Categories
Finances Frugality Minimalism Simplicity Wardrobe

The Art of Recovering from Disaster

A friend’s house caught fire over this past summer. He was at work. By the time the firemen departed, the house and its contents were destroyed. My friend was gutted. He’d not only lost everything he owned, he’d lost his trusted companion, a pet he’d had for almost a decade.

He took some time to grieve and then started the process of recovery. He rented a new place and began anew.

We can all learn from my friend. While disasters take different shapes and forms, the sense of pain from the loss is the same. With the right mindset, we can turn that loss into an opportunity to recreate ourselves from the ashes.

I started that process yesterday. By releasing the burden I’ve hidden for almost a year, I wiped the slate clean.

I had a good cry and then asked myself “what do I do now?” I found the answer in my friend.

It’s time to pick my butt off the floor and start over.

I knew that this was coming. I fought against it. I tried every trick I knew to how to try in an attempt to avoid my reality. I didn’t want to sacrifice the beliefs I’d held for a lifetime. I didn’t want to surrender to the madness. But ultimately I am a survivor, so I refuse to let what I learned defeat me.

I have no power to change the world. I have no power, no authority to do any damn thing but eat and shit and die.

I can work with that.

You see, I may not be able to change this world but I can change myself. I may not be able to change this world but I can control the choices I make and the things I do. I may not be able to change the world but I can go into the long night content with the knowledge that I did what I could.

“If you find yourself confronting an unjust and corrupt system, it is much more effective to learn its codes from the inside and discover its vulnerabilities. Knowing how it works, you can take it apart – for good.”

– Robert Greene, The 50th Law

I have fifty years of experience in how this world works. Corporations convince us we are lacking to persuade us to give them our money. They use the money we give them to further their own purposes; their purpose is to make the rich richer by draining the rest of us dry.

To stop that scenario is simple. To stop the corporations from draining us dry we have to remove the source of their power.

The only way to remove their power is to stop giving them money.

The milennial generation stumbled upon this truth some time ago. They stopped giving their money to support certain industries. When those industries felt the blow to their pocketbooks, they began to scream with pain. Do a search for “industries milennials have killed” if you want to read the details.

I may be old and uneducated but I’m smart enough to see from the evidence that the process works. I’m humble enough to learn from their experience so I have chosen to follow their example. I may not be able to execute it perfectly but if I can arrange to give the monsters less, I can help starve them out in some small way.

I’ve already began that process. Instead of following their instructions to buy new clothing, I have chosen to use what I already own until it falls apart. Instead of following their instructions to discard the excess clothing I have thanks to the little washer I own, I placed the items in a box for future use.

The longer I can go without buying clothing, the less I will feed the monsters. Even better, there will be less clothing entering our landfills. That is a wonderful bonus.

For far too long I’ve fallen for the lie that I needed to look and dress a certain way. The only reason they want us to look and dress in a certain way is because it makes them richer. In the end, as long as we’re clean and our bits are covered, the details only matter to them.

We have a surplus of clothing in our thrift shops. We have tons of clothes rotting in landfills because of their programming. I may not be able to change that reality but I can refuse to participate in it.

Is there a way you can stop feeding the monsters? Please share your stories in the comments below.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Decluttering Finances Frugality Minimalism Simplicity

We Should Practice What We Preach

I stopped exploring most of the minimalism, simplicity, and frugality blogs on the Internet these days. As a general rule, they fail to practice what they preach so I find them offensive.

The first thing you see when you click on one of those blog links is a giant popup. “Sign up for my mailing list and I’ll give you this piece of advertising disguised as helpful information for FREE!” When you sign up to make the popup disappear, your inbox will be flooded on a regular basis with advertising. “Join my class! Sign up for my FREE webinar so I can talk you into paying money for this class, this app, or whatever it is I’m selling!” The variety of methods that they use to persuade you that you NEED to give them money is not only impressive, it is disgusting.

When you finally manage to dispose of the popup, you are then forced to read their content, content that is disrupted by ads as you scroll down if they don’t break it up into a slideshow format designed to force you to click several times and view a bunch of more ads.

Even worse, when you get to the content, what do they do? They review different products and services with the intent of persuading you to BUY.

Seriously, you don’t need to buy MORE crap. You’ve already gotten more than enough for your needs. If you happen to be visiting those sites, chances are that you’re so broke that you can’t afford to buy them anyway.

But they do this. They don’t care how poor or broke you are. They don’t care that you’ve got far too much stuff already. All they care about is emptying your wallets a little bit more.

It’s not about helping you; it’s about enriching themselves. Check into the private lives of many of these people and you will discover that they make more money (and live at a higher standard) than a poor person can even comprehend. How can they possibly have your best interest in mind when they don’t know what it’s like to be so poor that you have to cook a pot of beans just to eat that week? How can they possibly understand the challenges that they don’t have to face because they make so much more money than you?

See, it’s easy to buy a new gadget when you’ve got the money to spare. And it makes sense to them to spend dollars just to save a few pennies because that’s how they were trained. Even if they weren’t conditioned to purchase things that won’t really save money in the long run, they have realized that if they can persuade you to buy these things that they will have more money in their bank.

And the only way to tell them apart is if you see them practice what they preach.

An excellent example of this is Marie Kondo. I refuse to link to her site in disgust for her actions. I used to like her; I found her logic as related to eliminating items that didn’t “spark joy” to be refreshing.

Until she showed her true colors, that is.

I wasn’t bothered by the fact that she started a show about her particular brand of minimalism. I was grateful for that because it helped to spread the word that people as a whole need to thin out their stuff. I was glad that she managed to find a way to do that and make a bit of money in the process.

But then, after she preached and preached about the need to thin down and eliminate, what did she do? She released a whole line of stuff that she wanted you to BUY.

REALLY?

How does that even make sense? If you needed to buy something, you sure as hell wouldn’t be tossing your perfectly serviceable stuff away, now would you? How can you speak out of one side of your mouth to tell people to throw their shit away then open the other side and tell them to BUY?

