Not by choice have I lived a simple life but I have grown quite comfortable and accustomed to it. To me living a simple life is living free in a profitable way. What do I mean by “profit”? Most will associate “profit” and “wealth” with money. I use “profit” and “wealth” in the way that profit means “advantageous gain” and wealth means “well being”. Here are some of the ways
I feel like an oddball sometimes that while most people seem to get a super charge at shopping and spending I get a super charge out of not spending. Somewhere along the line I have turned it into a challenge.
I sit here at my desk and look around and my apartment is a perfect example of simple living. I try not to accumulate much. There is no clutter! (except for my desk) I don’t keep many decorations therefore it is easy to clean the place.
The last place I stayed in was a sober/recovery home which is group living and back then I got my first ever cell phone. My friends there new I pinched pennies but it was for a reason. My friend Noel told me that a store called Big Lots had leather cellphone cases for $5 each. I said, “I’ll wait”. Noel said I needed to stop being such a cheapskate. A week later I showed Noel my new leather cellphone case and he said, “Hey that’s nice! You went to Big Lots?” I said, “No I went to the thrift store.” My friend Bob was sitting at the kitchen table listening and he knew what was coming. Noel says, “How much did you pay for that?” I said, “Seventy-five cents.” with a smile on my face and Bob started laughing.
I love a simple life now too. If you looked in my closet you would see that I only maintain about 2 weeks’ worth of clothing. Less laundry to deal with and less time spent doing it.
Every light bulb in this apartment is an energy saver bulb. My electric bills average $60 to $80 a month depending on if I need to use an air conditioner. Energy saver bulbs are more expensive but they last a lot longer than regular light bulbs and you save money in the long run. See? Profiting by saving money!
I feel no need for television. The internet is everything I need rolled into one. With the internet I have complete control of what pops up in front of me. Information you find on the internet on saving money is priceless itself and an internet connection never did cost that much.
I am not an impulse buyer at all. When I go shopping and see an item I think I want I ask, “Do I really need this?”, “Do I have this at home already?”, “Is there something at home I can substitute for this?” etc… As much as I would love to have a laptop computer I have been debating about whether I really need one for over two months!
I have been made fun of for being thrifty. But, as I told a friend once, in the four and a half years I have quit drinking alcohol I haven’t once been broke before payday. When I was on unemployment 6 months I had no trouble then either! I really enjoyed that time taking daily walks downtown, being able to go to an ATM at any time and pull out a twenty not worrying about my balance. I would go to the market place in the winter and enjoy a cup of coffee about an hour. Maybe sit in the town square and talk to people. Sometimes go to the library. Yeah. Call me cheap. But serene.