Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Needs, wants and wastefulness

I came across a post on a new website today and thought I would link to it here
Give it a read and see what you think.

Honesty, admittance and a willingness to change are what strikes me most about it.

When we were first married we grew our own vegetables and practised frugality and simply living, or thought we were! Looking back from where we are now, we realised how much more we could have done. Despite saving money monthly for an annual holiday, un-known future events/problems, usually cooking from scratch etc., it is only now, we realise we could have, and probably should have, done far more.

It is just too easy when promoted, getting more money (and stress usually), to waste money even if you think you aren't. We could easily have lived on DB's wages, paying all our bills and saving as well. We could have and should have saved ALL of my wages, somehow though, my part-time wages just got absorbed, into what, for what, nowadays we can't remember.

One of the problems with looking back at anytime in your lives are the what if's and why didn't we's that tumble out of your mind. It is no good getting upset about it now. If you still haven't started on your journey to the life you really want to live, begin thinking about it and starting to act NOW!

Life is often far shorter than the eventual future life you might look forward to living. Also, if and when you are near to achieving your dream, you might just find your body is to old to do what your mind has been planning for so long.

We realise now that if we had saved more, planned more, tweaked how we lived far quicker, that paying off the mortgage earlier could have been achieved and retirement could have been achieved earlier, yet consumerism and living our lives left us sometimes feeling that we just didn't quite have enough money...

Although DB did retire early and we had paid off the mortgage at the same time, we survived with quite a lot of tweaking (see Year I of the War Diary).

Now we are not surviving, we are thriving. That has only come about by a change in mind set, a willingness to both walk the same walk. People assume we are poor because we don't have the heating on full blast all the time, that we cook from scratch, don't eat out often etc. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, our money may be more limited than some, but our minds are thriving. We have outgrown our early thoughts of frugality and what constitutes a simple life. This kind of life is achievable with just a few willing tweaks. You will be able to pay off your mortgage, retire earlier if you sit down, right now, discuss and plan then implement. Not all at once obviously, baby steps and all that.

I feel for younger members of family and those of friends, who are just starting out on their own journey. Realising that for them, retirement may be in their 70's - who can work for that long? Having a family gets pushed back only to find achieving that particular goal has either passed them by or they need help.

We all have to live our own lives, we can't live each others and although we can advise, in the end, it is up to everyone.

Are you leading a life you like?

If only blogland had been around then, full of fantastic ideas... 



24 comments:

  1. I wish we had done things differently before I love the way we are living now, we just have to try and save over the next three years and hopefully we can buy our own place again, with savings from selling our house and hubbys pension it is possible, not having rent or mortgage helps, I enjoy a simple life now, thanks for the link to that blog, it looks very interesting.

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  2. I certainly am thankful for 'blogland'. If we looked for like-minded folk in real life trying hard to make better life choices we would be pretty miserable. Groups across the world accessible by internet have been a fruitful and meaningful community in this regard. I appreciate the link and kind words too.

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    1. Simple Living - Thank you and good luck with your saving.
      Phil - you are most welcome.

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  3. What a great post, and thanks for the heads up to the House of Simple blog too. I totally agree with everything you have said - it has dawned on me recently that I have NOTHING to show for my 13 years of employment and fairly decent salary. I am now trying to change this, but face the prospect (hopefully) of stopping work for a few years to raise a family. Kicking myself for not taking the chance to save while I had the chance. Oh well - you can't change the past, but now I really do need to make hay while the sun shines! Thanks again.

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  4. A wonderful post! Everything you say resonated with me. We have always lived within our means and not been too wasteful, BUT when I look back now, I realise that we could so easily have lived differently a long time ago and saved so much more money. It makes me cross to think back and realise that we could potentially have saved enough to buy a small house if only we'd adopted our simpler lifestyle when I was earning. But hindsight is a wonderful thing and it serves no purpose to feel regret. All I can do now, is look forward and keep trying to implement new ways to simplify and save.
    Thank you for writing such an interesting and thought provoking post :)

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    1. Bonnie - you can't change the past but using it to shape a future you would like, will always be useful.
      Happeninguponhappiness - you are welcome, glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. I'm only 30; and I really wish I had made better choices over the years, even those years since we knuckled down to frugality. I'm glad I'm still young enough to undo the damage.

    When our income rocketed this year after DH finished studying and he found himself in his first 'professional' job, we felt insanely flush - we've had a little fun, but concentrate on stacking most of my wage aside for when we relocate. He finds it very strange when people a few pay scales ahead of him are complaining they have nothing spare to put by.

    One thing the younger generation are hugely disadvantaged by is housing costs - rented, or deposited and mortgaged. The market is completely insane here, I'm glad we don't plan on staying.

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    1. Aurora - it is true about mortgages and property price but there are still bargains to be had especially if willing to do some work and if possible move to a cheaper area.

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  6. What a great post. Yes, the words 'if only' will strike a chord with many of us. We will reach a point in the next twelve months where we need to make some life choices. I want to make sure we make the right ones. X

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    1. Hopefully they will be right for you, if not, just keep adapting.

