Living Frugally in Retirement

We were doing some research on the web yesterday concerning living as cheaply as possible.  Came across a free article from Countryside Magazine that we'd read back in 2005.

How We Went From $42,000 to $6,500 and Lived To Tell About It

Sounds impossible, doesn't it?  It isn't but it does require that we get out of debt (we're mostly there) and change our priorities.  It also involves becoming more self-sufficient.  Self-sufficiency isn't a big problem for Mike and I - but writing down where every single penny has gone is.  It's a habit that we're working to develop (notice I didn't say 'trying' but 'working').  It's going to take determination and I think we're each going to have to 'police' the other.   Keeping track of our funds down to the penny is going to be really important in living frugally.

We've always been on the side of self-sufficiency.  I usually make everything from scratch when cooking because a) it's cheaper & b) I know what's in it (can't say that about pre-packaged food from the store).  Until recently I made most of my clothes.  Depending on what I need, I can usually save 2/3 by making it myself.  (Admittedly, some items just aren't worth the time and trouble.)  I also spin wool and knit.  We've gardened over the years and Mike does some woodworking and is good at fixing things.

I think as time goes on and more economic problems come into play, people everywhere are going to have to get back to the basics.  Sadly, a lot of them don't know how to do things - they're used to just going to the store and buying it.  Now is the time to start honing skills.  It's surprising how satisfying it can be to smell your own bread baking or put on that dress or sweater you've just made.

I've found several sites with tips on living frugally in retirement - some deal specifically with being a full-time RVer and living on the cheap.  One article dealt specifically with canning food while living in an RV and how to store the finished product in the RV.  Very helpful.

We're still searching for our truck and rig.  We've only got X$ to spend and refuse to go in debt for these things.  Out there somewhere is the deal we need.  We did go to a Ford dealership a couple of days ago so Mike could actually sit in some Ford F-350's.  We're looking for an older one that's been well maintained with dually back wheels, 4x4, diesel, long bed (and crew cab, if possible).  Mike is 6' 8" and at one time couldn't get into anything Ford made.  The roofs were so low he had to tip his head sideways and the steering columns were placed in such a way that he couldn't get his long legs in.  We knew this was the truck we needed to search for but decided we better make sure he'd fit.  Yay!!  He fits!

So the search is on in earnest.  We need to get the truck first so that we can sell my car and still have something to drive around in.

Today is the day the sorting of our belongings begins in earnest.  Honestly, I've been dreading this but will be glad - oh, so glad - when it's over.

Gloria - The Internet GADabout


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