Hello to those who take the time to read my mental meanderings through life’s trials and tribulations. Today I wish to highlight that not all is doom and gloom in a recession.
I was fortunate enough to take some away from the office recently. While being occupied with all the beauty and grandeur of our local countryside. I became very aware of the simple things we need to be grateful for.
We don’t need to waste money on entering a theme park or spending money on items we don’t really need in the malls and shops. We have a magnificent country we need to rediscover. Get out of the room and take a walk in the country.
Pack a picnic basket and go to one of the local lakes or dams around your area. Spend time listening to family and friends. We are losing the art of conversation. We seem to think 1 million facebook likes are more important than taking a loved one’s hand and strolling in a park. Listening to your child’s latest discovery, yes you know it already. Remember you looked in wonder at a simple kaleidoscope as a child. Watching the beautiful colours and pattern’s form in front of your eyes.
We have lost that childish wonder of exploration; we want to live these lives through the lives of those who truly live. Never lose the way you felt when you had that first kiss. Hunger to feel so excited again and again. Move to a new city, town, and suburb. Try that new restaurant you were saying you would love to eat at. There are many things we can do and share with family and friends. That doesn’t cost a fortune.
I digress, we need to look around and see what we can do to change our situation. We as individuals cannot change the country’s economic situation. We can however change how we spend our time and money.
If your passion is fixing your home every weekend and doing the garden. Spending any spare cash on fixing that 3rd or 4th bedroom cupboard for the guests. Please keep your home. I mean this. Some people have a need to be busy at home 24/7 as it gives them great comfort and pleasure. I used to be one of them.
As time passed and children left home I became more and more restless. To the point where today I travel so readily it would make the me of 2005 scared. If I am invited to travel 300km I just say yes. I say yes to a lot of things these days?
With the cost of living going through the roof in the last 10 years I have embarked on living a better life not a bigger life. Only to find they are the same thing. Going to Paris is great. Standing on the edge of the Olivier’s Hoek Pass ridge looking down an 1800 escarpment with your partner is way better. So I embarked on a journey to practice the three R’s (recycle, reuse, repurpose) and keep only what you love.
Today I live in a lovely efficient home. To give you an idea of what I am talking about. Here is a list of things I have done. Reduce home size from 300 to 65m2, electricity from R2000.00 a month to R300.00 a month. Bond payments from R15 000.00 to R 5 800.00. In the same proportions my car payments and insurances etc etc.. Total savings come to R18 000.00 a month.
With that in place I have travelled to Europe, been on holiday multiple times and spend weekends with friends and family, I even have time to ride my bicycle more than once a month as well. My team in the office say I am less grumpy and smile more. Simple life strategy.
I have had to add 1 vital aspect to my life however and that is my storage unit. Over the years the size has had to change. Luckily my storage company where I store has sizes from 3m2 to 36m2 s my needs have changed. Simply put, they must have listened to people who just had a little stuff to store. I pay a minimal fee of just over R1000.00 for my unit. I keep my spare bicycles and camping equipment and so on there. I simply fetch what I need when I need it. They keep it safe and dry. “What else” as Mr Clooney would say? So even with the cost of living doubling in 5 years I have managed to maintain a standard of living and maybe improved it by applying the simple rules I live bye.
Only take what you need.
Have a great day now.