Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Living Like No One Else
I had a little epiphany yesterday as Mike and I were walking along Bellevue Avenue, here in Newport, Rhode Island, where we're currently vacationing and preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family. As we were talking about the over-the-top excesses contained within the beautiful mansions we were seeing and visiting, I suddenly made the connection between the fairly frugal way we conduct our lives when we are at home, and the fairly luxurious travel schedule we enjoy when we're not. To borrow one of financial guru Dave Ramsey's oft repeated lines: When we are at home we try and live like no one else, so that when we are on vacation we can absolutely live like no one else.
We're hardly living on beans and rice when we are at home, but we do watch our pennies. We eat most of our meals at home, and going even a bit further, I make most of them from scratch. When we do go out, 90% of the time we're using a discount deal of some sort. About 90% of our entertainment choices are the result of discount deals as well. We shop for needs, not wants, meaning never as a recreational activity. We are always on the lookout for enjoyable, free things to do in our community. We keep an eye on our utility and technology usage to ensure our bills don't creep up on us when we're not looking. On top of our daily exercise routine, we also walk and bike wherever possible, primarily, I'll admit, because we find it fun to do so, but also to save on gas and vehicle wear and tear. We focus on function, not fancy bells and whistles, when we shop for big ticket items, and we pay for them in cash. (It's amazing what paying cash can do with regard to keeping us in line with our budget.) We track our bills, expenses and general spend diligently, entering them daily into a spreadsheet to stay conscious and aware of all monetary transactions . . . even the very small ones.
We withstand a fair amount of good natured ribbing from friends and family about our new found frugality, but we are becoming pretty proficient at letting it all go gently in one ear and out the other. Because increasingly we are home only long enough to check the mail, do the laundry, and prepare and repack for our next adventure.
The very happiest of Thanksgivings to you all.