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Cheap living alternative lifestyle

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
6 replies 1.5K views
Jibber123Jibber123 Forumite
66 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
I had of an epiphany a couple of years ago, while stuck in traffic on the daily 2 hour drive to work i thought why am i doing this just to put food on the table everyday, there has to be another way. So the wife and me sat down with a pen an paper and started to write down where all our money goes. We've always been thrifty but we were amazed at just how much things cost and when we went through the list of what we actually needed to survive. A few simple things got taken of the list straight away and as we went through it we started to question everything. Now first off my wife and I are both practical people, my wife used to work in farming and i'm an engineer so not much phases us. We were also in a fortunate position to have just moved house and we had a large garden at our disposal. The first thing we realized is you can't do without money. we Didn't want to become hemp underwear clad hippies, we just wanted a better way of life. Needless to say 2 years on and things are going great, we've had great fun experimenting and learning new things and meeting new people along the way. It's taught me there is more to life than the 9 to 5 grind, and certain aspects are very rewarding. Now for the downside, after all if it was easy everyone would be doing it right. It takes a lot of commitment and long hours and physical work, compared to sitting in an office and car for most of the day. It also takes a certain mindset as things will always go wrong and it takes a lot to get up and carry on when your cold, wet and tired, but the rewards are defiantly worth it. Why am i writing this. Basically i wanted to share my experiences with people and offer some advise to people thinking about trying to do the same, weather it's how to grow something, make something, move something or do without something. Id love to hear from others who've gone through similar.


  • DawnWDawnW Forumite
    6.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    We have always been practical people, and doing the kinds of things you suggest helped us to pay off our mortgage and retire early.

  • Jibber123Jibber123 Forumite
    66 posts
    That's were we want to be, were a good way there now and i'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel thank goodness
  • What is it exactly that you've changed in your lifestyle?
  • edited 22 November 2019 at 2:17PM
    Jibber123Jibber123 Forumite
    66 posts
    edited 22 November 2019 at 2:17PM
    Basically I no longer work 9-5 in an office, although I have just done a 3 month temporary position in an office based job, as it was too good too turn down. My main focus now is doing things for myself and my family. Instead of paying people to do stuff, and going out to earn the money to pay them, we do as much as possible ourselves and just work to pay the bills we can't do without like the mortgage and council tax. Think of the goodlife but a bit more realistic for the 21st century. I've been surprised at just how reliant a society we've become now, everyone busy doing the 9 to 5 grind to earn money, that we end up using to pay people to do jobs we could very easily do ourselves if we weren't so busy at work trying to earn enough money to pay them in the fist place. It's a viscous circle that I was getting trapped in and now i'm out of it, I can look back on it and see how ridiculous what i was trying to do everyday.
  • Hi Jibber, it sounds as if you are happier with your new lifestyle. You say that you do work, though, to pay the essential bills, how do you fit this into your new way of living?

  • edited 25 November 2019 at 10:08AM
    Jibber123Jibber123 Forumite
    66 posts
    edited 25 November 2019 at 10:08AM
    I've found a couple of local jobs that have some quite good perks associated with them, like working washing up in a pub, where i get fed and to take home some left over food. I also work 1 day a week at a plant nursery, I get bags of free plant cuttings that i can take to compost down and I've also get a good discount on some fruit and veg plants. Although they are both at near minimum wage they are all within a mile of where i live so i don't even need to take the car and the commute is only a few minuets, all saving time. I also take on a few seasonal jobs for friends and family like gardening/ hedge cutting and some DIY stuff like repairing gutters etc. I can pick and choose these a bit and take them on when we need the money and then turn some down when i need more time at home to get stuff done in the garden, It all depends on the season. One thing i can't change is the British weather but fortunately I managed to haggle 3 days a week as a consultant for a company i used to work with and it's only 10 miles away, but that is coming to and end soon, so back outside then. I've been very surprised just how much work is available as long as your prepped to lower your sights and roll your selves up.
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