It is hypocisy in the strictest sense, spurred entirely by greed. She doesn’t give a shit about you; all she cares about is filling her bank account. She doesn’t care that you’re poor and broke and overwhelmed; just toss out your shit, buy her crap, and suffer through the overdraft fees when you discover that the shit you’ve kept has worn out before you’ve managed to save up enough money to replace it.

Why do you think that I’ve refused to offer classes? Why do you think that I’ve refused to create a mailing list? Why do you think that I’ve patently refused the offers I’ve received to market tee-shirts and other items to you? Why do you think that I live in the Hood and dine on Ramen instead of filling this website with ads?

I do it because I actually practice what I preach. I do it because this is about more than filling my bank account. I do this because I’ve seen a problem with this world and with the ways we’ve been taught and I want to fix it, even if I have to starve in the process.

While I’m not starving (don’t worry), I have deliberately made choices not to market to you because I believe that you’ve been marketed to enough. I have deliberately made choices that have affected me financially because I believe in what I tell you and I live my life based upon those beliefs every single day.

It enrages me that there are bloggers and writers and so-called frugality experts preaching to you that you need to toss the shit you already have and buy their shit instead. And there is only one way to stop that. It’s the exact same way you can remove the power and control of the corporations who have taken over our nation.

Stop paying attention to them. Stop buying their stuff. Stop paying for their classes. Stop encouraging them to market to you and they’ll eventually go broke and be forced to quit.

When that happens, the ones who will be left standing are the ones who truly practice what they preach in regards to simplicity, minimalism, and frugality because they’ll be the only ones with the skills to know how to live on less. They will be the ones who will do the work for free, not because they don’t need money to live on (we all need that), but because they feel that the message is more important than profit.

Those are the people you want to support, because those are the people who truly want to help you.

So think twice before you stick your email into their popups. Think twice before you buy their classes, click on their ads, or buy stuff from their product lines. Because to them, you are nothing more than an income stream.

For the record, you can find some of my ebooks listed for free on the torrent sites. If you’re broke, feel free to download them. I know that they’re there, because I’m the one who uploaded some. I’ve given out scores of my books for free to readers who emailed me and shared that they wanted to buy my books but didn’t have the money.

I do this because this is about more than the money to me. This is about the fact that people are poor and broke and struggling and they don’t know where to turn. This is about the fact that I’ve struggled my whole entire life, and I don’t want to see other people facing that fate.

I want to make this world a bit better place.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to do what I do without acquiring a job for the long term. And that’s okay. That’s okay because this is about more than me. This is about helping you realize that society is broken, and the only way to fix it is to stop feeding the monsters.

It’s time for me to stop ranting for now. I’ve a house to clean and a book to write. If I can be of service to you don’t hesitate to email or comment. If you find my posts helpful, please know that even the shortest comment helps increase my ranking on the search engines. Sharing my posts with your friends helps to get the word out as well.

Please help me do that. Thank you.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Business Finances Frugality Simplicity

A Private Revolution

Sometimes the most horrible revelations can teach us. Yesterday I was presented with the reality of our world. The image of a man who was somebody’s dad, who reminded me of my dad burned its way into my soul as I read about the treatment he received from the nation I called home.

There is absolutely nothing I can do to change the past. I can’t change what happened to that man and many others any more than I can change what has happened to others who have suffered similarly over the course of history.

There is not even very much I can do to change the future. I am just one tiny old woman in a great large world. Aside from trying to encourage change, I have no right to even push because it would violate the moral code that I hold dear.

I can do something, however. I can reach down deep inside of me and use the knowledge of this current reality to change myself. Hopefully, by sharing the things I have seen and the changes I personally make my personal revolution will go a bit farther.

As someone once instructed me, if you want to understand the purpose behind a thing, all you have to do is follow the money. I thought they were being silly at the time but the older I get the more I realize that they are right. Money is the primary reason so many do the things that they do; the pursuit of money infects all of us if only because we all need it to survive now.

The poor make the money with the sweat off their brow. The rich take that money by enticing the poor to part with it in any way that they can. While the poor just want enough to lead a comfortable life, however, the rich have gotten to the point where they want to collect money just because.

My personal issue is in the fact that our society has gotten so unbalanced that the rich are removing the ability of the poor to just survive. They use their money to promote agendas that on the face seem to be aimed at protecting us but when you examine them on a deeper level, you realize that the only ones they want to protect are themselves.

It has gotten to the point in our society that even the placid farmer has began to rebel. When John Deere decided to force farmers to pay outrageous fees by citing “intellectual property rights” and so forth to eliminate their ability to repair their own tractors, these farmers began to fight back. Some of them have went so far as to hack the computers in their equipment rather than bow down to their draconian rules. Others have decided to eliminate modern farming equipment entirely by purchasing and rebuilding older, non-computerized equipment.

Rebels within the trucking industry are doing the same. Rather than comply with new rules and regulations that are destroying their livelihoods, they are now opting to purchase rebuilt older rigs instead of buying new vehicles. A friend of mine drives for a company who rebels in this way. The owner of the company he works for believes that once self-driving vehicles advance a bit more that they will force him to shut down his business. His plan is to conserve his funds as much as possible so that he can retire once his livelihood is gone. My trucker friend is planning the same thing.

The beauty within the rebellions of the farmers and the truckers lies in the fact that they’re not really trying to save the world. They saw a problem that affected them and started voting with their money to make a difference.

We can all learn from that. If we see a problem with the word in general or our lives in specific, we can stage our own personal rebellions by changing the way that we spend our money. We can choose not to support the things we do not believe in by voting with the money we spend.

With this in mind, my dilemma at the moment is pet food. I order their food online but I have yet to locate a smaller company that can supply what I need at a price I can afford. Do I continue to switch between Amazon and WalMart when my supplies run low, choosing the one that offers the brands they like when I don’t want to give my money to either of them, or do I locate another path?

I would like to find another path. I haven’t found it yet, so I will order as little as I can at the lowest price in the meantime. The animals prefer Purina and 9 Lives respectively but I am willing to switch if I can find a viable alternative that they will eat.

Do you have any ideas?


