I have always had to budget my money but what it taught me has paid off well. I started out as a single mom over 40 years ago working as a secretary. Things were much different then for single moms - we basically did not exist so there was no help out there. But it taught me a lot. It taught me to survive and be frugal. The most fun I ever had with my son was when we truly had no spare cash at all and I had to find only free stuff to do. We spent our free time in parks and at the zoo - I still remember those times and other times without television as being some of the happiest times of my life.
Frugality has allowed me to have my home paid for well before retirement, and has allowed me to save enough money to retire at 62 with no pension, only my savings and social security. It feels too good to be true, but I worked hard to get here. I have lived on my "retirement budget" now for several years to make sure I could do it - and, yes I can!
I raise ducks for their eggs, and a chicken or two, they are all great creatures and so much fun. I have my best friend, Tazzie, my beloved Yellow Lab who has been with me for more than 10 years now. And a vegetable garden which is getting better every year.
People say "oh, it is so nice you have time to do these things" but the reality is we make time to do the things that are important to us. It is important to me to be frugal, not because I am cheap, but because I see so much waste in the world. It is fun to have really nice clothes, but I was not happier when I did - just a bit more elegant. Now when I see the prices on items like that, I think of what else that money could be used for and all the suffering in this world.
Growing up I had it both ways - as a young child we were fairly well off with nice new clothes every season - then it all ended. But when you fill your life with the things money can buy instead of the relationships you can have with people and animals - it just is not the same. A lot of people think I am nuts, but they don't garden with their ducks and take their dog for long walks every day. Yes, I am fortunate to not have to live in a city - but that was part of the plan too.
Follow your dreams - it works!
By Deborah from Whidbey Island
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Wonderful story and well-told. It's always so good to read about someone who feels the same way I do, and who cherishes the same qualities in life that I do.
Chickens and ducks have great personalities. I've never met two who were just alike, and they can be as companionable as a cat or dog if you treat them right from the time they're little. Your Lab sounds like a real sweetheart too. I'm so glad you have Tazzie. That one can be as good as any human I know, and just as loyal too.
Stay happy and write often. You lift my heart.
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