Thursday, May 6, 2010

A simpler life isn't always a cheaper life...... least on the front end. I've been known to pinch a penny pretty tight, but it honestly depends on what exactly it's for. Some things I refuse to skimp on. I always buy quality q-tips, soap and shampoo for instance. Pants many times come from Wal-Mart, but I will always spend top dollar on shoes. Quality shoes last longer so in the long run they're cheaper. I've not noticed a marked difference in the durability of pants so I opt for the cheaper ones. Of course comfort plays a role too. What's the point in saving money if you're going to be miserable doing it?

When we talk about "Backing er Down" and pursuing the simple life, the first thing that comes to mind is living frugally. That's most certainly a part of it for me. What it really comes down to though is a decision to "do without."
  • A riding lawnmower makes cutting grass more simple than a push mower.
  • Various kitchen gadgets make cooking easier.
  • Spraying herbicide is easier than using a hoe.
  • Electronics have worlds of application that simplify the way we do things.
Riding lawnmowers, bagel toasters, Roundup and DVR's are all easier options, but way way more expensive than their counterparts....or GASP..."doing without"

New cars and solar panels immediately come to mind under this topic as well. They are often sold as money savers, which may be true in the long run, but they have major cash flow issues on the front end. Solar energy I can see. In fact, I am still debating an application myself on a small scale. However, I have yet to see how the cost of a newer fuel efficient automobile will pay dividends as compared to a paid off automobile that gets even 1/2 the mileage. Here comes that phrase again though......driving the old car is "doing without" (of course if you're buying the car outright there may be a snag in that logic...I understand that)

So....I'm pretty bad at "doing without" a lot of times. I have a riding lawnmower and a tractor. I use Roundup, I obviously love a computer and I eat at least one bowl of Blue Bell Cookies and Cream ice cream every night. Hardly doing without right? LOL A recent AC outage at my house showed me just how much of a useless sack of waste I really was. I could barely stand it, lol. Sweating like a hog.

I said from the beginning that this blog was going to be useful to me even if another sole read it. It's documentation of my pursuit of a more simple life and a way to share it with others. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes. I realized this week that the journey will be long and interesting. Won't ever end probably. This week I've decided on three specific tactics that I will employ on my journey to living a simpler life:

1. I will start running again tomorrow morning.

I have to get back in shape. I was doing great two years ago. When my second son came along I got out of the routine and became stagnant. I can feel it too. Tired in the evenings, monkeying out when I'm working outside and general sorriness. That's gotta change.

2. My getting-up-time will now be 5 and my bed time will be no earlier than 10

I was a morning runner and I plan to get back on that schedule. It makes for a great start to the day and gives me a chance to get outside and turn the sprinkler on the garden if needed. There are too many productive things that can be accomplished after work in the evenings. If I can get those done during the week, I can have the weekends to spend with my sons and wife. On top of that, my oldest son can come with me when working outside with me in the evenings and maybe pick up a little knowledge as well.

3. I will drive my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee for AT LEAST another 4 years

....and I'll use the tried and true method of squirreling the money away so that when the time comes to get another, I'll pay cash. Don't get any simpler than cash money friends.

So there it is. It's a start. Not sure I'm ready to push mow 5 acres or give up on using Roundup. Like I said earlier, it's all about choice and what's important to you. However, I am going be conscious of the fact that the hard work and manual labor associated with doing things in a more complicated way might well prove to be a simpler way to live.

I think that may have been more of a ramble than an actual structured, well-thought-out blog. Oh well. I enjoyed writing it :)

Ya'll take it easy.


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