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Frugality Simplicity

Washable Puppy Pads

We live in an age where so much of what we use is disposable. We are expected to buy these items, use them once, then toss them away for new. When we do this, however, we not only contribute to the landfill problem, we also give our money to corporations that not only avoid paying taxes, but use those funds in advertising designed to mentally manipulate us into buying even more or even worse – encourage our politicians to pass laws that favor them and not the populace they are supposed to represent.

Some of these items we need, so how do we arrange our lives to reduce the amount we spend?

I encountered that challenge a while back. One of my dogs has grown quite old and has to go potty rather frequently. I had resolved the issue by purchasing puppy pads in bulk but then it occurred to me that there must be a way to not only reduce the amount of money I spent but be more environmentally responsible. I may not be a perfect example of resource conservation but I do like to reduce my environmental impact whenever it is possible.

Examining the purpose of puppy pads, I realized that there wasn’t much difference between them and the pads placed beneath the elderly or the young. There are reusable pads that are designed to be placed beneath incontinent people, pads that can be washed many times before they lose their effectiveness. I reasoned that if these pads were effective with incontinent people, then they would be an effective substitute for the disposable puppy pads in the market today.

If I could teach my dog to use them, that is.

I purchased a four-pack of these pads, selecting a size that would allow me to wash them in my tiny washing machine. It would increase the amount of laundry I had to wash, but would eliminate the need to purchase disposable pads on a regular basis. Even better, the money I spent on my water bill would go to help my local community instead of a major corporation.

I started out by placing these washable pads on top of the disposable pads that my dog was accustomed to using. As she started to select the washable pad, I slowly swapped out the disposable ones until the washable pads were all that she had available.

It worked like a charm.

I use a bit of water and electricity each day to wash the pads. Every morning I replace the used pads with a fresh set and toss the dirty ones in my washer. It takes a bit of work but in the months since I started this experiment the pads have held up well. I expect to receive a few years’ use from them before I have to consider the purchase of replacements.

The trash we generate has reduced as a result of this experiment. I no longer have to dispose of plastic-lined pads on a daily basis. The water I use is cleaned through our local water treatment plant. It isn’t perfect, but I do believe that my impact on the environment is lower due to this decision.

I especially like the fact that I have eliminated the need to give a major corporation my money on a regular basis. A single pack of these pads cost considerably less than a year’s supply of disposables; considering how they should last for several years with a bit of care I have dropped that expense by at least half.

If you have older, incontinent pets or a puppy that has yet to be housebroken. If you are one of the many who are forced to leave your dogs alone for hours at a stretch, I urge you to consider this option. It will not only allow your animals to relieve themselves in a safe place when you cannot take them out as often as they need, it will reduce your burden on the environment and allow you to save money as well.

Have you considered non-disposable options for the disposable items that you use each day? Please share your stories in the comments below.

EDIT: I have received a request for the link to the pads I purchased for this experiment. Here is the link if you are interested. They don’t have these available in local stores so I had to go with Amazon: https://amzn.to/301u5nu You may be able to make them yourself if you have the skills that I lack.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Food Frugality

How to Handle Leftovers

It is important to minimize waste to not only conserve money but to reduce that amount that we spend. This becomes even more important in circumstances where we are forced to purchase items from corporations whose actions we disagree with. We may be forced to give them money but we can at least limit the amount we give them.

This was in the forefront of my mind when my daughter brought home a rotisserie chicken the other day. The animal had been raised on a factory farm, no doubt, and the place she purchased it isn’t exactly known for how they treat their workers.

We devoured the animal on the first day. By the second, all that remained was a small pile of bones. The bits of meat were far too small to pick off individually yet there was enough remaining that I felt guilty about discarding it. That animal sacrificed its life to provide us with food; the least I could do is honor that sacrifice by using it up completely.

I placed the remains in a pot, filling it with water. I gave thanks to the animal as I set the pot to boil. Once the meat had separated from the bone, I sifted through it, preserving as much as I could. A little while later and we had a small pot of chicken and dumplings, light on the meat.

Those actions managed to extend my daughter’s gift for two more days. Those were days that we did not have to purchase more food. Our bellies were full, our wallets were spared, and there was no waste to dishonor the animal’s sacrifice.

It breaks my heart to see good food tossed in the trash because someone prepared too much. I find it disheartening when I see perfectly usable things discarded in the trash without thought. This is something we can fix, however.

If we place a bit of forethought into the meals we prepare we can estimate how much we will eat before we begin cooking. If we normally prepare a number of sides, we can limit the amount of sides we cook to minimize waste. Just because our mothers insisted on several sides with every meal doesn’t mean that we have to follow that pattern. We live in an age where food can be quite expensive so it pays to conserve where we can.

This applies even if we have the means to grow our own food. It takes time and money to cultivate a garden and raise animals for slaughter. Even more importantly, it is a tragedy when we waste.

Even the smallest scraps of food can be saved. Meats and vegetables of all types can be made into soups that will last for several days. When we begin to practice this conservation, we will find our grocery expense dwindling.

If anything, the thought of reduced sales at the mega-corporations can enhance our enjoyment of the feast.

As I write this I am enjoying the leftovers of another meal. I won’t cook again until it is gone. There is no point. Besides, I feel better using up the things I currently have than I do when I discard those things to buy new.

Don’t you?

How do you feel about leftovers? What do you do to use them up? If you don’t like leftovers, what steps do you take to prevent waste from occurring? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Frugality Simplicity

Is it Socially Acceptable to Save Money?

As I look back upon this year, I realize that the majority of the criticism that I’ve received concerns how I choose to spend (or not spend) my money.

Among the things I’ve been told:

  • I should rent or buy a bigger home.
  • While I’m here, I should spend money painting and decorating my current home, despite the fact that I neither own this place nor intend to live here forever.
  • I should purchase more clothes, despite the fact that I have more than enough.
  • I should definitely go to college, but I should go to a more expensive school in order to acquire a “better” education–to earn more money.
  • I really “need” a car, despite the fact that I don’t go anywhere.
  • I “need” a high-paying job.
  • I need to invest in a modern, high-end computer since I love them so much.
  • I need to buy (insert item here).

