• Car-Free,  Finances,  Frugality,  Housing

    Frugality and the Pareto Principle

    According to the 80/20 Principle, 20 percent of actions will provide 80 percent of results. This is especially true when it comes to frugality. When you break it down the majority of money I personally save falls into two main categories: housing and auto. By renting a one-bedroom house in a less than ideal area, I saved $200 a month…

  • Finances,  Inspiration,  Investments,  Simplicity

    The Magic of Time

    I moved to this house in April 2011. In the fence row of the front yard was a little sapling beside my front gate. My friend Mr. A wanted to chop it down. I told him to leave it; it would grow into a fence post eventually. That sapling was so insignificant that I never even bothered to photograph it.…

  • Productivity,  Simplicity

    Lazy Yet Productive

    My days off were split up this week so instead of resting the first day and working on my house the next I was forced to get creative. My challenge was made even worse when I woke up on my day off feeling lethargic with a scratchy throat. I’ve pushed myself far too hard these past few weeks and my…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism

    Evaluating My Possessions

    My daughter and I make a point of going through all of our possessions at least once a year. This allows us to refresh our memory about the items we own, reorganize these items to better accommodate our current life, and to figure out what we need to buy (or not buy) for the coming year. As we were sorting…

  • Car-Free,  Frugality

    The Luxury of a Vehicle

    A few weeks ago a friend asked for some help. He needed to locate a vehicle that would start and run for $1,000 or less–in two weeks. Considering that my days off rarely match up to the friend in question I considered this an almost impossible task. Not only can it take months to stumble on the perfect deal, the…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Simplicity

    No Regrets

    Now that the kid has graduated from high school, what do I do now? My whole focus these past decades has been caring for her. So now that she’s engaged, that her life is heading in a direction different from mine, it is time to start thinking hard about my next step. Do I want to continue as I am?…

  • Freebies,  Frugality,  Recycling,  Simplicity

    The Beauty of Old Things

    Several months ago my daughter surprised me with an odd request. She had noted that many of her friends and family were giving away their collections of old vinyl albums; could I help her select a record player so that she could play them? While I am aware that vinyl is making a comeback, the last thing I expected was…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism,  Recycling,  Simplicity

    It’s Okay to Own Things

    It’s become fashionable to throw things away. Out with the old, to make room for the new. There are even groups out there that will help you get rid of your things and encourage you to eliminate as much of your stuff as you want. I know. I was one of them. In time I realized that the Minimalist movement…

  • Productivity,  Simplicity

    Disconnect

    As the days stretch into months I’ve gotten rather lazy when it comes to guarding my personal time. Whereas I used to go to extreme measures to have quiet time in which to write I found my days have become a whirlwhind of messages, comments, and other communications from folks both near and far. Every time I would sit down…

  • Simplicity

    Life Without a Remote

    We don’t often think about the little conveniences that we have these days. While those of the older generation might remember, many of us tend to forget just how life used to be in the past. A while back, that reality slammed down on me. I was visiting a friend. We were just hanging out, watching a bit of television…

  • Decluttering,  Happiness,  Minimalism

    Minimizing Relationship Stress

    It’s painful to watch friends self-destruct, to watch them slide down the slippery slope of insanity. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You’re unable to turn away. You reach out your hand, only to have it slapped away time and again. Either they realize they are slipping and don’t care, or they’re enjoying the ride. Regardless, you…

  • Frugality,  Simplicity

    It Pays to Keep Your Stuff

    In this disposable age most of us don’t think about the value in using items until they are completely worn out. Rather than keep the old, they buy new even when the item they already own still works. It makes financial sense to keep things, however. The longer you use something the less it actually costs to own it. Here…

  • Frugality,  Simplicity

    The Art of Delayed Gratification

    There comes a time when even the biggest cheapskate decides that it is time to bite the bullet and spend some money. I needed a new writing computer whether I liked it or not. It isn’t easy to wait for something you need while you save up money for the purchase. Every time you see a sale pass you by…

  • Car-Free,  Frugality

    I Have Lived Three Years Without a Car

    It has been over three years since I sold my van. I wanted to go car-free for one year, write a book about the experience, and then move on with my life. I honestly believed that I would purchase another vehicle once the experiment was over. I enjoy traveling on occasion, have family to visit, and prefer buying some consumables…

  • Frugality,  Minimalism,  Personal,  Simplicity,  Success

    Is Your Life in the Black?

    I ran into an old friend the other day. We hadn’t seen each other for several years so we took a few moments to catch up. My friend announced proudly that he had recently purchased a house, showed me his car, and bragged about his high-paying job. He was a little worried about making the new house payment but his…

  • Frugality,  Personal,  Simplicity

    The Wisdom of Experience

    I can always tell when Daughter’s payday arrives. She rolls into the house, arms filled with purchases as she hands me her share of the bill money. I resist the urge to ask her if she opened up a savings account. While I know from experience how unpredictable the world can be I still remember what it was like to…

  • Happiness,  Simplicity

    The Magic of Decision

    I’ve lived in this little house for close to seven years. In that time I’ve never gotten around to making the little touches that turn a house into a home. I didn’t see the point since I didn’t know how long I was going to live here. Was I going to upgrade to another house, move into an RV, or…

  • Holidays,  Simplicity

    A Rule About Gifts

    I don’t buy many gifts. However, if I am out and happen to see something that reminds me of someone that I care about I get it for them when money allows. The other day I managed to hitch a ride with a coworker for the rare treat of shopping in a neighboring town. It had been years since I…

  • Simplicity

    A New Gadget

    I am not a fan of single purpose gadgets. In my opinion, it is better in most cases to spend a little more money for a device that will serve many purposes than to have a collection of single-purpose devices laying about. However, there are times when a single purpose device makes sense. For instance, it can be prohibitively expensive…

  • Minimalism

    Recharging

    Between work, volunteering at the local animal rescue, helping my friend get sorted, and the myriad other things I’ve been doing lately my batteries ran down. I felt myself growing less and less energetic as the days wore on. When the kid woke me up on my day off to spend time with me before she went to work and…