797,705 times
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Not everyone can live simple, if everyone did, they would be forced to as consumerism is the engine of our economy.

I do, learned it years ago by force when i joined the Navy, never changed my habits after.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:10 PM
 
23 posts, read 59,355 times
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Anytime I have been involved in a discussion about living a simple life, I find some of the most economical humor available.

Last edited by judy3; 06-03-2008 at 11:17 PM.. Reason: incomplete
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:12 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,392,137 times
Reputation: 47449
listen to dave ramsey radio talk show austerity guru.
below your means yes its the way to go.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 15,865,120 times
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I was forced into the "simple life" when I got ill and became disabled. At first, it was really difficult. Now, I've been good at living within my means. I bought a very affordable house in a great neighborhood, drove a decent but not expensive car, etc. I was a teacher and my salary was quite modest but when I became sick and, later, unable to work, I suddenly had to live on less than $1,100 per month. Whoa!

I thought I could sell my house fairly easily so I took out a small home equity loan and paid cash for a manufactured home. Right about the time I put my house on the market, the real estate plunge hit big-time. I still had showings, though, and was hopeful. But when people tried to get financing to buy my home, they couldn't because the lending restrictions were tightened. I really got hit badly by that. In the end, I lost that house, unfortunately.

I know that many people look down on manufactured homes and those who live in them but I don't care. The one I bought is in excellent condition and very attractive! It's just me now and I have MORE space than I really need! I'm content! Taxes, insurance and utilities are very reasonable. It's making my small disability income stretch.

The Dollar Tree and Kmart are my favorite stores as I can find what I need there for very reasonable prices. I have a small veggie garden to help out with the cost of food. Even with insurance, I have to budget doctors' visits carefully because those $30 copays can really add up and I have to see a team of specialists regularly.

Since I moved to a smaller home, I had to sell and get rid of a lot of things. It was difficult, at first, but I have to admit that I'm much happier with the result. I have just enough furniture and "stuff" to be comfortable but not so much that there's a lot of clutter. My home elicits admiration from visitors so I think I did OK!
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