These criticisms are usually framed in a back-handed way in an attempt to mask the criticism:

“I admire how you want to live a simple life, but you really do need to get a bigger place. It’s ridiculous that you sleep in the living room.”

“I understand that you want to save money, but would a bucket of paint kill you?”

According to the people I interact with, I “need” to acquire a larger home so that I can have my own bedroom. I “need” a traditional cook stove and a standard-sized refrigerator. I “need” to toss my perfectly serviceable kitchen table and replace it with new. I “need” dentures, new clothes, matching dishes and many other items.

When I ask why I “need” these things, I’m informed that I’m depriving myself or given long-winded speeches that are hard to decipher.

Why is this? Because I’m definitely not depriving myself. I’m content exactly where I am.

Is it because my life is so different from others that I receive this criticism?

Is it because they believe that I am secretly judging them?

I don’t have any answers to these questions but when combined, it makes me wonder if it is socially unacceptable to avoid spending money to keep up a certain appearance in our society. It makes me wonder if we’re programmed to own certain things, to spend our money in a certain manner not because we care about the items in question, but just to fit in.

I asked a friend about it once over this past year. She informed me that we need to own a certain amount of stuff, of a certain quality because it tells the world that we are doing “okay.”

Why do we care what the world thinks?

More importantly, who gets to decide what we buy or don’t buy?

Could this be why so many people are struggling in our society? Could it be that we are programmed by social pressure to own things that are meaningless in the grand scheme of things to the point where we jeopardize our financial security just to acquire them?

As we conclude this decade, I would like for you to ponder this situation. Have you ever felt pressured to acquire something or live a certain way, to spend money that you wouldn’t ordinarily spend?

If you removed the social pressure, how would you live? What would you spend your money on? What would you stop spending money on?

In short, why do you buy the things that you do? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Frugality Minimalism Recycling Simplicity

Has Consumerism Tainted Minimalism?

Minimalism is the act of eliminating the unimportant in order to make room for what is important. That seems simple enough at first glance. However, a deeper look at the subject reveals that there may be a darker force at play.

From The Minimalists to Marie Kondo we receive advice to throw out or donate our old stuff. It doesn’t matter if the items are perfectly functional or if we could use them up in time. These things contribute to the chaos in our lives so they must be eliminated.

But what happens to the things that we discard? Many of us, either through impatience or lack of time simply throw these things into a dumpster. Others who realize that it only passes the problem on to our overburdened landfills choose to donate the items instead.

And what happens after the house is clean and simplified? The things we choose to keep eventually wear out, forcing us to purchase even more. In some cases we may go on an acquisition binge that doesn’t stop until we find ourselves overwhelmed with stuff again so we repeat the process by eliminating even more.

Who benefits when we throw our perfectly functional stuff away, only to replace it when we wear out the items we actually keep? Our wallets certainly don’t but the companies that produce the items do.

Let’s ask another question. What would happen if, instead of discarding our excess, we placed a moratorium upon future purchases until we used up the items we already own? Who benefits the most from that scenario?

Our finances would benefit because we’ve stopped buying stuff we don’t need. Our finances would benefit again because the act of using up and wearing out our current overstock of possessions would eliminate the need to buy more for an extended amount of time. The landfills would benefit because we wouldn’t send things there until the absolute end of their useful life. Donation centers would even benefit because it would reduce the amount of donations they have to sort through and discard in the search for saleable items.

Big Business wouldn’t benefit, however. Their sales would go down because we wouldn’t purchase near as much. The clothing industry would take a major hit because they could no longer persuade us to buy the newest fashions. Even the appliance and electronics industries would feel the pain because instead of buying “newer, bigger, and better” we would hold on to the things we already owned instead of discarding them for new. The only industry that might benefit from this new paradigm would be the storage industry—until we used up our excess to the point where we no longer needed the storage, that is.

While minimalism in the short term may benefit us with clean homes and empty spaces, the questions I’ve asked above make me wonder about who truly benefits in the long run. It makes me re-think my decisions in the past to discard the things I’ve discarded.

This also makes me wonder if my grandparents were smarter than I gave them credit for. They used the things they acquired until those items died and then recycled the pieces into other things to extend the usable life of their purchases even further. I’m beginning to wonder if we all need to start doing that.

To be honest, I would be surprised if I discovered that there was a conspiracy to encourage us to throw away our stuff just to entice us to buy more. That said, I do believe that we need to rethink our actions when it comes to the pursuit of minimalism.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Economy Finances Financial Freedom Frugality

The Power of Lowballing Your Finances

The most important step in attaining financial freedom is cutting your expenses to the bone. I don’t care what the “experts” say, it is a hell of a lot easier to come up with a few hundred dollars each month than it is to come up with a few thousand.

A friend of mine reminded me of this when we began to discuss retirement. He shared his dream of building his passive income sources to $6,000 a month. While he only needs $4,000 a month currently, he wants to add some extra padding to his passive income flow in order to cover any cost of living increases during his retirement.

I don’t need that much money.

That is why I was able to quit my last job at the drop of a hat. It is also how I was able to become a stay at home single mother to my youngest daughter–a feat that everyone told me was impossible.

If you want the freedom to live life on your own terms you will pay attention to this.

In order to live at a comfortable minimum I need around $500 a month to cover my expenses. That means that I only need to have $16.67 a day coming in to meet my expenses and have some money to spare. To give you an idea of the difference that makes, my friend would have to find a way to earn $200 a day if he lost his job tomorrow.

Which one is easier to accomplish: $16.67 or $200? More importantly, if you were to lose your job tomorrow and had only $1,000 in savings, which path would allow you to take your time to locate another position?

Do the damn math, folks.

The greater your living expenses, the more you need to earn just to survive and the lower your chances of replacing the income from a public job with passive income sources. In fact, the higher your living expenses, the harder it will be to find a job that pays enough to keep body and soul afloat. If your living expenses are low enough, you will be able to pay your bills in almost any economic climate. You want proof of that? I can work a part-time job at minimum wage to earn more than enough to live on. In comparison, my friend would be screwed.

