So what does ‘a simple life’ look like?
In a nutshell it is enjoying the simple things in life, the outdoors in particular, reading and gardening. All this fits in well with the philosophy of Financial Independence/Retire Early or FIRE as many of the simple things in life are free.
If you want to make your life simple you need to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, which means that hopefully you won’t fall into the trap of ‘lifestyle creep’ i.e. buying ever more expensive houses and cars every time you get a pay rise. Instead you can save all of those hard-earned pennies towards an early retirement.
I am late to the FIRE movement as I am already in my early fifties. Despite only recently discovering the joys of saving I have never been a spendthrift. My mother gave good advice as I was growing up about being careful with money. I have a credit card, but have always paid off the balance. When I bought my first car I paid it off in a year.
Despite all of this good behaviour I have never been a great saver. In my twenties I had various part time jobs and did a lot of volunteering, therefore my income was never very high. In my early thirties I trained for my current profession, bought a car and then a house. Now whilst I didn’t get into great debt for either of these if I had money left over at the end of the month I usually spent it – on clothes, nice holidays, meals out, etc.
Three years ago I bought a house with my partner and he is much better with money than I am. We have been overpaying the mortgage and if we continue at the current pace we should pay it off in about seven years. By that time I will be in my mid-fifties.
Since discovering the FIRE movement I am trying to save so that once the mortgage is paid off I could work part time or maybe not at all. At the moment the former seems more likely.
I’ve got quite good at not spending money on anything that isn’t a necessity and don’t find that difficult at all. The hard part is thinking of ways to earn money. I started doing surveys on Swagbucks, but the fact that I wasn’t a great spender meant that I didn’t qualify for most of their surveys. This year we are hoping to sell some things at a car boot sale and maybe on the internet. I plan to write monthly updates on my spending, which helps me to be accountable.
Apart from saving money my other interests are eating well, trying to fit a bit of exercise into my life and reading. I enjoy reading non-fiction books and trying to live a more thoughtful and designed life.
I plan to share information about my savings, things about my life and the ways that I try to make it better. I enjoy a quiet life at home, taking pleasure in simple things. If that’s what you like, then I’d love to have you along for the journey.
I hope that you find something useful and thank you for visiting.