For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.
* I bought my first bunny! It's a sweet little New Zealand Black mix buck. I talked with a local farmer and will pick up my two does in two weeks. I paid $10 for the buck and $15 for feed, so my total so far is $105.
* I planted 5 tomato plants-Mortgage Lifter while Trucker burned the last of the felled trees. We will spread the ashes over the garden beds.
* I harvested 4 full-sized radishes from the garden, as well as 1 c baby kale, 1 c lettuce and a few tablespoons of thinnings: beets, carrots, radishes, swiss chard.
* I splurged on some salmon. It was $2.89 for a little over half a pound, so it wasn't the cheapest thing ever, but it wasn't unbelievably costly. This was for two pieces that I pan fried in butter. It was absolutely wonderful. Usually we'd stretch $3 worth of meat into two meals, but we lived large this time. By occasionally having a tiny splurge at home, it makes it easier to avoid going out to eat so much. Basically, by spending an extra $1.50 on meat for one meal, we staved off going out to eat once, thus saving around $20. With the salmon, we had a salad that was made entirely of veg from the garden: kale, lettuce, beet thinnings, carrot thinnings, swiss chard thinnings and radishes.
*I went to the art museum on Sunday since it is free that day. It's a smaller museum, but I enjoy it.
* We had a couple cheap coffee dates using our travel refills.
* I got out and took walks as often as I could.
* One afternoon I lay in the grass and watched the clouds drift by. I don't remember the last time I did that. I needed it.
* I walked to the library instead of driving. It is 3 miles round trip, so it saved me about $.50 in gas. While that is not impressive, it also cut down a tiny bit on wear and tear. In general, I wouldn't usually do something that would take an hour just to save $.50, but I enjoy walking, so it is worthwhile. When trying to save money I will do a task if it meets one of two criteria. It must either save me enough money to make for a fair hourly rate (If something takes an hour to do, I generally want it to save me at least $7-8) or I have to enjoy doing it (line drying clothing takes an extra half hour and saves me about $1.50, but I get to be outside in the fresh air and I'm happy).
* Paid extra on a debt.
* Fed weeds and a few kitchen scraps to the bunny. Frank loves plantain leaves. Whenever I'm weeding the garden, I toss him the weeds and he turns it into near instant fertilizer for me.
* I worked over 45 minutes one day and a half hour the other.
* I voluntarily worked a Saturday for time and a half. We worked over 25 minutes, during which time I got paid double time.
* I packed my lunches for work each day: a big salad, apple chips and peanut butter, scone or muffin from Trucker's job, banana, or protein bars.
* Trucker brought home goodies from his job.
* We made some good sales. Trucker found a wonderful vintage couch that he bought from the original buyer (who'd owned it for nearly 60 years). He sold it to an adorable couple who was tickled pink to have the perfect couch for their 50s living room. Everyone was happy.
* Twice I went for a run just after a thunderstorm. Absolutely perfect. There is nothing that makes me happier than a rainy day run.
* I walked an errand for a total of 3 miles.
* One day I walked home from Trucker's job (I rode up with him, then left from his job) just for the fun of it. I got in 7 miles because I decided to take a detour along the railroad tracks.
* Drank our daily water kefir.
* One of my favorite things about running in the neighborhood is the kids. They're awesome. As I ran, two kids ran up waving and saying hi. I waved back and one asked me "Why are you not wearing shoes?" I replied "Cuz it's fun!" He said, "Oh, okay. Well, don't step on any rocks!" Later, I ran by another group of kids, who all said hi and asked questions. Then two little girls yelled "Hi, lady!" from their bedroom window. It's seriously awesome. Getting outside and onto the sidewalk/street is such a great way to foster community. I also talk with the kids' parents and grandparents while running and feel more a part of my neighborhood. Between the barefoot running, foraging, and curb shopping, I think I've officially become the neighborhood eccentric, but that's okay. They seem to like me, and I've watched as some of my weird habits have caught on. There weren't any runners/joggers in the neighborhood 2 years ago, and now it's a common sight and I've even seen someone foraging!
* I brought a jar of water kefir and grains to a coworker who was having digestive problems. I had extra, so I figured I may as well hook him up. I gave him written instructions to help him get started.