Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feeding Your Wanderlust

I have always loved to travel. If I stay in the same place too long, I get antsy. There is something amazing about seeing more, doing more, meeting new people, trying a new life for a bit. If I could, I would travel constantly. The problem is that it's so damn expensive! AAA says that the average family of four will spend $261 each day of vacation for just food and lodging. And some of the best stuff isn't even included in that amount. Yuck!

On top of that, there's the whole issue of "vacation time" from work. Many jobs don't offer vacation time anymore, or they offer just a week. This is hardly acceptable for the avid wanderer. It's hardly acceptable to chose to take just one vacation a year or to take time off without pay.

For the first few years that I lived on my own, with no vacation time, and little extra money, I was stuck at home constantly. I was miserable. Now, I travel several times a year, sometimes even taking a couple trips in a month. How? By rethinking my idea of a trip.

For me, a trip is about exploration and awe, not about seeing your typical Navy Pier, White House, Mount Rushmore tourist traps. I have no need to see what everyone else is seeing; I just want to see something new. So I take day and weekend trips within my state or one state away. This is cost effective and I still find amazing places.

Because I am staying so close to home, my transportation costs are minimal. I don't have to buy a place ticket or spend $1000 on gas. I don't waste precious time waiting in an airport when I could be out exploring.

I live in the middle of the state, so I can get everywhere in the state within a few hours. There are lots of great little towns within an hour and a half. I love to pick a town and then explore it thoroughly. I find coffeehouses, thrift stores, antique malls, strange museums, state parks, and amazing little restaurants.

I don't waste money on things that aren't important to me. I would rather eat at a diner in a small town than at a fast food joint on the way. I plan ahead by packing a lunch and some snacks for the drive. I can eat dinner at a local place if I want. I don't like seeing what everyone else sees, so instead of going to the mainstream museums, I'd go to the Hopalong Cassidy Museum. I don't care to have souvenirs filling my house, instead I'd like some photos of an amazing state park. Gas is always more expensive than I'd like to pay, so I look for ways to optimize my gas mileage (cleaning out the trunk, proper air levels in tires, not speeding) .

When I decide to spend the night somewhere, I will not pay $200 a night for a hotel. I can camp out in a tent at a state park for under $20. The Evil Place (Big Box Store) allows campers to sleep overnight in the parking lot in the hopes that they will buy supplies the next morning, although this is not required. On some trips, Trucker and I will take turns driving and sleeping. If we want a hotel, there are two options for dirt cheap accommodations. Either stay in some terribly seedy dive along the old highway, You know, the kind that you can't sleep in because you know someone died in the bed. Or you can find discounts for a nicer place. My entertainment book gives me discounts or two-nights-for-the-cost-of-one coupons. Google can turn up discount codes. For most of my trips however, I will simply park someplace safe during the day and get a few hours shut eye.

Food on the road is wonderful if it's local dives and small bakeries. It's terrible if it's the golden arches or day-old gas station coffee. I always pack food and drinks so I don't have to stop for gross food and can either save my money or hold out for some great local place in my destination. For drinks, I make a thermos of coffee and fill up two travel mugs. I make kool-aid and fill two reusable bottles 2/3 full. I freeze these and before I leave the next morning, I fill the rest of the way up. I bring a couple tea bags, hot chocolate packets, and some instant coffee. Most gas stations let me get some hot water if I fill up the tank. For food, I pack a meal such as pasta salad, lunch meat sandwiches, or chicken salad for sandwiches (packed with ice). I also bring snacks such as granola bars, beef jerky, homemade muffins, cookies, chips, trail mix and fruit.

My best vacation so far was for my birthday last year. Trucker and I decided to drive until we felt like stopping. We stopped in the first small town for lunch at a local restaurant (I had a BOGO coupon in my coupon book). A few towns down we stopped for a few hours of wandering through an antique mall. The next town had a museum dedicated to one of my favorite old-time actors. Next we stopped at a thrift store that just so happened to have a bag sale going on, so for $5 we were both able to find some goodies. Then we crossed the state line and went to a couple art galleries before taking a sunset stroll down the river. The total cost for the day, including gas: $65.

Shared to:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Part time Self Employment for Security

Job security is a thing of the past. We live in a system of at-will employment and have no protection from employers who lash out at employees for a variety of reasons, from political stance to sexual orientation to attractiveness. Gone are the days when you were guaranteed a good job, with pay increases, bonuses, health benefits and a pension plan so long as you did your job well. You could walk in to work any day and find yourself unemployed.

