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Old 12-05-2007, 04:53 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,060,118 times
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I wasn't sure where to post this thread, because simple living is a lifestyle as much as anything. It's about living below one's means.

Last year, I lived a life of excess. I worked like a dog and I bought clothes and furniture and barely paid attention to what I was spending. Tax time came and I was horrified. I added up the numbers, realized I'd made a good bit of money, but that I'd spent almost everything and had no idea where it went. I hit me like a ton of bricks that I didn't want to continue down this path. I moved out of my expensive apartment and in with a parent. I got my taxes straightened out and paid everything up to date. I started documenting every single penny I spend on an Excel spreadsheet, which made me more conscious about finances. I put money in savings. I began to pay off my remaining debt aggressively. In essence, I've changed my life.

More and more I'm doing what it takes to live simply. I've cut a lot of things out of my life. I don't buy what I can't afford. I make do with less. I want to live more simply so that I can live more freely. I want to enjoy life, not work like a ox for things I can live without.

Is anyone else on the board seeking a more simple life? Has anyone else learned the hard way that "things" can end up owning us. I hope you'll share your stories.

greenie
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:35 PM
 
3,634 posts, read 9,231,775 times
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Took us awhile but we settled down and started to simplify 20 years ago. There is another good website, simpleliving.net which has lots of info and a great forum for those interested in the many different facets of simple living.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:57 PM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
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You're on the right track, greenie. Freedom is what it's all about.

Live far below your means, keep it simple .... and enjoy the time and opportunities that life brings you.

Your finances will fall into place when you're not pi**ing all the money away on a good time or trinkets. Spend your dough on hard goods that you need and or things that will give you a return on investment down the road.

I started with nothing but the work ethic and savings attitude lessons of people who were hard hit by the depression ... who bought nothing except what they could pay cash for.

Along the way, I got to enjoy life and not be a slave to any job or work situation. All the while, I invested most of what I earned because I didn't need to impress anybody or myself with the latest toy or foolish expense.

OH, and my portfolio now includes several income properties, investment income, a fleet of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, airplane, boats, trucks, etc), the farm/ranch I live at, and a large second home in a Colorado resort town ... all paid for in full. Any single sector of my investments or income properties generates more than enough income for me to live on at the ranch. By keeping it simple today, we're still happy and able to indulge in our organic farming and ranching ....

Not too bad for a kid that blew off college as a waste of time and interference with my sailing, flying, fishing, motorcycling, traveling, camping, etc ....

I've seen way too many people hop onto that earn and spend big bucks carousel ... most of them are miserable and unhappy, stressed out chasing those endless big bucks they must have to keep up appearances while they fool themselves and their friends that it all means something. It doesn't have to be that way.

Good luck and best wishes for success on your new found freedom.

PS ... you might want to check out the "retirement" forum. Lots of good advice from several posters there, too.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:59 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,785 posts, read 37,451,783 times
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Yes, this would be a good forum to add... simple living

While we have been doing this for many years, (driving beaters, eating light) there is alway plenty to learn from others.

Some of our more recent benefits have come from volunteer ushering at concerts and theatre that we would not be able to afford. It took and extra hr up front, and 1/2 at tail end, but the tickets were $40 each!!! so that is not a bad wage. $26.66 / hr (non-taxable too!!)

I wish there was a community service method to pay taxes...
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,038,465 times
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I would say simple living, when shopping.

Online theres a million places to buy from, a million freebies, points, rewards, free shipping, deals, newsletters...too much for me to handle. I try to keep it really simple, buying from a few places (I like amazon alot), places that are reliable and I can trust.

I dont waste time anymore on ebay trying to find the greatest deal on a video game or something, buying from a seller with 100 negatives. Why go into all that aggrevation if it doesnt come, or comes 3 months later than it should. So I've eliminated all that.

Havent had anything lost in a long time. Havent been ripped off in a long time.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:16 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,060,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
PS ... you might want to check out the "retirement" forum. Lots of good advice from several posters there, too.
Yes, I have been reading the retirement forum. I realized I did not want to wait till I was older to cut back. I better start doing it now.

greenie
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:17 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,060,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janb View Post
Yes, this would be a good forum to add... simple living
I had thought about asking the mods to make a separate forum for simple living. It is such an important topic, and I know that many people on the forum do practice "living below their means."

Mods, what do you think?

greenie
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,230,141 times
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I have no debt, but nothing new in a long time. Most of what I get is used, or from the trash. No big loss there.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,920,188 times
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This has been one thing that has always been hard for me, I simply cannot lived below my means. I've tried to live with less, live a more simpler life without materialistic possessions but in Scottsdale, appearances are everything. I don't necessarily have tons of debt but I can't say that I have an overflowing bank account, much of my money is tied up in my home/vehicle/and various investments. I've actually been trying to save more lately but something always seems to come up and take away quite a bit of the money that I MEANT to save.

I think some of the problem comes from my friends. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my friends and they're all an absolute hoot but the majority of them have $$$$. They can afford the $100K sports cars, $1M+ homes, going out to eat every single night at a fancy restaurant, etc etc while I simply cannot. I mean I live comfortably and can afford to live comfortably but I simply cannot afford to live the lifestyles that some of my friends do. My natural sense of competition has always wanted to match them but I just can't afford to without going into a terrible amount of debt NOW if I had my parent's money, it'd be a different story.

Right now I have quite a bit going on in my life and might actually start a new job within a month or so. The one nice thing is that with this new job, I'd be making quite a bit more than I am right now (almost 3X more to be precise). So with this new salary, I might be able to live a bit more financially secure (put more money in the bank) and also a little more comfortably and able to have fun without worrying about the $$ I'm spending.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:24 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,060,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
I think some of the problem comes from my friends. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my friends and they're all an absolute hoot but the majority of them have $$$$. They can afford the $100K sports cars, $1M+ homes, going out to eat every single night at a fancy restaurant, etc etc while I simply cannot. I mean I live comfortably and can afford to live comfortably but I simply cannot afford to live the lifestyles that some of my friends do.
Are any of your friends single? Well-kept 44 year old female here....
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