Sunday, 19 January 2020

Second step

Yesterday, I had a stern talking with myself. It made me sound quite angry, but I was disappointed with myself because I have become sloppy with my ambitions since I went back to work.
It is time to shape up!

If you have taken the first step to save and live frugally, these are the second steps.

Quit indulging yourself, you can live in the real world.
You are not a hothouse flower. If you already live in the real world, announce it proudly. There is no pride in being sensitive, difficult and particular about pointless things.

- cancel media subscriptions, cable, gaming, all except basic Internet, data and phone.
If you live in an underdeveloped Internet country and you have only one provider, lower your expectations and support competition and anti-monopoly. (I am looking at the US, not Nigeria.)

- turn the lights off when you walk out of a room. Teach yourself, train yourself, it is worth it financially and if you can’t change enough to do this, keep dreaming financial stability and forget financial independence.

- turn your heating down, keep non-used rooms cold, close doors, don’t buy an open floor plan house in difficult climates needing too much energy to heat or cool. Move around if you feel cold. Then put socks, slippers and a sweater on. Shorts is not indoor clothing in the winter for frugalists aiming for financial independence.

- stop shop. If you need anything and continue to need it a week to a month after you put it on your need list (or a year depending on you own rules) then you can start looking for it. I intend to wait at least week with purchases up to €10, I do wait a month if up to €50 and for anything above, unlimited waiting until the want becomes a need.

- buy smallest, cheapest and used. For a new fridge your need is less than you think. The smallest is the only choice if eating out. Used is everything, especially furniture, bikes, cars, clothing. If clothes does not survive one owner, then it will not survive you either.

- Buy cheap wine and basic food. You can’t tell the difference anyway and you may not like expensive wines enough to make the price worth it. Put your own effort into the food, instead of paying for fat and salt. It is tacky to leave the price tag on you shopping so nobody will know what you paid anyway. If your friends do know, and you care about them knowing, you should forget the dream about financial independence on you own. As long as you live in the eyes of others, you will stay spending on conventional levels.

- establish a neighbourhood; live, work, train, interact and use the social services in the same place. Make the distances as short as possible between your fixed points in life. Travel is an occasion, a rare adventure, it is not for work. Stay and make connections in your surroundings. It will make your work independence so much easier.

- drink water, eat more veg and beans than meat and cook most of it yourself. If you don’t trust yourself to boil an egg, find training, and a change of attitude to allow yourself to try. Allow yourself to eat all cake and biscuits (cookies) you have made yourself.

There is no social pride in being incompetent with everyday task. 
Learn to sew, fix a puncture on the bike, take care of a car, find the way by reading a map and knowing more than one language, at least at base level.

- identical socks are a time-, concern- and money-saver. Start with 20 pairs of identical socks. Replace when you have less than a weeks worth left. Same with underwear. Even if you do not need to pair underwear and bras, eliminating the need to chose will make you day easier.

- care for the clothes you own, use them until they are unrepairable. If you have more than you need, stash the best away until later, until the current is worn out. Keep it unused until what you use is unrepairable. You do not buy anything then, you will have free clothes available. Keep your weight. Don't bother about style. Stay healthy. Drink tap-water if safe. Use sun-cream every day.

These are not the truths anybody else need to agree with me about.
I want to agree with me and stop fooling myself.
You can argue with yourself and make your own agreement.

I do however know that I, as well as you,
we need a lot less than we think and we already have a lot more than we think.


  1. I do the "identical socks and underwear" thing too and have done so for decades. It really does make life simpler.

    1. Good, high level of basic reduces the bottom less pits.

  2. I am living this lifestyle. After my divorce I should be able to start saving again. Even at my age that will be a good thing.

    1. This is it! There is always a second step, always room for improvement. All the best!