You have to be prepared for the worst. Having a large emergency fund is an ideal protection against the terror of unemployment, but if you're making minimum wage, it can be nearly impossible to build up. One of the best safety nets I have found is to have a few streams of income (Note: a great read on the subject is Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen).

First, it allows some flexibility in a strapped budget. If your minimum wage job just barely covers your expenses, it will be impossible to build up a safety net of 6-12 months living expenses. However, if you can start a side business at home, even if it's only earning a couple hundred a month, you can bank it all and increase your security in event of illness, layoff or firing.

This second (or third) income can also increase your independence from your employer. If your boss controls your paycheck and your paycheck is the only way you can pay your bills, then your boss controls whether or not you become homeless. However, if you can start generating some income from home, you have control. You may not be able to become completely self-employed, but you might be able to make enough money to pay rent and a few bills if the worst happens. Add up all necessary bills (rent, water, electricity, gas, etc) estimating on the high side. Leave out such expenditures as internet or cable as these are not necessary for survival. The amount you come up with should be your goal income for your side business. That way, if you found your main job gone, you can still survive with the aid of unemployment and perhaps a food pantry.

Self employment can be a wonderful way to make a living, if it suits your personality. You can pick your industry and your hours and you can maintain your ethical stance. When I worked in finance, I had a little side business selling books online. Years later, Trucker was able to take over and within a year was able to quit his day job. Out of your passion can grow a career.

There are many ways you can bring in extra money each month. Some offer a great return on the time, some offer little money, but may be enjoyable.

* online sales-antiques, collectibles, books, movies, magazines, records, games and CDs can be sold on,, and ebay.
* is a great way to sell crafty stuff-from homemade bags, to candles to crocheted dog sweaters as well as crafting supplies. You could try collecting pine cones, acorns, shells and pretty stones to sell for others to use in their crafting.
* Selling your body. No, not that. There are other ways to make money with your bod besides a street corner. You can sell blood plasma up to twice a week (if you make $30 each time, that's $3120 a year). Sell your hair online (, Donating sperm can be an easy way to make some cash, although the pay won't be astounding. Ladies can sell their eggs for a large amount (I've heard various amounts ranging from $3000 to $7000), although you have to put a lot of time in for tests and procedures.
* Mystery shopping, if you go through a reputable company, can be a way to make a bit of money and reduce your expenses. If you like to go out to eat, you can mystery shop restaurants for free meals and perhaps a small check. Or you could go to a store to buy something you need and get reimbursed later, making the item free.
* Mypoints, swagbucks, inboxdollars and other "paid email/search" sites won't pay the bills. They do however, provide the occasional check to throw into savings, and the points can be redeemed for gas cards.
* If you enjoy writing and have something interesting to say, try selling your writing to both print or online magazines and newsletters. You could also write books, children's books, greeting cards, ads, business letters, etc.
* Craigslist gigs offers listings of short jobs such as extras for film, modeling, moving, housekeeping and babysitting. If you regularly respond to jobs, you can earn a decent amount.
* People are busy, so you can make money by saving others time. Errand running service, lawn/garden care, grocery shopping, housecleaning, pool cleaning, and organizing all pay well and you can work as little or much as you'd like.
* Direct sales are a mainstay in the "work-for-yourself" world. Avon, Mary Kay, Nature's Sunshine and other direct sales companies can bring in extra money if you are a good salesperson. Generally, you'll only be able to make a living with direct sales companies if you can sign up lots of other people to sell under you.

I try to always have at least one or two small jobs in addition to my main gig. I keep them on a smaller scale, as most of my time is dedicated to my job, but if I had to, I could pour a lot more time and energy into them to increase my earnings. I can also increase my earnings if I am saving for a particular goal, such as buying a new car/house or to take a vacation.

A Less Boring Life

When looking for ways to cut expenses, most people assume they will have to give up entertainment if they want to become financially stable. Of course, this can only last so long. No one wants a boring life, even if it does help them lower their credit card debt, so back they go to the world of movie theaters, Big Book Stores, pricey hobbies and expensive concerts. Are these our only options? A life of boredom or a life of high-interest-rate credit card debt? No.

