Part 2 of 2: Getting right back to basics - Each step forward can be seen as another step back towards the starting line. Each tiny achievement marks the successful completion of part of your lifelong challenge, your quest for freedom. Along the way you will meet many sceptics, cynics and even a few cheats and liars whose only ploys are to get your money. As long as you have your 'get out of jail free' card then you know you'll be back in the game soon.
So here I am, sat in my latest home, looking out the window at a pretty grey and wet day with 'pretty' being the most important word in that sentence. The curtains are quite awful, but that's an easily remedied problem once I get around to making some new ones. Perhaps I'll add a pelmet or even some nets, who knows? I haven't decided yet. For now, the curtains serve the purpose of shutting out some of the cold at night.
Most of my days will now be spent between here and Frugaldom, planting and sowing, clearing and cleaning, plotting and planning and wading through all the meetings that these projects seem to involve. The site where we have the caravan is quite busy with fishermen, so I'm managing to hog the satellite wifi connection very easily from my makeshift office corner. It has great views and has all the facilities I could possibly need.
Buying a bigger caravan and siting in on a holiday park may seem like a major luxury to some - indeed, it has already been commented upon! However, this suits our needs and was within a strict budget. Now my new neighbours will know who and where I am, as this lot's sitting outside the caravan waiting to be built into the new decking. I can't wait to see it completed and then I'll be ready for welcoming visitors. I'm using this week as a trial run to work out what is needed, having come here on Friday with only the barest essentials. There's hot water and a heated towel rail, hand washing items of clothing isn't a problem. (Neighbours, if you happen to be reading this, come and introduce yourselves. Just make sure you get the right caravan, as I see several had decking delivered this week.)
This is frugal living! The little fridge is rather bare but I've cooked up some pasta salad, made some fruit jelly and strawberrry whip for desserts and will waste nothing - anything else is from a packet and most of it is vegetarian until I get the groceries brought over from the house. Meals are interesting! I had a box of individual milk portions at the office caravan that came free with an Approved Food order some time ago, so I decanted all of their contents into a jug and used it to bake some rice pudding with sultanas. Had some for lunch today and can have the rest as breakfast, snacks or pudding tomorrow.
Each of the tiny milk cartons has been washed and will be used to plant a single pea, so I can have some home produce. No point wasting good cartons when they can be put to good use. This is frugal living - waste not, want not. We'll grow what we can wherever we can and hope to have enough produce to swap and share. It's just a little chilly out to expect miracles at the moment.
This is my frugal life! The view of our barn dwarfed by the snowy Galloway Hills on the horizon is an awesome reminder of how small we all are in the grand scale of life. Only we can choose how we live and if we choose to live in a simple way then so be it. We don't own the land even when we buy it, the land ultimately owns us and will dictate what grows where, no matter what. Frugaldom is very much about watching the lie of the land and working out what might do best where and when in the future. Some people choose to spend their money on a big house, expensive jewellery, a luxury car, designer labels or visiting foreign and exotic places - we choose this.
Tree planting on a chilly but sunny day, overlooked by hills and snow, with the sheer joy of this being no more than a short walk from home - for some it is a nightmare they would never want to have but for others, it's their lives' work, investing in a better future.
Just to make sure we truly appreciated these days of walking, fetching, carrying, digging and tree planting, we were honoured by the presence of this beautiful bird in flight as it soared above us on our walk between field and caravan - the Red Kite has reached Frugaldom.
Believe it or not, in the beginning it is quite difficult to stop spending money when you're on a roll - no matter what you buy, it becomes a habit, just like smoking, drinking, gambling, even clothes, shoes, handbags or hobby stuff. We each justify our spending but any manner of excuses but we are wise to remember that the ends justify the means - and I'd rather end up with the freedom to soar wherever frugal life takes me. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that, but taking your first flight of fancy into your own future of freedom is like starting from scratch over and over again. You just need to quit spending on stuff that weighs you down, then spread your wings and work like crazy to reach each goal.
Join us in Frugaldom, give up spending on what you don't need and shape yourself a new and affordable lifestyle while you invest in your future.