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  7. One of the biggest mistakes in life is to look back with regret. We all wish we had made different choices at one time or another but a coulda, shoulda, woulda, view is best avoided IMHO. If we had made other choices we really dont know what the outcomes would have been.
    My husband and I retired at 69 after 46 years of work and raising five children. We loved our work and feel that we left the world a better place because of it. We are in our seventies now and continue to enjoy our lives fully as we did when we worked although it is nice to have fewer time constraints and a bit more time with the grandchildren.
    I get depressed when I read of people "longing and dreaming" of early retirement while their lives are going by. If you hate your job change it or at least change the way you think about it.
    Dont read about the people who quit work in their 50s - read about people who are still working in their 90s( and loving it) ! Frugality means making the most of your resources in order to live as full a life as possible.
    Needs and wants have to be weighed. Did I really need to go out for breakfast with my friend yesterday morning; probably not but I enjoyed it very much. Do I need that gorgeous new frying pan with the ceramic lining; no, but I am probably going to buy it anyway knowing I will enjoy that too.
    Not everything can be a moral issue.....
    We may not have as much money as some, true, we are a lot better of than the majority of people in the the world today...

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  8. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of that interesting blog from Australia, I shall enjoy reading from the beginning as it looks so well written - as does your post of today. * Big Sigh* - wish I could write as eloquently!

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    1. Lizzie - like I said, we all live our own lives and for me personally, working into my 70's let alone my 90's would have been hell but I do have friends who have retired and gone back to a job they loved and missed.
      Sue - a good link methinks

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  9. What an interesting post! I share your feelings. Our lives have really changed over the last year since I retired early, but we could have lived as we do now much earlier and reaped the rewards much sooner. We had 3 children close in age and we both worked full time yet we still never seemed to have any money spare! I would have the heating on 25 degrees from October through to late spring and Lord did it cost us!! We've learned the hard way! I try to offer advice to our now grown up children, 2 of whom are in their own homes and one has 2 daughters. However I think they too will learn the hard way. The good thing for us is that we've stayed in the same house for 26 years so have never had a huge mortgage like the poor youngsters of today get burdened with.

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  10. Great advice. If we could all step into the future for a brief moment in time perhaps most people would change their ways. Perhaps it would make them realise how we are brainwashed by companies and others around us. Being frugal and free is far better than being in debt and tied to paying those bills long after those lovely designer shoes have been resigned to the back of the cupboard, or the coat you always wanted no longer fits.

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    1. Mrs L H - glad you have got there now, keep on keeping on. We can only advise our children can't we otherwise they might think we are nagging them A bit of a tightrope this parenting job!
      Frugal in Essex - Very true but sometimes I do have to give myself a bit of a kick when I need to buy something as some days it seems odd!

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  11. We're 45 and paid off our mortgage earlier this year. We don't have a huge income (OH scaled back his career - we've realised family and time together are more important than chasing a grade/ title/ income) - I work VERY part time and we have 4 children. They have 'things' (the teenagers have mobiles (not flashy ones) and laptops - the latter are very much needed for their A levels and GCSE studies) but not an excess (our games consoles are a PS2 and an original Wii)

    I would like us both to be retired/ work very part time in about 10-12 years - both of us have had a parent die suddenly at quite a young age (61 and 64) and this has also influenced our mindsets.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing - but we all (hopefully) learn as we go along. For our part, we know that what we've achieved we have done so without family help (not that any was available!) and that has been important to us.

    I don't envy youngsters of today, though - my eldest wants to be a teacher and my 2nd a doctor - the amount of debt they will be burdened with after university is horrifying - and it's not as though either of those professions are massive earners!

    A great post - will read more of the other blog over the next few days

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    1. We have been able to help out our son once or twice when able. Still being careful with money enables us to enjoy extra's now.

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  12. Great post DC and thanks for the link. That blog looks really interesting.
    I feel incredibly fortunate. We may never have had much money, but for the most part we have lived the life that we wanted, making the best of things along the way. We haven't had oodles of foreign holidays in our 34+ years together, but the few we have had were enjoyed immensely and we have wonderful memories made whilst overseas. We've never had a brand new car, or a brand new house, or eaten out every week, or worn designer cothes, but we have appreciated everything that we've worked for and achieved. As you say, we all have to live our own lives; some choose to ignore that message and preach instead.
    I can honestly say that I am leading a life that I not only like, but love. It's not full of money, though disposing of the car has made life infinitely more pleasurable because it has eased huge financial pressure , but it is full of love, and laughter and respect.
    I tend not to look back where money is concerned, but I do look back at the progress I've made where my health is concerned. Last night I looked at some photographs from the end of 2009, a year after my diagnosis. I am in a much better place now; healthier, several stones lighter, stronger and fitter (apart from those dodgy knees!), and it's all been achieved by me with J's love and support. I suppose there are no quick fixes for anything, whether that is in terms of finances or health matters, but determination, and the will to make things better are priceless, and for us, they have helped to get us to where we are now.

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    1. Determination is a very powerful tool!

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  13. Just LOVE House of Simple, but don't know how to follow. Must it be by the Bloglovin thingy?

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    1. Go to its web page, press the home button under their picture. When that pages loads, copy its address bar right at the top. Go to your dashboard. On the left will be the list of blogs you are following, press add. Click in the box that says follow by url, then paste. You should now be following.

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  14. A brilliant post, very thought provoking and well written.

    And 'am I living a life I like' .... it would surprise lots of folk, but no sometimes I don't think I am!!

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    1. Your life looks very interesting to others I suspect but I have noted you have said recently, this is another step in your journey. I can't think of any other kind of life I could be leading as this is the life I am in. Odd isn't it?

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