One of our life goals is to find ways to become more self-sufficient. We are striving to live on less, grow most of our own food, conserve energy and leave a very little footprint on our part of the world in hopes to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Making the transition to a simple lifestyle has come very easy to us. Both Craig and I grew up in the country, had parents who knew how to take care of themselves and were good stewards of the land the Lord provided to them.
With the economy becoming more difficult and the cost of living skyrocketing, families are feeling the strain. Most are finding themselves having to work 60 hours a week to keep up with the lifestyle they are accustomed to.
Not so long ago we found ourselves falling into that same trap. We owned our own business, lived in town in a fast paced tunnel that was spiraling out of control. It was than we knew we had to get back to our roots and find relief in the solitude of the country. We sold our business, took a year off and then re-structured our life. We sold our house, bought land in the country and moved into our 5th wheel until we could go onto the next step. Craig went back to work doing what makes him happy, playing in the dirt and running big boy toys and I found a job where my design and marketing career could be most useful. Craig has found a great balance, but I am still struggling with working too much but I am working on a plan to find the balance I need. Below is our list that we continue to work on every day. If you cannot achieve everything on the list pick one and work on it until you have conquered it and then move onto the next. You won’t believe the sense of accomplishment.
- Do we need big houses? Our house in town was 2500 sq ft and cost a small fortune to heat and cool let alone the taxes on it. We have downsized to a 1400 sq ft house. Even though I have had to let go of many “things,” we feel so liberated knowing we have just what we need and all the “stuff” that surrounded us was only keeping us trapped in a lifestyle we wanted to escape.
Less is more
- There is something about organizing your life and getting rid of things that surround you that is liberating! Try it…don’t overwhelm yourself all at once but go clean out a closet or empty a drawer, if it has not been used in the last 6 months it is just cluttering your life and it is time to pass it on. Reuse…Recycle…Reduce.
- I grew up learning how to live frugally and those skills have carried with me my whole life. One of the greatest compliments my daughter gave me once was that I could look at an empty cupboard and pull a meal together out of nothing. My mother was the queen of that…how she kept a family of 6 fed still amazes me.
Cut monthly expenses
- Use only one phone service…choose land line or cell phone you don’t need both.
- Cut your cable back to basic service.
- Rent movies instead of going to the theater.
- Shop at second hand stores…my daughter is a pro at this and even found a Coach purse for $2.50 that I am currently carrying!
- Only buy things when they go on sale. This takes some planning but if you watch the sale papers and have some patience your savings will be amazing.
- Limit eating out to special occasions if at all. I was shocked to see how much we had spent on eating out the 10 years we owned our own business. If we had saved all that money we could have bought our new house and paid cash for it.
- Use up leftovers…or replace a days’ worth of dog food with a leftover meal. Libby, our lab, loves those days the most!
- Stay out of the stores!
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