It has taken some perseverance, but we were able limit how much time we had to work away from home in order to pay our bills. Our life was our own. Gardening, writing, painting, sitting in hammocks, dreaming, crocheting filled our days. We ran a bed and breakfast which helped buy groceries and odd jobs we could do at home, such as computer work, crafts, woodworking and such supplemented that income. We got to the point of almost resenting having to leave home to work. It’s a great way to live.
Our expenses were pared down to a bare minimum. We grow lots of our own food, make our own jam and raise our own chickens for eggs. We don’t have TV. We go to the library for books and movies which we watch on our computer, buy at second-hand stores and flea markets, barter and trade with friends and neighbours.
We waste very little because we recycle everything we can. We do our spring cleaning in the fall each year because the winter is always lean as far as income is concerned. Anything we haven’t used in the past year (other than keepsake treasures of course) we take to the flea market and sell. We take books we know we’ll never read again to the book store in town who buy second-hand books. We divide our plants in the yard and take them to the farmer’s market. We keep only coupons of things we normally buy and we give away the coupons we don’t use. A bargain is only a bargain if it is something you need and something you would normally buy anyway.
One thing about living a simple life, you really learn to appreciate simple things again. Going out for dinner is a big deal and getting something brand new is cause for celebration. I’d recommend this life to everyone, I know it isn’t what everyone would want but I love it.
©1999 Sharron R. McMillan