I already told you my goal is to retire early. (just in case- here is a link ):Why I want to retire early and my plan to achieve it.
I think it’s time I share the tips I am using-and are proving themselves as powerful tools- to reach this goal by saving more than 75% of my salary .
*I live in a small house (but we have a large garden!)-so no need to downsize. I admit my partner has been complaining about the size of our house but I love its cozy feeling, and I strongly believe that keeping the house clutter free and tidy makes for a perfect home- no matter how small it is.
*I decluttered following the konmari method which I thought was beautiful because of her instructions to treat your item with total respect- while owning them- and when parting from them .
*Since going through my house using the konmari method– including all my closets, pantry, kitchen cupboards etc- I cut down my expenses drastically.
*since september 2016, I paid 0 $$$ for clothes or shoes: I went into a store twice throughout those almost 22 months-and paid for the few items I picked with a gift card I got.
*I in-source almost all house chores– I clean the house, cook, bake,tend the garden, never order take out or coffee, I go out to restaurants only when I cannot persuade the participants to come over to our home and enjoy my cooking (and I usually am very persuasive).
*my partner and I cut our own hair , and he does a great job at cutting our son’s hair.
*we exercise outside/inside the house using apps– no gym membership -but I have a 10 entrance ticket to the pool where I enjoy a weekly power 2 k swim listening to my music under water : How Metallica stepped up my game at the pool this morning
*I do everything I can to save water: How I Implied a zero water waste policy and how it (almost) works: 12 basic and useful tips.
*I made calls to my cell company-internet supplier-and my healthcare – and managed to take the price down significantly.
*I buy my groceries online only once a month -but have a weekly order of organic vegetables delivered to my house-including fresh (and organic) local farmers produce. check my post on go salads.
*I buy in bulk- and preserve-freeze- keep in pantry .check my post on a vegan staple- beans.
*I always take a cooler bag to work– carrying my meals and snacks for the day. so I never buy anything from vending machines or order lunch. they’re as cold as ice
*I learned to do my own nails: Being frugal : Learning to do my own nails
(I have some more tips but I can’t reveal all my secrets at once.)
So the other day I had an AHA moment.
One of my “hanging in the garden” flip-flops tore down.
I know- it’s a master piece.
My partner asked me what I was going to do- since it’s summer and I wear flip-flops outside when I’m around the house all the time, and I told him I was going to check again around the house and the outside garden shed to see maybe I’ll find a pair long forgotten.
At this point my partner stared at me and said: “you know a new pair only costs a few $, right?”
I said I knew that, but I believe it is a matter of principle and of environmentalism. I told him that buying is for sure the easiest and quickest way to solve any problem, but using this method will make our world suffer from more pollution-not to mention-and I didn’t mention- the “small numbers add to huge numbers” rule. The reason I didn’t mention that rule is my partner is -to say the least -not on the same page as I am on the frugal subject, and this would only seem to him as me being a grade A miser.
Then he just went to the garden shed and came back 3 minutes later with 3 (yes three) pairs of flip-flops we forgot we transferred there a long time ago- and since I only decluttered inside the house- I totally forgot they were there.
Sure-they were not new and shiny (come on, I know flip-flops don’t shine) but they saved time, energy, earth junk and-of course- how can we forget some $.
This incident made me think of the previous me.
A few years ago I wouldn’t have hesitated to go and buy a new pair and wouldn’t even think about looking again .
I think being frugal and (for me-sort of) a minimalist is quite different when you earn good money and can definitely afford many things .
Many people believe that working hard and earning a good salary gives them permission to spend it whenever -and on whatever they wish.
Many times I’ve heard those phrases: “this is my hard-earned money, no use of taking it with me to the grave” (or another interesting way of putting it).
While I totally agree that money has no business lying in graves, I believe this way of thinking does not take into account our true independent wishes and desires-but only the instant – “brain washed by commercials” desires.
A bigger car, a newer phone, a bigger house, designer clothes- I believe many people tend to think this is what they want or need- just because they are following trends or the desire “to have what everybody has”.
Well people- these are great times to be unique, to stand out, be different. not like every body else. the more you find out what you really are- and what you really want or need- the more special and whole you become.
ciao- the cooliflower.