Did you choose to live simply or forced into it?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Nik, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

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    After reading posts for quite awhile, I wondered how many of us had chosen the simple living path, and how many of us had been forced to get by with less for economic reasons?

    Mine is a little of both, years of not paying attention to what I spent forced me to start thinking about stuff before I bought it. Now I find myself wanting to get by with even less. It's rather nice to know there are a lot of things you REALLY don't absolutely have to have.

    What's your story?

    Nik
     
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Pretty similar, Nik.

    DH was raised a city boy, while I grew up on 5 acres and had grandparents who were dairy farmers. I managed to get dh to go along with a 5 acre parcel 10 years ago, but getting him to give up the 3 acre 'lawn' (which he mowed twice each week!) has been a challenge. The rest of the property is treed, so no pastureland.

    I finally managed to get a chicken coop a year and a half ago, and a shed for some sheep at the same time. A month after getting a couple sheep, dh was laid off. Fortunately, the 'girls' pay for themselves in wool sales and lambs. We've had to learn to cut back from a good paying job to unemployment being the only real source of income. It's helping me realize my dream of the land paying for itself...but not quickly enough for us not to be worrying about where the next house payment is coming from! I wish I'd have been able to get dh thinking in a homesteading type way a few years earlier and things would be much easier :)
     

  3. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I've know what I wanted since I was old enough to breathe I think. I'ts VOLUNTARY simplicity for me and I choose to be hand-to-mouth in an odd sorta way. I don't lack for anything I want and definitely have more than I need.

    Since I'm self-employed, I could make all the money I wanted to work for but much prefer just having enough to get by. Long as the bills are paid and the pantry is full, I'm a happy camper and can enjoy my lowly place in life.

    In a sense, I have to fight to keep from getting too simple, because if I didn't create "needs", I'd have no motivation to work at all. One of the hardest jobs I can imagine would be to win the lottery or have a seriously large sum of money dumped on me. I'd feel the need to spend it wisely and I think it would end up being too dang much work.

    I'm the only grasshopper in my family. My folks and brothers have always thought I was nuts to want to live simply in the mountains and not slaving away at a regular job, saving shekels for some rainy day. Even my kids so far have chosen other paths and happy to be doing so. The only ones that got it were both of my grandfathers. One, a retired general, who I always thought disapproved of me, asked me to stand still while he took out a tiny pair of scissors and tried to spruce up my bushy mustache and beard for my father's funeral. While we were standing eyeball to eyeball, he commented that he'd never met a man with such contented eyes, which I took as the hugest compliment.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was born in 1934. I was grown up before I ever knew there was anything other than pinching pennys. By the time I had more money than it took for the bare minimum, being tight was a way of life. I've been driving for 55 years, and have never owned a new car.
     
  5. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    It occured to me that we need to change that ancient tale of the ant and the grasshopper. After claiming to be a close relative of the grasshopper, in that I sing and dance all day, when things go to heck, it's all them ants that are going to be swarming around my place, because they know I have the stuff to weather just about any blow. I'll bet most of them are not much further than a single paycheck or two from starvation/poverty/homelessness, and they don't have either the survival skills, nor the goods to "get by".
     
  6. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    This is the way I am meant to live. I spent 23 years following my husband's military career around the world, living in cities <blech> and able to reach out the window to shake hands with the neighbors. I told him all those years what I needed. So now we're here, and he's making an effort to live my way for the next 23 years. Then we'll see.

    Meg
     
  7. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    bare, have you read JD's articles in the old Countryside about the "Intentional Peasant"?
     
  8. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted to raise animals and have hugh gardens, but my job was too physically demanding to do so. When I lost that job due to downsizing, I was forced to cut back, but able to live the way I always wanted to. I too like the fact that I can live on less, and as it turns out, much healthier! Having less money dosen't really bother me anymore, and can see how much was wasted spending. The experience sure opened my eyes to how much I really spent, on stuff that wasn't really needed or so overpriced like vegetables and meat. I'm moving forward and never looking back again. :D ( looking forward to having a yard sale to get rid of some of the junk I bought and maybe get rid of the clutter and get some of that money back for whats really needed, like a tractor and a new barn!)
     