My entertainment budget is lower than most people, but I have more entertainment because I diligently search out free and cheap entertainment. I am able to go out as often as I want to without worrying about the cost. Alternately, I have lots of options for entertainment at home if I'm not up to leaving the house.

Here are some ways I've found cheap entertainment.

* Library. Free books, movies, CDs, internet, lectures, classes, magazines, concerts and discussion groups. Some libraries (Chicago Public Library for one) even offer museum passes that can get you and a friend or two in for free.

* Local concerts. Top-40 concerts are pricey, too pricey for me, even if it's a favorite band. I just can't drop $40 for a few hours listening to music. I do go to concerts often, especially since my current city has a rocking music scene. There are dozens of concerts going on each night for free or perhaps a $5 cover. Before I go, I google specials and Happy Hour deals for that bar. (Lovin the Local Music Scene)

* Museums. Museum entrance is usually costly, ranging from $5 to $15 a person. I never pay. I check out the website for special promotions. Most museums will have free entrance at least once a year, and some will offer one day each week. It's crowded these days, so go as soon as they open to beat some of the crowd.

* Reading. I love to read and always have a good book with me. I never pay full price. I acquire my books in these ways: library (free!),  paperbackswap (free, but I pay to ship books to others), (a penny listing book after shipping will be $4), library sales (especially on the last day when it's Bag Sale Day!), thrift stores (my favorite sells some books for $.25), yard sales, Project Gutenberg (free ebooks, You can also search for free Kindle books.

*Movies. I used to go to the theater, but don't anymore because it's too loud and I'm fussy. I do love movies though, and enjoy them cheaply in the following ways: library, Family Video's bargain section (2 for $1), redbox (sign up for their codes for free or discounted movies), online free streaming (, thrift stores (I have a VCR and I get tapes for a quarter), library sales, amazon (penny listings are $2.99 after shipping and most popular movies are a penny due to over-saturation). On the rare occasions when I want to see a movie at a theater, I go to a second run theater on the discount day for $1 entrance. There are also early bird specials, miliary/student/senior discounts and free days during summer for kids.

* Restaurants. I like to eat out, even though I can cook at home for a lot cheaper. I have an entertainment book (purchased late in the season for $8, that gives me buy one get one free meals. Happy Hour specials often offer 1/2 off appetizers; a couple can replace an entree. Lunch is almost always cheaper than dinner. Hole in the wall ethnic restaurants usually offer delicious, authentic meals at ridiculous prices. My favorite little Greek dive is priced similarly to fast food joints.

* Outdoorsy stuff. Biking, hiking, walking, jogging, swimming, roller blading, and skateboarding are all free or relatively cheap and they keep you in shape. I also like to get something to eat in addition to enjoying the outdoors, so I enjoy mushroom hunting (after having field training and I don't eat anything that I am not completely positive is safe), berry picking, edible wildcrafting, and fishing.

* Travel. I can't afford to take six months off work to drive around the country eating bread from local bakeries (my ultimate fantasy trip!). I still have a raging wanderlust, so I take day trips. I'll fix a nice breakfast in the morning, fill up the coffee mugs and hit the road. I'll drive an hour or so to some small town and explore. I've found wonderful restaurants, quirky museums and wonderful little antique malls. My day trips, including gas, usually run around $50-75. Not cheap, but much cheaper than any typical vacation. (Feeding Your Wanderlust)

There are lots of other ways to get free or cheap entertainment. All it takes is a bit of flexibility and research. Search "Cheap" and your city, or "free festivals". If your city offers a free paper, pick it up and you'll find lots of free events, special promotions and coupons. You never need to be bored again.

Happy living!

Shared on:

Homestead Barn HopThe Self Sufficient HomeAcreWildcrafting Wednesday

Monday, August 22, 2011

Use It Up: Scrapghans

Many things are tossed into the garbage can when they still have lots of good life left in them. Use It Up will be a section on how to use this "trash" to make new, useful items for your home. I'll try to give a variety of projects so that you'll find some that are useful for you.

My first Use It Up project will be the Scrapghan. This is an afghan that is made of scraps of yarn that are left from other projects. Any avid crocheter or knitter undoubtedly has bags full of little pieces of yarn, you know, just in case you need 3 feet of mustard yarn for...something.

Well, here is your something.

For several years I had been saving bits of yarn just in case I needed them. Some scraps were a foot long, others were just shy of a skein. All of it was beyond use for a traditional project, but I couldn't bare to throw it away.