You listen, and you listen well. We live in a tumultous age. The jobs we know are in the process of being replaced by machines and yet despite that, our cost of living keeps increasing. I saw the first signs of this back in 2009 as corporations downsized to protect their profit and sent droves of people to the unemployment lines. I have no doubts that it will happen again.

If you want to protect yourself, the time to prepare is now.

The lower you can take your expenses, the greater your ability to survive.

I won’t belabor the point. I’ve already written a book on how to live on less so if you want to do the smart thing you will read it. I’d recommend other books if I could but I haven’t encountered anyone who lives on less than I do to brag about.

I pray that you heed my warning before it’s too late.

Categories
Decluttering Frugality Simplicity Wardrobe

The Sock Rebellion

I cannot remember the last time I purchased socks. One day I realized that I owned far too many pairs and decided not to purchase any more until the ones I owned wore out.

It is finally starting to happen.

This morning I grabbed a pair out of my bin to discover that both socks contained holes. As I examined them I realized that I could read my computer screen through the heel of the pair.

It is finally time to let them go.

It is amazing to think that I’ve owned a pair of socks for close to a decade. If a pair of cheap socks will last that long, why do we so frequently purchase new?

More importantly, what else are we discarding before it reaches the true end of its life?

This makes me wonder just how long it will be before I wear out the clothes I currently own. In the months since I placed a moratorium on clothing acquisitions, my wardrobe has barely budged.

How much of what we’ve been spending on clothes has been a waste of money? I mean, if a pair of socks can last a decade, how long will a tee-shirt or a pair of jeans hold up if we resist the urge to replace them?

Heck, I’ve got a zip-up hoodie here that I purchased back in the early 2000’s and it’s still going strong.

So why are we still buying clothes if our closets are overflowing and the ones we already own are still functional?

It’s definitely something to think about.

What’s the oldest item of clothing that you own and still wear? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Frugality

Financial Surprise

It is amazing. One day you decide to quit your job. You’re concerned about your expenses even though you know you’ve got it covered.

But then you pay your bills and you realize:

Your bills have plummeted.

This frugalista has just realized that she was spending over $100 a week just on food and other things while she was away from the house.

That’s a bit embarrassing.

Categories
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 an hour, I would basically double my current income. I could afford the extra maintenance and insurance expense of a vehicle.

Unfortunately, I would have to work the same shift with someone I completely trusted to actually show up every day in order to earn the money to afford a vehicle, or sacrifice a lot of time walking to and from one of the local factories with my current transportation situation.

Basically, I’m caught in a Catch-22. I need to earn more money in order to afford a vehicle, but I need a vehicle in order to work a job that would provide that money.

That f*cking sucks.

So what can I do now, with what I currently have, in order to meet both short and long term goals?

I gave that a lot of thought last night.

I am already making progress. I’ve got an optometrist appointment scheduled for later this month. That is the first step in re-acquiring my driver’s license. Once I purchase a new pair of eyeglasses I will feel safe about applying for a driving permit. Once I attain that permit, I’ll have to wait around six months before I can even think of taking the driver’s test.

I am in the process of building my credit. To make myself feel better about my progress, I sent the credit card company $20 to pay off my current balance with money to spare. I’m doing everything I can do in that area, so after I made the payment I moved on to the other areas of my life.

Each day I restore at least one of my older posts to this website. Each day I work a tiny little bit on a new book that is in the works. It is still in the initial stages, but that book may provide a little bit more money to invest in the future.

Each night I read before I go to bed. I’ve got plans to attend the latest library book sale on my next day off in hopes of acquiring more books to further my education, so I’m doing everything I can do in that area of my life.

I am keeping up with reading the SEC filings on the companies I’ve invested in and plan to invest in at some point in the future. I pitch in a bit more money each month towards my investments. Other than pinching my pennies even further, I’m doing all I can do at the moment.

Since I’ve managed to reduce my smoking expense from 7-8 packs a week down to 3-4 packs a week, I’ve even managed to increase the amount I have free to invest. That means I’m making more progress in both areas of my life right there.

So what can I do now, on top of what I’m already doing, to meet my goals? I turned that question over a thousand times last night. I am busting my ass, burning the candle at both ends, just to do the things I’m currently doing.

Yet there are two tiny Baby Steps that I had missed.

I had yet to initiate my plan to stash half of my raise into my emergency fund. While I had established the savings account and transferred my emergency fund over in order to start receiving interest on the money, I had yet to sit down on payday, calculate half of my tiny raise, and transfer it over.

I pulled out the pay stub I’d received earlier in the day, calculated half of my raise, and transferred the money over. It wasn’t much, but it’s better than nothing.

Then, in order to signal to myself that I was serious about eventually acquiring a vehicle, I created yet another sub-account. I added $10 to that one.

It’s a measly amount, but at least it’s something. At least I am actively saving up, not only to purchase a vehicle, but to cover the cost of insurance, repairs, and maintenance when the time comes when I feel comfortable to buy. I’m not sure how much I’ll add to that fund each month, but as long as I do something, it will be better than nothing. It will be a lot better than bitching and complaining whenever I grow frustrated.

I will have something to show myself that I am taking steps to reach my goal.

But last night it just didn’t seem like I was doing enough. Ten dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money I would require to feel safe to even consider purchasing a vehicle.

Depressed by that thought, I sat down and cried.

I gave myself a few minutes to feel sorry for myself, then I washed my face and got back to work. I am making progress, even though it doesn’t feel like it. All I have to do is keep working. The rest will come in time.

I pulled out my Success notebook, the book where I write down motivational passages and encouragement. I read every page. Motivated by that, I read one more chapter in my current business book and went to bed.

I can do this. I don’t know how I’ll manage things yet, but at least I’m making progress. I will channel my frustration into white-hot rage, converting it to the fuel I need to keep moving forward.

This is about more than me. I want to prove to the whole damn world that just because you’re poor it doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. I will learn how to run with the big dogs, and I will teach others how to do the same.

I’m gonna do that if it’s the last thing I do.