  9. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    We want to move rural and live simpler by choice - it will be in +-2 years.
    We are learning to live on bare bones here before making that leap. Hubby says it's looking more like this fall. To have the city life and everything that goes with it, there is a heavy price - too many people, pace of life, etc., etc., Most people don't recognize this where we live - they actually love this lifestyle. We are meant to be somewhere else, because just out driving is too much and we feel we don't get alot for the astronomical cost of living here.
     
  10. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    LOL. We're standing in the gas station where they sell megabucks tickets and I say to the husband "let's buy a ticket... we could retire!"

    And the husband says "you told me I can't retire, I'll drive you crazy if I'm home all day."

    "Oh yea... well... nevermind then."

    The clerk thought we were nuts. Who doesn't want to be Rich?

    Who wants all that hassle? Getting rich by saving up quietly isn't the same thing as getting rich and having your picture in the paper so everyone can wonder when you're going to remember them and give them what they're "due" out of your luck.
     
  11. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't have said it any better than jackie.

    I know that after a year of less spending and income, I was able to spend time reflecting on what's more important that buying junk and spending unwisely for things I couldn't afford anyway. I still have a ways to go, because I think we all have to learn to live wiser about energy consumption and fuel waste, etc. Whether it's forced on us, or not, conservation about that should be second nature. Self enery for sufficiency and being able to live with less and be rich with more intangible things like knowing what you grow and preserve, love of nature, and respect for others....well, money can't buy that.
     
  12. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    'Course not, that'd mean that I'd have to spend the money to subscribe. To my eternal shame, I've never seen a copy of Countryside. I used to feel guilty to use the original message board when it was sponsored by Countryside Magazine.
     
  13. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .............I've accumulated alot of "stuff" over the last 11 years out here in rural life . For a variety of reasons I've had to completely reassess my whole lifestyle and consequently I've been "downsizing" and getting rid of things that I thought that I had to have . Along the way it slowly becomes clear about what is important and what is superficial . Initially , I was Not a willing participant in my downsizing but have Now I'm in the process of deciding what I need to enjoy life in a much Simplified existenance ..fordy.. :)
     
  14. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    I am choosing it and hubby seems to be forced into it.
     
  15. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I don't think living simply is about money. When I was dirt poor, my life was far from simple. It was a challenge to scrounge up the things I needed and get the bills paid.

    Now that I have more money, life is much simpler. I can buy just about anything I need or want, but find there's just not that much I want to go get.

    Jena
     
  16. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jenas right. Scratching a living out of the earth is far from being a simple life. Going to work 5 days a week and stoping at the deli on the way home is much simpler. Having the employers insurance pay your medical bills is much simpler than hoing and pulling weeds all summer to sell whatever you can to try and pay for a visit to the Dr. Worrying about how you will get the $500 mortage payment next fall isn't less stressful. The part that brings us all here is the love of nature, animals, and taking a walk on our own ground. That makes us happy. Being happy soothes or worried mind. That is what reduces the stress. When we are not stressed out things don't have to be simple because we can deal with.
     
  17. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    When I lost my job I was really excited!!! Oh boy I can start my garden again and can and have more chickens and, and, and......Well these things are coming together but slower than I thought but thats ok....Without my income all fun 'fun' money is gone there is no extras. It has taken almost a year to get used to that but now I shop with cash no more credit cards cut em up. That was hard to do but I can live with it. I have been saving change to buy my seeds for my garden, and for some new chickens. I think by the time I can order the birds I will have enough money.Yahoo!!! I have learned it makes you take a good hard look at things and I like it. Life is good.....
     
  18. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Forced in to it.Always lived off the land.Find it hard to live next to anyone,other than my wife.She has kept me from killing. :eek:

    big rockpile
     
  19. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  20. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    It was a choice.

    I find modern society very UNFULFILLING.

    I tried the new fancy car/motorcycle/stuff route and honestly it lasts for a short time and then what?

    I DO want to keep working for a few more years in the 'horrible place'(that is here) so we can set up the place we WANT to live better.

    However I sometimes seem to get caught up in the 'buy stuff' mindset-never buy stuff but start thinking we need this and we need that.

    My wife was I think hesitant but is actually more into the crafty stuff and veggie growing than I ever thought she would be....