From Financial Integrity
Suzanne - Simple living does not mean skimpy living
- Married w/3 kids
- One full-time income, one part-time self employed
- Urban Southeast
I have always believed that living simply is better for our spirits, our planet and our future savings. I buy almost all of our clothing secondhand as well as furniture and odds and ends for the home (dishes, waste baskets, flower pots etc.) The only thing I buy new are shoes and personal items. A couple of years ago we needed a roof rack. My husband went to Sears and bought a big ugly plastic one because they are so much less expensive. I found the exact one at a thrift store for $20 so we took the new one back. Mostly I was delighted not to be adding more plastic to the world. There is too much stuff in this world and in our homes - so I concentrate on recycling for all of the above reasons.
We eat mostly organic food and grow some in a community garden nearby. We have very low health insurance premiums and we usually pay our way at the doctor because it is way less expensive than paying for insurance that mostly never gets used. We have an emergency policy in the event of a big accident. My husband and I are in our mid-40's and mid-50's and neither of us takes medication for anything. My husband did have a very serious motorcycle accident when he was young and he does get a small stipend from workmen’s compensation. He also has to have his hip replaced every 10 years or so - we are on hip number three. We both do a moderate amount of exercise.
We do track from time to time - saving every receipt for a few months and then comparing them to get an average of our expenses for various things. Most importantly we have learned to live on less (link to Step 6) than we make so we don't even have to worry about tracking - we do that just for our own interest… I think tracking is very important for people who live unconsciously until they get an idea of where their money is going. And then you have to respond to the information you gather and adjust your life so that you can find room to save . It's as fundamental as eating well for it provides security, and an element of mental health in knowing that you are in control of your own destiny.
Two years ago my husband got laid off. We have been able to stay afloat in our home while we both adjust to new working arrangements. I have 3 children, 13, 10 and 8. I only work part time. We are not suffering, nor we do live a skimpy life by any means.