Posted in Clutter, Personal, Simpler Living, Small-House Living

Yes, Dear, We Did Buy This Once Before


grocery cart

This jumped out at me from among the hundreds of photos used to advertise a local estate sale online.

I subscribe to emails from a few local estate sale agents because I love to go to estate sales. I try not to buy anything that will clutter up our little house, but there are certain things I need or want and I find that older items are often much better made than modern ones. For instance, I buy almost all of our linens and towels at estate sales, because I love getting vintage linens and towels, often still in the package, at a fraction of the price of modern linens and towels. They hold up forever!

That said, I wanted this specific toy grocery cart because there is a certain adorable little girl who is just learning to walk, and I want her to have this toy to play with. Many years ago, we bought a grocery cart just like this one for her mother’s first birthday. We got rid of it after our youngest child outgrew it.

My husband doesn’t like the rare occasions when I buy something we used to own. His logical thought is, “Why did we get rid of it in the first place if we were just going to buy another one?”

My response is, would you have preferred to trip over it all these years, or have it take up valuable storage space, say in a storage unit where it would pick up that funky odor that outdoor storage units seem to create on stored items?

One of the advantages of the Internet is that you can find just about anything you might want to buy, even if it’s old or dated. So you can get rid of most things knowing that if you do ever need them again, you can buy them online. In the meantime, your surroundings remain uncluttered. Works for me!

Posted in Debt-Free

How to Stiff the Banks

One of the best things about being debt-free is that you get to keep the money you would have given to the bank as interest if you still had debt. That money can go into savings, be spent to do what you like, or be given to charity. Personally, I love knowing that no banker is making money off of me each month!

If you don’t own a house, you just need to get your bills under control and refuse to borrow money unless you absolutely must. But if you have a house, you have to commit to paying off that mortgage. The sooner you start, the better. As this couple learned, there is tremendous savings to be had if you prepay your house loan.

Posted in Clutter, Debt-Free, Good News, Simpler Living

A Life Unencumbered with Stuff

Imagine spending your retirement on a cruise ship. No cleaning or cooking, just relaxing and dancing every day, if that’s your thing. Sounds great! Of course, not everyone can afford to spend over $150,000 a year doing this, but if you don’t require such a fancy stateroom, and you have enough retirement money saved up, you might get to enjoy the good life, too.

I think this goes to show that you can have a good time without a house full of possessions to weigh you down. This lady sold her house and car before embarking on her life on the seas. Even if you can’t afford to retire to a cruise ship, living lightly is absolutely doable.

Posted in Debt-Free, Simpler Living, Small-House Living

Get and Stay Debt-Free While You’re Young

This 68-year-old woman had a good income and assets, but thought she was rich and lived like it, buying stuff like there was no tomorrow. She ended up in bankruptcy court. The native Californian ended up moving to the Midwest, where the cost of living was cheaper than it was on the west coast. Now, she finally has a handle on her finances, and sees hope for the first time.

But had she become debt-free back when she had decent money coming in, she could have had a much easier time of things as she approached her old age. This is why it’s so important to work toward debt freedom while you’re young.

We became debt-free at age 44 when we paid off our mortgage. A few years later, a failed business (our main source of income) forced us to sell our house. The proceeds paid for a small house in a cheaper area, and left us money to live off of while we figured out what we would do for a living in the future. I don’t like to think what would have happened to us if we were not debt-free before the business failed.