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Living With Less

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I quit my job 13 months ago and started traveling with my husband. We are living on about $30,000 less a year, and are loving it! We own a 3,000 square foot home but have reduced my needs to what will fit into Rubbermaid bins and the back of the truck. All of this has been so freeing.


Must haves:

  • Fry Daddy
  • wok
  • toaster oven
  • Seal a Meal
  • 1 large Rubbermaid bin for the previous season per person (I use seal a meal to compact).
  • laptop
  • small printer
  • camera
  • 2 sets of bed sheets
  • 2 towels and wash clothes each
  • 2 foldaway outside chairs

After a recent visit home, I realized that I was getting tense because there was so much work associated with all my stuff. I have pictures of my family as my only one splurge on the road. I am in the process of scanning and loading onto CDs to see as a slide show.

My tip is to unload a lot of the stuff that is not essential to everyday life. If you have to dust it, move it, or clean it and it is not adding anything to your daily life, get rid of it.

By Notwrong

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June 3, 20090 found this helpful

Is this a mobile home? Let us know more by writing in the frugal life stories columns, please. I'm really interested. I would like to do this myself. Do you live on retirement checks or work on the road or...? Enjoy. Thanks for writing.

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June 3, 20090 found this helpful

Might give stuff to charity or use a local Freecycle group online to downsize household things and not fill the landfills. Story was not clear how much space they were living in now. I live at home and we have to live on %50 less income & are doing it, but still have space. I wouldn't want to live in a tiny space like a camper for all of my days. Still it is good to get rid of extra things we have in life & keep what we really use and love.

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June 4, 20090 found this helpful

You are one very smart lady! You're seeing sights that most of us only dream about, and being with your husband while doing it. Kudos for your decision to change your lifestyle. Have a lovely future and God bless you.

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June 4, 20090 found this helpful

Good for you! Just one question from Canada. What's a "fry daddy"?

Editor's Note: A Fry Daddy is a popular brand of small electric deep fryer.

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June 5, 20090 found this helpful

I must admit I'm a little taken back by this degree of "simplifying"! I can't quite figure out the logistics.

Where do you sleep (you mentioned bed sheets)? Does your house just sit empty (except for your "stuff") while you travel and live out of the truck? How big IS the truck?!

Sounds like a marathon camping trip! Sorry for seeming so clueless about this but it does seem like kind of a drastic lifestyle change!

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June 5, 20090 found this helpful

I was reading your post and saw that mine had an error it should have said I quit my job 13 months ago. I'm new to the site and would love to answer-where do I answer. I have posted information under my frugal life section-is that where you mean?

Editor's Note: I corrected your post. Thanks for the inspiring ideas!

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

notwrong, thanks for taking the time for sharing so many details of your family's adventures. I sincerely believe that you were born a free spirit with much creativity and flexibility just waiting to be put to use, and I also think you have a lot of courage to live this adventurous way. So my estimation of you is that you have true pioneer spirit. It sounds like you're having a wonderful life, and I hope it continues this way for as long as you want it to. Bon voyage!

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June 24, 20090 found this helpful

My partner lived in his truck with a camper shell for 2 years while he went to college (so he could afford tuition) He absolutely LOVED it! Even in the winter! He was voluntarily "homeless" in style! He joined Bally's gym & took showers there after working out. He spent most of his time at school or in after hour learning labs. When he wasn't at school he would go to the library to read & check out books. He barbecued at parks, played his acoustic guitar then slept in his truck then got up & worked out at the gym. He washed his clothes at Laundromats.

He used a plug-in cooler as a fridge to keep his food cold & cooked on a propane burner or grilled. The only problem he had was being woken up by cops with a flashlight in his eyes if he accidentally slept in the wrong place. He still says this was one of the happiest & most freeing times in his life & he wants to go on the road again, but this time in a Volkswagen camper van (in style) & not in an old beat-up Datsun pick-up!


He said the only bad thing about living in his truck was that women wouldn't give him the time of day once they found out. But me, as soon as I found out he had once lived in his truck, I fell for him! I guess I have a gypsy soul too & we're made for each other. (We were both raised on the road as kids. Him a navy brat & me in 4 schools a year because of my dads profession, so we adapt quickly & don't need a lot of "things" to be happy)

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August 5, 20120 found this helpful

I understand this to be a camper with 3,ooo square foot being pulled by a truck. I think it is neat! I have a friend who was having trouble with an adult daughter who thought she could have all her parents things since she was an only daughter and she was ugly about it. So they sold their house and all the furnishes and just kept personal stuff and bought them a camper and started traveling. (They had enough time in at their jobs so they retired). They traveled a couple of years then put their camper at her parents who were getting older. They now take care of them but they have enjoyed their life.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

I too have downsized, not by traveling in a truck but by getting rid of unnecessary things in my home and life. I also organized my closets and am finishing up projects that I've acquired over the last years. It really is freeing! Enjoy yourselves :)

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June 19, 20140 found this helpful

I been saying for years, life is so fast and crazy. We need to get back to a simpler way of life. I do have so much, it isn't necessary. You are an inspiration to down size. Maybe not as much as you, but if you can get by with a Rubbermaid tub. I can get rid of some stuff. Enjoy your life.

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January 20, 20170 found this helpful

A lady I was a caregiver for said to me "If it's not a thing of beauty, it need not be seen". I think that is true about everyday essentials. If you don't use them, purge them. I am doing the same thing with craft supplies I very seldom used and am focusing on just what I intend to do in the future. God bless.

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