Over the weekend, I read an article (yes, I read Details magazine) about a man who lives without money. He lives in a cave, scavenges for food, and writes a blog at the local public library. You can and should read the article yourself, so I won’t summarize it here. It’s a fascinating story of what we can live without.
Personally, I have no plans to go live in a cave. Nor do I really want to dumpster dive for my meals. But I am always impressed by stories of people who choose to go without in an extreme manner. I read this article after working on my budget updates for July, and as I will discuss later this week, July was an expensive month, with vet visits for the cats and new tires for my car. So with money on my mind, the idea of simplifying further is fascinating.
Of course, I like the idea in concept. I think Tiny Houses are adorable, and I have a friend who lives in a gorgeous apartment that is around 300 square feet, which also seems tiny to me. But then I think about what I would have to give up and how I’m not sure I want to do that. First off, where would all my books go? I’ve stopped buying books for the most part, and I’ve gotten rid of hundreds, but I still have shelves full. Books that I love and do re-read. Sure, I could just get them from the library, assuming the library has them. I know I could pare down my wardrobe, and I know that I should. I also really love my couch. It’s nothing special, but it’s comfy at the end of the day.
And of course, if I were living in a cave, not only would I have to get rid of my couch and my books, but also the things I consider necessities – running water and indoor plumbing and a stove. And a roof. And four walls. While I like camping, I can’t imagine doing it all the time.
But like I said, it puts things into perspective.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.