The Frugal Life

June 10, 2006

This is a fascinating post about a woman who simplified her life: My Frugal Life
A couple changes she made:

  1. Move from a 3,000 sq ft house to a 1,200 sq ft house
  2. Sell everything that didn't fit into the new house
  3. Cook at home instead of going out to eat
  4. Have only 2 pairs of jeans
  5. Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions (use the internet instead)
  6. Make coffee at home instead of going to coffee shops
  7. Put daily change and dollar bills into savings instead of carrying them around
  8. Deposit salary directly into savings… transfer out what you need to spend
  9. Sell your car (they went from 2 to 1, so some people can also go from 1 to 0)
  10. Participate in free events in your city instead of expensive ones
  11. Have only 1 credit card, and keep the montly balance at $0
  12. Use the internet to find new ways to live more frugally

I like pretty much all of these changes. I went through a pretty similar frugalization period when I was quitting my corporate job and looking to start my own business. One fear of simplifying your life is that it will become more boring. Eating out, going to shows, etc, these are fun things! Well, I would suggest that you keep the activities that you truly enjoy, but be aggressive about removing activities that you merely feel compelled to do: like going to the opera, or watching the latest lame blockbuster movie. Also, try things out even if you think you might not like them. Getting rid of a car is difficult because it's easy to remember times when having a car came in really handy. But this logic is a bit of a confirmation bias in the sense that you might have found an equally handy alternative to the car if it hadn't been there. Walking more is an easy way to improve any life. So is simply doing fewer errands, and finding places that are closer to your house to do them. People take long trips to giant stores largely because they can… even though smaller and nearer stores may have the things they're looking for. Purchasing things on the internet also saves a lot of time. Constraints lead to creativity and efficient new solutions to old problems.

This article is definitely worth a read.

My Frugal Life [via Lifehacker]


3 Responses to “The Frugal Life”

  1. I agree — that article was a fantastic read! The best part about that woman’s story is that people can make similar changes right away. Not everything at once, as that might be too much of a shock. But slowly, surely. Thanks for the highly informative post!

  2. timethief Says:

    Twenty eight years ago when my husband and I were young and wise we made a pact to live a simple, frugal life. Today we are richer by far for having done so.

    We left behind comfortable well paid government jobs with benefits, perks and pensions in the city. We moved to where we wanted to live – a small west coast island. We lived the life we wanted to live – a rural life.

    We struggled to survive. We and put all of our combined talents to work in the community doing low paid inglorious but honest work and we set aside some savings. In time we began to live our dream. We founded our pottery, cultivated meaningful relationships, learned new skills and built our own home.

    We kept our promise to ourseleves and to each other and reaped the reward of living a happy and healthy life that we consider to be abundant. We did so while others around us bitched and complained that they didn’t have enough. We have watched them destroy relationship after relationship by arguing about “things” and “money”, rather than focusing on what really matters.

    Whoever it was that said: “give me the simple life” had his or her priorities in order. Making that back to the land 1970’s pact with each other and living it too became our reality.

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share this my simple life with you and your readers, because as I sit before this computer typing in my low, almost no tech home I know that becoming carbon nuetral is a very small shift for us. What I wonder is what it will take for the rest of north america to face the inconvenient truth and act on it.

  3. conceptual Says:

    i’m nearly there! currently in a 500sq foot house, owning 2 pairs of jeans, 1 credit card, no magazines. i should probably stop driving that range rover and going for spa treatments, though.

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