Vacation Time Again
Hello everyone! I didn’t write a post last week because we were traveling again. This time we headed over to Oregon to see my youngest son. We were very fortunate that the smoke from forest fires had cleared a few days before we arrived and weather was wonderful. We stayed at Umitilla County’s Harris Park outside of Milton-Freewater, Oregon in a lovely campground that was filled with elder and apple trees and a huge variety of botanicals, many of which have extraordinary medicinal properties. I, as an herbalist, was in heaven.
Money and Stress
During our visit, I could plainly see that my son was stressed over his financial situation and the dim-prospect of things ever getting better. We talked a lot about this while we were together and I found out many things that were simply shocking. The cost of living was high where he lives, wages are low, and drugs are everywhere. All this was a huge turn off for us both as parents and as prospective relocaters, (no we are not going to retire there now.)
In light of all this I was pleasantly surprised to see that my son was applying some frugal techniques to his everyday life that he learned from watching me over the years. You see, I am a very frugal person. Most people do not know that about me. This should explain to most readers why I occasionally scoff at people who spend thousands of dollars each year on fabric “stashes”. To me it is a waste of money, but that is just my unsolicited opinion.
I was raised by two parents who lived through the Great Depression. They were thrifty before thrifty was cool. In one instance, I can remember my father not having the money to purchase the “proper” supports for some pipes in our basement. So he improvised and used pieces of my mother’s discarded stockings. (This of course was back when women wore stockings.) My parents had the prescience of mind to not discard anything that could be reused and it worked. I can remember him doing this when I was very young and when I moved to Montana in 2004, the stockings were still doing their job as supports in that little house in New Jersey. Those stockings lasted at least 35 years after my mother was done using them and I can tell you she probable wore those 30 cent stockings for about a year before they went to their forever job.
A New Mission
When I arrive back home from vacation, I was determined to do lots of research on frugal living and pass it along to my son in hopes that he would find something that could help him stretch his paycheck a bit more. My husband and I gave him lots of advice while we could, but living a frugal life is an ongoing process that you need to immerse yourself in and you need to constantly learn new tips and tricks. There was no way we could have passed on our 50 + years of experience in a few days. So I went to my trusted friend Google in hopes of finding some blogs he could follow for a daily dose of inspiration.
They Don’t Know What Frugal Is
What an eye opener this was! There are countless people on the internet writing about “Frugal Living” like they are reinventing the wheel. The advice is quite repetitive and often times irrelevant. The claim, “How I Paid Off All My Debt in 3 Months” is vague at best. First of all, being able to pay off any debt depends on 3 factors. The first is :”How much money do you earn each month?” The second is, “How much are your mandatory monthly expenses?” The third is, “How much debt do you have?” Unless you know these very important facts, you cannot help anyone pay off their debt. I read one report of someone making 6 figures and they proudly announced to the entire internet world that they were able to paid off $30,000.00 in debt in less than a year. My response to this was, “Well, I should hope so.” To me, if you are earning 6 figures, you should have no debt. My opinion only, but hey, this is my blog, right?
After 3 days of research, I decided to ignore anyone under the age of 30 who claims that they live frugally, because I already spend less then them (conjecture, I know). In fact, I believe the only people I should listen to about “Frugal Living” are people over the age of 50, and preferably only people who are 80 years old or older.
Life Long Frugality
My husband and I have been living frugally since a few months after we were married. We loosened our financial belts years later when we were raising our kids in Pennsylvania, but Montana quickly made us realize that if we were ever going to ever retire, we had to get back on the frugal bus. And no, I am not talking about saving $1300.00 a year by cutting out Starbucks coffee. I’m talking about living like it is 1930. We are not quite that disciplined yet or desperate, thank goodness, but we are extremely frugal and most people would never know to look at us.
So I have decided that instead of focusing mainly on sewing here on Created by Bella, I am going to start adding tips and tricks that most people can use to cut their expenses. These are things that we do all the time, I just haven’t been sharing them because it is easier to simply get the job done than it is to take pictures and write about it. Besides, I really did not know that there was such a demand for this type of information. So my blog is going to transform a bit to include a a little more than sewing and quilts. Hopefully, it will be an informative frugal intervention, in a world that is screaming for help.
As I go along, if you have any of your own tips and tricks, please feel free to mention them. I love learning from other people and I believe my readers do too.
Blessings to everyone and thanks for reading!