Categories
Frugality Housing

Baby Step to a Better Life

I trimmed the tall weeds in my front yard with a pair of scissors today. I chuckled at myself while I worked; it reminded me of all the times when I washed my laundry in the bathtub.

It was also absolutely, completely ridiculous. I could hire someone to mow my yard but I’m no longer inclined to do that. It takes several days for them to get around to it and this year–this year I’m not in the mood to deal with a scraggly yard. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to hiring someone since it costs around $10 each time and I detest spending the money.

It was time to bite the bullet. I’ve decided to remain here for the foreseeable future; money isn’t as tight as it has been in times past. I can afford to purchase a solution.

I went on Amazon and located an inexpensive electric weed trimmer. It cost around $35 and will arrive in a few days. Even with the extra string I’ll have to purchase once it arrives I will come out ahead financially this mowing season. Even better, I’ll be able to mow my yard as frequently as needed to keep it neat.

That will be a major change compared to the previous years I’ve lived here.

I must confess that I hesitated to spend the money. It’s easier to spend $10 than it is to spend almost $40, after all. I had to give myself a firm reminder that I’m on a journey to become wealthy; wealthy people keep their yards properly maintained. I need to start doing that as well.

One step closer to the life of my dreams.

Have you made any progress towards your dreams lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Frugality Recycling

The Art of Building Wealth

The average person has been led to believe a lie. The average person has been taught that wealthy people can be identified by the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, the home they own, and the cars they drive.

They have been taught that the ones with the most expensive wardrobes, homes, and wardrobes are the wealthiest.

To quote Maury Povich, “that is a lie.”

If you see someone driving a fancy car, you can almost guarantee the person owning it is far from wealthy; if they own a nice car and an expensive home, chances are rather high that they have very little wealth, if not a negative net worth.

The wealthy become wealthy by living beneath their means. Many of them come from rather humble beginnings; in order to build their wealth they learned how to stretch their money as far as they could. This allows them to save as much money as they can to invest in things that will make them more money.

Verna Oller is a prime example of this. She used what she had, stretching her money to the extremes in order to invest. Her goal was to leave enough money behind to help out the small town she lived in.

My hero Verna Oller

This woman is my hero. She has shown me that anyone can become wealthy, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Including me.

When my office supply order arrived the other day, it came in a box that was stuffed with brown wrapping paper. I wadded it up, marched over to the trash can, and paused.

What would Verna do? I asked myself.

Verna would try to find a use for that paper instead of tossing it in the trash. She was fond of recycling things, of using them up completely before she discarded them. Could I do the same?

It dawned on me that I use a lot of paper around this house. As a writer, I am prolific when it comes to jotting down notes, journaling, and drafting out blog posts on paper. I keep a large supply of paper at all times since I go through so much of it.

I realized that if I cut up that long strip of wrapping paper that I could use it for notes. Grinning, I grabbed my scissors and went to work.

To my delight, that long sheet of paper was perforated at regular intervals; intervals that were identical to the width of a standard 8-1/2″ sheet of printer paper. I separated the pieces at the perforation, made a quick guesstimate, and quickly created a small stack of pages that were approximately the same size as a standard page. The scraps were then chopped up, clamped together into a makeshift notepad.

I now have a small stack of paper that I can use for notes and journal entries. A small stack of paper that cost me nothing but time yet allowed me to use an item that I normally throw away.

Even better, this tiny little stack of paper will take me closer to my cherished goal of financial freedom, since every penny I save is a penny more that I can invest towards my dreams.

Verna Oller would be proud.

What have you repurposed in order to save money? Did you realize that frugality can actually help you build wealth? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Education Finances Frugality Investments self-improvement Success

The Life of a Social Outcast

This past year has taught me that it is not socially acceptable to save money. It is not socially acceptable to want to educate yourself. And it is definitely not socially acceptable to spend your time pursuing your dreams.

With the exception of my auntie and a couple of friends I’ve been forced to go underground, to hide what I’m doing and who I truly am. The criticism has become too overwhelming. It’s gotten to the point where I’m forced to tell everyone that I am constantly broke just so they’ll leave me alone.

It’s no wonder so few people actually work towards their dreams. They are surrounded by a world that’s fighting to keep them down.

I don’t dare discuss my financial goals with my friends. I don’t dare discuss how I manage to save money every month to deposit towards my dreams. I stopped daring to discuss the books I read, since they look at me as if I’ve sprouted a second head when I mention books like Price Theory, Financial Management, or Sam Walton’s biography.

Most people around me read only fiction, if they read anything at all aside from Facebook posts. I’ve been called crazy to my face more than once for being happy that I scored a business book by checking the giveaways at the library.

Why is it crazy to want to educate myself and improve my life?

“You need to get your nose out of those books and start living!”

“You need to get away. Some friends and I are taking a trip to Florida. Why don’t you come with us? It’s only $700 to split the hotel room and gas. You can afford to cut loose!”

“Come out to the bar tonight after work. I’ll pick you up!”

“Ugh! You’re going to burn out your brain reading that stuff! Why do you even bother? You need to take your money and buy a car. Hey, wanna get your nails done? It’s only $35.”

“You work too much! All work and no play is making you boring! All you need to do is find a good man to take care of you; if you’d date for a change you wouldn’t have to work so hard! Seriously, you need to get a makeover so you can attract a man! And take that damned ring off your finger. You’re available!”

I find myself missing my former co-worker, Miss K, on a daily basis. She is a high-school student who noticed my inner battle.

“You’re going to be a secret millionaire.” She gazed at me with depthless eyes one evening as we shared a break together. “I can see it. They don’t understand but I do, and I admire you. And every day I see you sharing less because they just don’t get it. One of these days you’re going to make it, but don’t tell them that. You hide what you’re doing. It will make it easier.”

God I miss that child.

Perhaps in time I’ll make a friend who is as determined to succeed as I am, who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals but until then I’ll just go it alone. I’ve got to do this, not just for me, but to prove that even the poorest of the poor can achieve financial freedom if they truly want it.

Until then I’m just going to keep my fat mouth shut.