So I decided to make an ugly afghan. All of the yarn for this project is medium weight worsted acrylic yarn. I have other projects going with the scraps of wool and cotton. I kept the length around 1-3'. I threw in in some longer and some shorter pieces for variety. All of the scraps went into a box as I cut.

I reached in and grabbed random pieces without looking. As long as it was a different color than the last piece, I would work it into my ball of yarn. I tied the ends together with a double knot and then wound the yarn into balls.

Then I started crocheting. I used a size G hook. I crocheted in a single crochet stitch which seems to work very well, although it is a slow process. If anyone else tries this with a different stitch, post a comment and let me know how it goes!

For the first foot of the scrapghan, I thought it was ugly and it made me kind of happy to be working in public on such an obnoxious piece. As it grew, the colors came together and it is very fun. It is a bold material that adds a great splash to my decor.

Once I am done crocheting, I will pull all of the knot ends onto one side, so one side will be smooth and the other fuzzy. I can hide the ends, or if it looks good, put the fuzzy side up.

You can make this any size and shape you want. Make a lapghan for an elderly family member, a throw blanket for your couch, a baby blanket, or a full-sized bed cover. You could also use this to make scarves, shopping bags, washcloths (in this case, the knot ends are great for scrubbing plates), or throw pillows.

2/4/2013 Update: Kristin on facebook shared this video on how to join yarn without knots.
Russian Join

Shared with:
Wildcrafting Wednesday
Penny Pinching Party
Homestead Barn Hop

 photo ftfhopbutton.jpgThe Self Sufficient HomeAcreHomestead Blog Hop | The Easy Homestead (.com)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

How often do you have trash pick up scheduled? How often do you take your trash to the curb? Most people have weekly pickup, and the overflowing bins are a testament to our lack of concern over our waste. A fast food meal (say a salad, sandwich, side and drink) makes a lot of trash: a clam shell, small salad dressing containers, plastic knife and fork, utensil wrapper, sandwich paper, chip bag, napkins, packets of mayo or other condiments, a large plastic soda cup, lid, straw, straw wrapper and the big paper bag that wraps it all. Then we have all of our individually packaged foods that make portion control easy: pudding cups, small bags of chips, 100 calorie packs, individual candies, cans of soda, juice pouches, microwave meals. No wonder our trash bins are overflowing by the time the truck comes.

My family used to produce lots of garbage, but some small changes have aided us greatly. These tips can help you reduce your impact on the world, and on your bottom line.

Control your meals out. Fast food means lots of trash, and not just on the consumer end. The restaurant produces a lot. I was once a food prepper. My job entailed taking bags of meat out of a cardboard box and throwing away the box. Then taking the meat out of the plastic bags and throwing the plastic bags into a plastic garbage bag. Then I would slice the meat and weight it out. I would take these measured portions and place them into more plastic bags, these tiny portion sized bags. Then when the food was made, the meat was taken out of the plastic bags and the plastic bags were thrown into another plastic garbage bag. The meat was then prepared into a meal and that was placed in the aforementioned packaging for the consumer. It drove me nuts.

To cut back on this waste, bring your own containers to go (if they will allow you to) or eat in. Ask that nothing be put on the side, as this will mean more tiny plastic cups or pouches. Bring your own utensils, cloth napkins, coffee sleeve and even coffee travel mug or cold drink container. Bring your own tote bag and place the individually wrapped packages straight into it, eliminating the use of another paper bag. You can also bring your plastic soda cups, coffee cups or coffee sleeves to reuse next time.

Plan for less waste.. I have tiny trash cans all over my house, rather than one large one. This is convenient for me as I don't have to cross the house to throw something away, and also helps me control waste. I don't want to run trash out a few times a day, so I adjust my waste accordingly. I use plastic shopping bags (from the times I forget a tote bag or from friends) as liners. I keep tote bags in my truck, so I have them on me. Sometimes I still use a plastic bag or two, but not usually. I also try to keep a couple of coffee mugs in the truck for spontaneous coffee dates with Trucker.

Reuse everything. When buying tomato sauce, I opt for a glass jar rather than a plastic container. I use these to store bulk purchased foods (which in themselves save on packaging). Plastic bags are used for trash can liners. I have even made a crocheted shopping bag out of strips of plastic bags. I save scraps of yarn from many projects for my scrapghan (another article). Old jeans are cut into squares for a quilt.

