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I’m Stinking Rich…and you can be too

Image: Danilo Rizzuti

Here is my simple minimalist living get rich quick secret 🙂

Tax time is a good time to take a look at the year from a money perspective.  We did our taxes a few weeks ago and learned several things.  First of all, we made very little money.  No matter what, everyone probably thinks they make very little money.  Turns out for us we embraced minimalism at the right time because our income has been dropping significantly each year as the construction business rides through this economy.  This time our taxable income was almost low enough for us to qualify for government assistance.

That is a bit embarrassing to share honestly.  Both my husband and I are college graduates and I want to think that we make more than we do, …but we don’t.  The two main reasons for our income  amount are that we want to work for ourselves instead of someone else and we want me to be able to stay home and home school the kids.  These are both expensive decisions, but I believe in them both.  There are many people that have to  live on less than what we do, but I am learning to be okay with the fact that, right now, most people make much more.

However, this is a post about being rich right?  I am rich.

Our financial goals met last year:

  1. The combination of what we gave away (charity) and what we added to our long term/retirement savings was over half of our taxable income.
  2. We took a 5 week vacation all over the west coast of Canada and the US (as well as other time off for other things during the year)
  3. We purchased a new car mostly with cash and paid it the rest of the way off in 4 months
  4. We are putting a lot of our extra time and energy into developing our passions
  5. Everyone is fed well, clothed, and healthy

I sure wish we were making a bit more, it would be much easier, but right now I am happy with the decisions we are making.  I refuse to run after more money at the expense of not having our family time, passion time, and vacation time.  Money is a tool and I want it to support these three areas instead of taking their place.

How do we do it

  1. Minimalism.  Adopting it in the last year has brought in some money from sales of the things we have gotten rid of.  The big gem of this is not purchasing stuff.
  2. Doing things for our self.  We do everything we possible can for our self.  Cooking, cleaning, child care.  I cut my kids hair.  My husband did my dreads.  We don’t pay for much service of anything if we can figure out how to do it ourselves.
  3. Buying cheap. What we do buy, usually cloths, we buy used as much as we can.  I am a bit of a brand snob.  Better name brands really do hold up longer and better even if they have already been used.  I look for good name quality cloths at garage sales and Goodwills when we need them.  The biggest money savings for cloths I think is in minimalism, just not buying as many, but buying them used cuts the cost to almost nothing.
  4. Apartment living. It has been almost a year now and there are some great perks to apartment living.  We live in the cheapest apartment we could find in an area of town we wanted to be in.  It isn’t anything special for the actual apartment, but the location is great and the indoor pool is a good perk. The cost is much less and the maintenance is nothing freeing up lots more of our time.

There are people struggling out there with money, but so much of it is still a choice.  Just think of all the things that weren’t part of the budget 20 or 30 years ago:

  1. prepared food-store prepared food, restaurant food, fast food, even all the bottled drinks and water
  2. cell phones-huge extra bills
  3. cable and internet
  4. second car
  5. big house

The list could probably go on.  All these things are great, but they aren’t essential.  And these are just the new things.  Being rich is about having money to spend on what you want, if there are things you want to spend money on now and you can’t find the money, take a good hard look and figure out how to make money the tool you need it to be.

Book update:

Review from Nina (you have to check this girl’s webpage out, she is amazing.  One of my favorite minimalists):

“In 321 Stop, Lorilee lays the ground work for decreasing the tendency to run around without any meaning and to really start living our one beautiful life in this world with purpose and intention. In a world filled with noise, many of us are in dire need of coherence and silence in the mess. Whether it’s simplifying your home or taking care of the self, 321 Stop will help you find that much needed clarity.” — Nina

Book will be released on March 21 in 16 days.

The goal is to get it off to the designer tonight for some fancy designing magic 🙂  More reviews and information developing at 321-stop.com.

12 Comments

  1. You have an extremely rich life because you have your priorities straight. I’m sure it took a lot of soul searching to find them. Congratulations!

    • haha, we are still doing lots of soul searching, but I am happy we are moving toward where we want to go. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. Ok, I LOVE tax time, but it’s only because we get a hefty refund. I too am in the same boat…we have “enough” money, but a bit more would make us breathe a bit easier. We live on one income (under 35k/year) for the four of us and do qualify for some government assistance programs. There is a HUGE stigma related to being on any part of “the system”. However, what I have learned is that if you qualify (have you looked into WIC- high income requirements), just feel appreciative. I’m trying to be more honest about the programs we utilize, but even still I’m finding people getting huffy about it. When you’re low income you just can’t win sometimes!

    However, you do reap the benefits you explore above. If only more people could see it that way 🙂

    • Yes, tax time was very nice to us this year too 🙂 The silver lining 🙂

  3. Leslie Blake Leslie Blake

    We are a family of 6 and qualify for pretty much ALL the assistance programs. There is a HUGE stigma associated with these programs, which is both sad and very unchristian! I feel that those of us who need to be one them are on them for a reason! I for one am grateful for these programs and someday hope to be off of them, and able to contribute to charities so that others who need to be on assistance can be! It is very hard to stay positive when society makes you feel like a leach and like your very self-worth is monetarily based! Our Priest made a very wonderful point one day, that has seemed to stick with me, he said…God created each and every one of us on earth to be with him, he loves us each the same, he wants you in heaven just as much as he wants me there. I found that to be a very profound statement….God loves us all…and gave us beautiful things to have and use, and enjoy. Plants, trees, animals, each other we are all created to work together. Seems like sometimes we don’t work together but against each other. I pray the world will ALL wake up one day and realize and feel the Love that surrounds us each day and SHARE it!! God Bless you all and your families, for trying to live in Christ! Simplicity can be a very enlightening eye opening, joyful experience! 🙂

    • Thanks Leslie! I think your awesome 🙂

  4. I remember when we first got married, we used to live in an apartment and our dream was to buy a house. We bought one house, then we bought another one that was bigger. Then I found myself remembering the “good old days” of living in an apartment. If I didn’t live in an RV, I would probably want to live in an apartment.
    What a great post!

    • Mariza-I would prefer an RV too 🙂

  5. Awesome post! I agree completely!

    • thanks!

  6. Matthew Matthew

    Yes, minimalism is always a good way to save money regardless of how much you have! I purchase items that are more expensive only when I know they will save me money in the long run.

    • Yep. Sometimes spending more for quality can really save money in the long run… sometimes not 🙂

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