• Car-Free,  Finances

    A Slice of Slavery

    Katie had to walk to work in the pouring rain this morning. I grieved for her as she headed into the downpour to walk the mile-long trek to her public job. I’ll have to do the same in a couple of hours. I could sit at this keyboard and whine that life isn’t fair; why can’t we own vehicles like…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism

    Minimalist Experimentation

    Many years ago I took my readers along on my personal journey through Minimalism. I was overwhelmed at the time so once I discovered that owning less not only helped my finances but made my practical day-to-day life easier I jumped in with both feet. I followed the advice of the experts of the day, eliminating not only the things…

  • Finances,  Minimalism

    Minimalism, Cash Flow, and Turnover

    One of the ways that businesses maximize their funds is by utilizing turnover to increase their cash flow. Instead of purchasing a year’s supply of whatsits in order to make their widgets, they instead purchase just enough to get by for a certain time period like a week or a month. The store I work at uses this principle. They…

  • Car-Free,  Finances,  Frugality,  Investments

    Desire and Frustration

    I underestimated just how heavily it was raining as I left work yesterday afternoon. By the time I realized that I should open my umbrella it was far too late. I was soaked to the bone. “I have got to increase my income,” I muttered as I sloshed my way home. If I acquired a full-time job making just $10…

  • Organization,  self-improvement,  Simplicity

    How I Spent My Vacation

    Last week I took the first paid vacation at a public job in almost two decades. “What do you plan to do?” Curious friends wanted to know. “Absolutely nothing,” I grinned. I lied to everyone prior to taking those days off. I had something special planned to mark the start of my 49th year of life. While one day had…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism

    Tossing Your Stuff is NOT the Answer

    The other day I about fell out of my chair. Two DJs on the radio were discussing Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix. What? I could not believe my ears. Back when I became a minimalist people thought I was insane. I caught so much flak for eliminating my excess and writing about it. I’ve got family members to this day…

  • Holidays,  Personal,  Simplicity

    Family Tradition

    Once upon a time when Katie was small money was really tight. I’d spent most of my cash on Black Friday in order to afford to give my baby the best Christmas I could afford. Katie wanted Christmas candy that year. In order to keep her happy I promised her that on the day after Christmas, once candy went on…

  • 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…