Fix stuff rather than throw it away. A bit of glue, duct tape or a new part can save your chair, broom, shoes or stroller. Thread and a bit of time can fix a hole in your sock or a add a patch to a pair of jeans. A dryer or refrigerator that are running poorly, may not need to be replaced at all. Maybe there's just a bunch of dust and dryer lint stuck to the back. Vacuum it out and see what happens. I can't tell you how many times I have super-glued the soles of my shoes back on and gotten another month's wear out of them.

Reduce food waste. American's throw away around 14% of the food they buy. Since a family of four will typically spend $700-900 on food, we're talking about throwing away $98-126 a month, or $840-1512 a year. Eat leftovers. Make Trash Chili (saving scraps of ground meat, beans, pasta, tomatoes, onions until you have enough for a big pot).  Boil chicken bones with some seasoning and veggies scraps (carrot and potato peelings, onion skins) for homemade, low-sodium chicken broth. If you can't eat it all before it goes bad, freeze it (Chicken, peppers, zucchini).

The result: I take my trash can to the street twice a month. Even then, it is more to control the smell (of say, chicken bones) than because it is full. I also save money by using trash to replace things I would usually buy (storage containers, fabric, yarn, garbage bags).

Featured Post on:

Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger Award

Post shared on:

Penny Pinching Party

”Wildcrafting photo ftfhopbutton.jpg

Homestead Barn HopHomestead Blog Hop | The Easy Homestead (.com)

bloghop4 It’s a Blog Hop Y’all!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding Worth Beyond Money

Whenever I talk with people about frugal living, anticonsumerism or self sufficiency, it seems that they can't quite understand how it's possible to be happy in that life. They can't understand what they should do with the money they aren't spending, or how someone could give up a high paying job to voluntarily live in on the lower end of the income spectrum.

We don't know how to be worthwhile by ourselves. Our advertisers have told us that the way to get laid is to drive a luxury car or to spritz the right cologne on our necks. Our parents told us the way to make it was to get a good education and then a high paying job. Our employers expect us to work hard so we can climb that ladder or at the very least, spend every waking moment striving for it. Where does that leave us? It leaves us thinking that we aren't complete until we buy something, earn more, or have more power. It leaves us insecure in ourselves and creates a void that we can never fill.

Is it any wonder that we work more hours even if we hate our jobs? We want to be seen as strong workers.
Is it any wonder we have to see a movie the day it comes out? We'd hate to be seen as out of the loop.
It it any wonder we wear designer clothes? We'd hate that cutie we're chatting up to think us frumpy.
It is any wonder we have to watch the latest TV drama? What else could there be to talk about?

As Tyler Durden said: "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis"

So what are you? A loyal friend? A passionate lover? A fun parent? A caring heart?

If you make $100,000 a year, you are not worth 5 times what you were when you made $20,000.

Happy living.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lifestyles Beyond Money

The American Dream costs money. You have get married (average wedding cost: $28,000), have a few kids (average cost to raise a child to 18: $222,360), buy a nice house (average sale price in 2010: $272,900), work a full time job (average hours worked a week 35) until you are too old to be useful, when you die alone in a nursing home (average cost per year: $70,008). Yuck.

Fortunately, there are lifestyles beyond the American Dream model. These lifestyles are more suited to your own reality, fantasy or desire. They may require money, or they may not, or they may require less than the average family. You can work as little as you want, or for as little money as you want. You can take seasons off, or work from home. It all comes down to what you want out of your life.

Self Sufficiency. The self sufficient lifestyle is when you produce everything you need, from food to clothing to transportation. You do not need a job to survive. Potentially, your only expense would be property tax. The money needed to pay the taxes can be quite low depending on house and location, and could be paid with interest income, or odd jobs. 

Self Reliance. Short of complete self sufficiency, is a lifestyle of ever increasing self reliance. You produce some of your needs, while still holding some form of job (or while living off other forms of income, such as investment earnings, or retirement payments) to pay for others. Perhaps you could produce all of your energy needs through solar panels, all of your food through gardening. This is easier than complete self sufficiency and very rewarding as you can simply look for ways to eliminate those expenses you despise.

Anti-consumerism/Freeganism. Anti-consumerism entails bucking the current consumer model of constant need. You realize that you don't need stuff and eliminate mindless consumerism from your life. You pay only for needs and instead of shopping, turn to the free pleasures of life: family, friends, community, self enrichment. You capitalize on the wanton waste of our society by diving dumpsters, shopping curbs, or scraping plates.

