It’s a hot one today and we all know that if you want to work outside, you do it early. I woke up to coffee brewing. I love when Bali gets up before me and I smell the brew through the house, nothing inspires me to rise and shine more.
I took the dogs and one boy went for our quick forest walk and then I spent a couple hours outside pumping water from the kid’s pool to water the orchard well before Mother Nature kicked on the heat full blast. It is amazing how much water is in that pool! It was only half full and quite dirty from a weeks worth of play. It was enough to soak every green thing on this property. I then took the bucket of shower water run off and watered the porch plants. Just got my bi monthly water bill and we are keeping the water usage low, much to my relief.
I hauled out a lot of stuff to the curb the other day. These were items I’d been eyeing for removal for months. This downsizing has taken a good year. Some people clear out their homes of unwanted goods and minimalize their spaces in a matter of days. For some people, such as me, we need time to evaluate and decide about each item. I’ve gone on purging flurries only to regret losing items later.
Who knows what will be on it’s way out next but the house is feeling open and clean and great! Cleaning and tidying is just getting easier and faster with each purge. Which brings up the question; can one become addicted to purging and downsizing? Maybe, but I think that you just keep it up until you look about and it feels right. A woman told me a story about her grandmother and how the house was always scrubbed clean and neat. She had a big family and this was probably back in the day when a woman had a large kitchen garden to tend, cooked and baked from scratch. Laundry was washed by hand and there were many children to tend to. Her house was kept clean because it was very sparce. She had the basics; beds, table, chairs, maybe a couch, a bible and that was it. Maybe not that sparse but you get the idea. All you have to do is look at the old photos of homes around the early 20th century to see how simply furnished they were.
And it makes such sense. The less stuff one has to clean and keep organized and put away, the more time a person has for gardening, walks, reading, writing, and being productive in other areas. Thus, as I feel time expand and space in my house, I am driven to keep weeding out the extras.
That is Sammy’s little body doing acrobatics on the chair, by the way. A few of you suggested I use the kitchen island for the TV and I finally got around to it. Love it, thank you!!
Bali helped me decorate the front porch. We used the old trunk out there and got rid of all the old stuff.
Things are looking good. The rest of this summer we will work on the yards, front and back and side. Much too hot right now for that. We are all inside watching movies.
Speaking of movies, the boys and I walked down to the old theater and watched Peter Rabbit 2. Not my first choice but it was what was offered and we haven’t been inside a movie theater in a couple years. I love the old carpets, the smell of hot popcorn, the huge screen and high volume. I love everything about the theater. We plan on making it a habit when ever a good movie is offered. Swimming, reading big novels and matinee movies are a big summer thing.
I’m waiting for the next big payment to post on our mortgage. What a thrill to watch that big mortgage going down, down, down. All the money has been distributed to pay down the mortgage, savings, and there is a tiny bit set aside for some improvements to the house.
I found this blog that the woman was going over what she saved the household each day, each month and total for the year. I will try and find it. She would record the daily savings of cutting your own hair, making bread from scratch and so on. It looked like she saved the family around $12,000 a year. I couldn’t believe it. We do things automatically and don’t realize just how much we save. I loved this tally.
Found it! Here is Blue House Journal: https://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/search/label/A%20Year%20of%20Savings
Cutting and dying our hair, doing our pedicures, baking our bread, especially learning to do sour dough, finding deals or only shopping at certain stores for great savings. It saves hundreds. A hair cut is around $40, last time I had one. Coloring the hair starts at $65 and up. Highlights are around $100. Waxing starts at $10 just for the lip. Pedicures start at $25. So, say you get a cut and color, pedicure, and lip wax; $150 plus tip of 20%. $180. At home it’s about $2.99 for hair color at Grocery Outlet and maybe $1 for a wax strip or two. If you have the tools, then pedicure and hair cut is free. $3.99 at home with a savings of $176.01.
We can do this tallying of savings on our own if we care to. It may get tiresome after awhile but it is eye opening and sort of fun for a bit of time, just to see that all we are doing is making a difference in our bank accounts. If you realize that you save, say $12,000 or more a year doing the things you do, it will motivate you to great heights of frugality.
Some people are so good at investing and building their portfolios. I’m not one of those people. I don’t find investing fun nor interesting. I wish I was one of those investment brains. What I like to do is find ways to cut cost but still have a full and fun life for all of us. There are many ways to build wealth. You can rent out your house when you move, as we did. Sell when the markets high, as we did. You can build up a small cottage industry as one of the ladies here did during the pandemic. You could get really into gardening and start selling your produce. Sell your jams or breads. Crafty people can sell their quilts or pottery. Write a book or two and publish for free on Amazon’s KDP. Start a channel on what you know best. Or just learn to save and cut cost well.
I saw on the Tightwad Gazette club, someone’s library was giving receipts to show how much a person had saved to date with each book they borrowed. Brilliant. We have read 969 books in the last 4 years from our library. We know, from book shopping, the average book cost $15 give or take. Some are $10 and some are up to $25…so we will average it out. We have saved $14,535 over these 4 years. That is enough for a new/used car.
Anyhow, these are just samples. It’s all I have for today. I was inspired to write about savings this morning as I watered trees, but now I hear my free library book calling my name.