Do you have to hide too? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Food Frugality

Resisting Temptation

It was early evening. I was on my way home from work, hungry after my shift because I’d not eaten since the day before. The aroma from a local pizza place called to me, enticing me with its flavorful aroma.

My nose went on high alert. My stomach started growling. My eyes drifted to the restaurant as I began to pass and my whole body began to get involved.

They were advertising $5 pizzas.

Five dollars isn’t much. I had the money in my pocket. I could grab a pizza, my mind supplied as Hunger spoke. I could definitely afford to splurge on a simple $5 pizza!

Before I realized it, my feet had carried me off of my path and into the parking lot of the pizza place.

I forced myself to stop in my tracks.

I had food at home. I generally only eat once a day, so my hunger was normal for that time of the evening. I’d already planned what I’d intended to eat when I got home.

I did not need to spend $5 on a pizza.

Oh but how I wanted to! My mouth was watering, my stomach was howling, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the sign. Five dollars. Just five dollars. I can afford five dollars.

I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and walked away.

Temptation can strike in many different ways. It can be that new gadget you’ve seen advertised, the ones your friends are all showing off. It can be the beautiful vehicle in the used auto lot when you’re walking in the rain. It can be a pack of cigarettes when you’ve resolved to no longer buy them.

Or it can be a billboard advertising cheap food at a restaurant when you’re hungry.

Five dollars isn’t much. It’s not even an hour’s wage, but spending that five dollars resulted in a choice. If I had spent that five dollars, I would have told myself that a whim in my now was worth more than my security in the future.

As I quickened my pace to escape the enticing aroma I reminded myself of what that five dollars represented. It was over a half-hour of my life before taxes; a half-hour that I could invest in my future. Thoughtfully placed, that five dollars could provide another fifty cents worth of passive income for the remainder of my life.

It is far more important to me to secure my financial freedom than to enjoy a stupid pizza.

I went home, reheated my leftovers for dinner, and gave thanks. Temptation had lost another battle and I was a bit closer to my goal as a result of my decision.

What temptation have you faced lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Frugality

Impulse Purchases

“Mom,” Katie’s voice called out from her room as soon as I arrived home from work. “What type of tablet should I buy for my photo editing? I want a good one.”

“I thought you preferred using your Mac for photo editing,” I replied as I began my evening ablutions.

“Actually, I prefer using my phone but I want something with a bigger screen,” she replied as she began to follow me around the house. “I’ve been playing with my old iPad mini and I like it…but I don’t want to use it for anything other than a spare since I cracked the screen.”

I nodded. We had decided that day when she’d slipped on the ice that it was cheaper to use the device as it was instead of splurging on a repair since the function wasn’t affected.

We spent the evening looking at her options. She settled upon a smaller iPad Pro; to my surprise (and teasing) she ordered the iPad, a case, an Apple Pen, and some extra cables before she went to bed that night.

I didn’t think much about her purchase at the time. Katie had the money; I knew how much she enjoyed editing photos so I figured that she would keep the device for at least a decade. I even gave it a once-over after it arrived since I’d been contemplating a similar investment at some point in the next few years. The device was much larger than my ancient iPad mini so I filed the experience away in my mind to fuel my mental debate over the next few years and moved on.

Two Months Later:

“Mom, how much do you think I could sell my iPad for?” Katie asked out of the blue as we folded clothes at the laundromat.

“Sell your iPad? You just bought it!” I exclaimed as my head whipped around to gape at her.

“I know,” she replied glumly. “But I don’t use it as much as I thought I would because it’s so big. I feel wasteful just letting it sit in my room so I’m going to sell it.”

Daughter and I had a meaningful discussion about impulse purchases after that. I pointed out that she would have to sell it at a considerable loss despite the fact that it was practically new and urged her to become more thoughtful about making expensive purchases in the future…

…And then I agreed to buy the iPad from her in exchange for a monthly discount from her share of the household bills.

Slap me now. It’s a Mom thing.

To be honest, I didn’t expect her to take me up on my offer since I’d encouraged her to keep it. While she might not be using it much at the moment, I suspected that she would use it at some point in the future.

Katie disagreed. Two days after that conversation I arrived home from work to be presented with the device and all of the extras she’d purchased. We made our financial arrangements as I began to set it up.

On the positive side, I know the device will be used. My old iPad mini has proven to be a workhorse. I use it for reading PDF books, listening to music, taking photographs, and a slew of other tasks. There are times during my research when I will use it, an ancient iPod Touch with a dead battery, my Kindle, and assorted print books to cross-reference information as I continue to teach myself about wealth and investing. I had been toying with the thought of purchasing a larger iPad for several years as a result because I knew that it would make researching easier in today’s age of digital books and that it would make designing the internal layout on future books more pleasant.

Even better, I am acquiring the device practically new in exchange for a $50/month reduction on Katie’s share of the bills, at a total price of $700–less than the amount she paid for the iPad alone. With that sort of deal, I can afford the luxury.

Hopefully this experience will teach my daughter that she needs to think things through a bit more before she makes an expensive purchase but if not I have still managed to benefit not only myself but the kid as well. She gets to unload a device she no longer wants at a good price and I get the benefit of upgrading my gadget collection at a price I can afford. We both win.

The Way to Poverty is Lined With Impulse Purchases

Just because you CAN afford to buy something doesn’t mean that you should.

Purchases, especially expensive purchases, need to be thought about long and hard before you press the buy button. As a rule, I contemplate major purchases for at least a year before making them.

You should too.

You work hard for your money; it is the goal of businesses and advertisers to part you with your hard-earned cash. The more money you give them, the less you will have available to invest in your financial freedom.

Remember that.


Categories
Finances Frugality Investments

Potential Paths to Success

The kid got her permit today.

She’s over the moon with the achievement. She intends to acquire her driver’s license, invest in a vehicle, and get a better-paying job.

Late last night she discussed her options with me. She asked if I would mind if she lived with me, splitting the expenses until some time in 2020. This would allow her to have a support system when her fiancée is deployed overseas this year.

While the mom in me was like really? the frugalista in me was cheering.

It opens another option line for my future.