Frugal Living. Cutting expenses is a tried-and-true method of living on less income. You find ways to save money and reduce expenses. You cut the expenses as far as you can before you start to lose quality of life. For example, if you used to have full cable, frugal living would call for cutting back on the channels, then eliminating cable opting for renting movies, then checking movies out from the library, then throwing away the TV. Other options in frugal living are extreme couponing, thrift shopping, cooking at home, and single car living.

Nomadic living. You eschew the traditions of house and home and find yourself on the road. You may live in your car, or a hotel, or in a park. You can try out new cities and small towns. If you feel happiest when traveling, this lifestyle can be the way to live every day like it's the first day of vacation. You can work odd jobs when you need money or work freelance.

Independently wealthy. This requires money, and a lot of it, but may free you from needing a job. You combine extreme frugality with working many hours at a high paying job. You aim to live on as little money as possible and bank every penny. After a relatively short period of time, your investments will build to a substantial amount. Once the interest you earn is enough to live on, you quit your job. As long as your investments hold out, you'll never have to work again a day in your life. 

Simple Living. Living can be simple. You need air, good food, good water, shelter, personal enrichment and love. Everything else can be done without. You look for ways to simplify every area of your life. You have no clutter and little stress. You set up automatic payments for all bills and avoid unnecessary business. You spend time relaxing or spending time with family. This is a great way to live if you are retired, or have children you want to watch grow up.

There are other niche lifestyles that I will touch on in other posts. You can live car free preferring to transport by foot, bike or public transportation. Environmental responsibility calls for ethical and safe products, and an elimination of waste. You could eliminate all use of plastics, or implement a religious adherence to the three R's. Vegetarianism/Veganism puts your ethics to work while potentially saving you big bucks. Locavores eat only locally produced food and keep all (or at least most) of their money in the community. Self employment gives you control of your earnings, your hours worked and your moral integrity.Volunteer poverty allows you to live in solidarity with those who do not have the opportunities to climb the economic ladder. Holistic living means living outside the 21st century concept of medicine and health, opting instead for herbal remedies, nutrition, exercise and natural products.

You can incorporate bits and pieces of all of these concepts to make your life what you want it to be. I produce some of my own food, and wildcraft for even more. I own a car, but walk or bike as often as I can. I cut expenses in many areas of my life, and dumpster dive often. I eat little meat and hate to shop. What all of this means practically, is that my life is mine. Trucker (my significant other) was able to spend the last two years getting his business off the ground, while I work four days a week in a lower income job that I love. I have time to spend with him, and have all of the things I want, most of which are intangible. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Live happy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Introduction to A Life Beyond Money

Welcome to A Life Beyond Money. My goal with this blog is to share my experiences in a new way of living. Most of the world is controlled by money and the process of attaining it. Most people are called consumers, but are, in fact, themselves being consumed.  Most of the world runs on gasoline. Most people hate their jobs.

Until a few years ago, I was one of them. I worked in finance and hated it. Then I worked in retail and hated it. I had stuff and spent a great deal of time shopping but was not happy. I've worked many jobs, always with the hopes of someday making enough money to buy my own happiness from Big Box Stores (BBS), but the price was always too high.

Today, I am but a lowly baker. I make dramatically less money now than if I had stuck with the obvious choice of career, but I like it.

I used to eat fast food because it was, well, fast. Today I eat amazing meals. I used to buy lots of stuff that ended up just filling my home until I could barely move. Today I have small collections of books that I read over and over, of music that I love to sing with, and of yarn to make lots of gifts for friends and family. I used to shop for stuff at the Evil Place (BBS). Now I acquire things I need from friends, yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist, bartering, dumpsters, antique stores and of my own creation.

There is a life beyond money. There is a way to live in which the contents of your wallet have little effect on your quality of life. Your life is not owned by your neighbors, your employer, your government, or the corporate giants. It is yours to make what you want.

I hope to show you a way to  get out of the loop of want stuff>work long hours>buy stuff>need more. You'll find tips to cut back on waste, cut expenses, eat good food, entertain yourself and all sorts of strange pastimes. Whether you are interested in frugal living, self sufficiency, simple living, anti-consumerism, self employment, environmental responsibility or just a less stressful life, I'm sure you'll find something useful.

Happy living.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...