If the kid remained living here my bills would continue to be low. I could piggyback off of her, using her vehicle to re-acquire the license I gave up while writing The Car Free Experiment. This would allow me to get one step closer to my long-term goals.

We discussed the option of getting a factory job together. We would both save money by splitting transportation costs. We could almost double our hourly income with this route; the extra hours we would receive would mean that our weekly income would more than double.

I could invest $500-$1,000 a month if we went that route.

In order to receive a base amount of money to live on ($500/month), I need to have $60,000 invested in dividend stocks at a 10% return. Not including rolling over my dividends and chipping in my royalties, I could have that socked away in less than 10 years by simply investing that minimum $500 a month; less than five years if I managed to invest $1,000 monthly.

I could work in a factory job for 10 years. It would be rough, but I could do it. I may not even have to work in one for that long, depending upon how my overall investments, my book royalties, and other options pan out.

No one knows the future, of course, but I find that exploring options is a worthwhile exercise. It allows me to brainstorm potential paths towards my long-term goal and to weigh potential pitfalls as well as what steps I would need to take in order to hedge my bets.

If anything, this path would allow me to turbo-charge my investments and allow me the income needed to acquire a vehicle of my own, as well as the money needed for any classes as I work out the best career to settle in for the long-term. I have no real desire to work in a factory until the day that I die.

What options are you considering to achieve your long-term goals? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Frugality

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Save Money

In light of how many people I see on a daily basis who refuse to save money, I started asking myself why this was a thing. To me, it makes perfect sense to live beneath my means but in my world I am in the minority.

I thought I’d brainstorm to determine if perhaps my path was the wrong one.

  1. Treasure Hunts are fun! It’s a wonderful feeling to find loose change in your couch cushions or beneath the seat of your car when you need to buy a roll of bathroom tissue to make it to payday.
  2. Late fees and overdraft charges are a normal part of life. Why try to fight them? Just pay the money and move on. You can always eat beans or charge your grocery bill as you recoup the losses.
  3. GoFundMe Pages are in style. Who doesn’t like having their very own GoFundMe page to finance a move or to pay their bills when they lose their job or get hurt? It’s a badge of honor to crowdfund in this day and age.
  4. The Government will always be there to help if you really need it. All you have to do is ask and they will deliver. This safety net is a wonderful thing.
  5. It is fun to apply for food and financial assistance. Government agencies are always delighted to help anyone who applies for help. They make it so easy. You provide your bank account records, pay stubs for the past few months, information about everyone living with you, and statements from all of your neighbors to prove that you’re not housing a secret millionaire at your home and poof! Money just starts rolling in.
  6. You learn how to survive on less sleep. It’s a good thing to toss and turn when you receive a shutoff notice on your heating bill in the dead of winter. Who cares if you have to go to work in the morning? You can use that extra time to binge-watch your favorite show or go hang out with your sweetheart.
  7. You have something in common with all of your friends. Since everyone around you stays broke as well, you can all commiserate on how expensive life is. It’s lonely being the only one with money in your circle of friends and they tend to get upset if you point it out.
  8. It’s less work. Instead of wasting your time trying to stretch your dollars you can veg out in front of the television every evening and enjoy your life instead.
  9. It’s so enjoyable to one-up your friends. Want to make them jealous? Buy the latest and greatest phone that just hit the market and show it off. Get the lastest mega-package from your cable company so you can brag about watching all the hit shows. Cruise to work in a brand-new car and brag about those low monthly payments. Move into a nice big house in a great neighborhood so you can make fun of your friends who are stuck in the ‘hood. Watch their faces color with shame because they’re not as successful as you are. The ones with the most toys wins!
  10. You only live once. If you take it with you, your kids will fight over the money you left behind anyway. Why not eliminate the drama and die broke? You’re the one who busted your ass to make the money so you should be the only one who gets to enjoy it!

Did I miss anything? Share it in the comments below.

Categories
Frugality

How to Revive Mascara

I have never really been one to replace an item until it is completely used up. I see no point in spending money when one doesn’t have to.

When my black mascara decided to dry up I remembered a post I’d seen on Facebook about a hack that could revive it. You place the mascara bottle in a cup of hot water, wait a few moments, and the heat of the water softens the liquid back into a useable form.

I decided to try it. If I could stretch the bottle a bit longer I could save a bit of money while postponing a shopping trip.

It actually works! The mascara worked better than it ever had, coating my eyelashes extremely well. You have to use it promptly once you remove it from the water but I suspect that I’ll be able to delay this purchase for a month or longer. The only downside is that you have to warm the mascara each time you use it but with planning I can overcome the inconvenience.

One more purchase successfully delayed.

Do you know of any beauty hacks? Please share your tips in the comments below.

Categories
Finances Frugality

Live Beneath Your Means

The other day an acquaintance approached me for a loan to pay their overdue water bill. They knew that the bill had been due on the 10th of the previous month; instead of paying it then they decided to do some other things with the funds since their water wouldn’t be shut off until the first of this month and the city only charges a five dollar late fee.

I was approached for the money the night before their water was due to be disconnected.

This is a common occurrence in my life. I watch people spend money eating out, buying gadgets, ripping and running from sale to sale only to approach me when their bills are due because I am notorious for living beneath my means.

Seriously, folks–it is time to grow up.

Bills Come FIRST

If you know that you have a bill coming due, reserve the money from your paycheck to cover it. Period. If you don’t have enough money coming in to cover all of your bills, you need to either reduce your expenses or increase your income because if you can’t afford to pay your bills now, borrowing money is going to make it even harder to pay your bills next month and the months after that.

It is simple math. You cannot spend more than you earn. It doesn’t work that way, no matter how you juggle it. It’s not fun to go without when all of your friends are buying like crazy but tough! That’s life. Suck it up and move on. Yelling at the friends who refuse to support your profligacy is not going to help you one bit. We live beneath our means to best provide for ourselves, not to help people who refuse to control their own spending.

As for the person I referred to earlier I have no idea if they sorted the issue. I’m tired of being cussed out by idiots.

Have you ever been attacked because you refused to enable someone’s spendthriftiness? Please share your stories in the comments below.