Back to Basics: A Life Reset, A Life with Less Crap.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE so many aspects of living a modern life, we are mostly all VERY lucky and despite my fascination with yesteryear I’m happy and excited to be living in 2018. HOWEVER, the more I study the past and compare it to the future, there are areas in our modern lives that perhaps are suffering because of ease of accessibility a plethora of convenience food and goddamm it, advertising and portrayal through the media telling us what makes us normal and happy (I’m talking health and finance here).

Instead of following the majority, I think it’s just fine and dandy to look at life a little differently and have goals and aspirations that don’t necessarily fit into society. A little non-conformity is good…

There are two main things that need resetting in my life right now and I’m going to turn to yesteryear to achieve them…

1) Cure my obesity and become more active and stronger.
2) Save money every single month and create a safety net, an emergency fund of 3-6 months income by only buying essentials.

What’s non-conformist about this? Well they’ll be NO modern latest diet guru ‘must-do’ suggestions such as Low Carb, Paleo, Ketogenic, High Protein, Super-Foods, Juicing, Fasting etc. I’m sure all of these have aspects that are useful and do work but I’d rather just eat lots of fresh veggies, enjoy some wholefoods carbs, get my protein from old-fashioned pulses and beans and eat my fruit and greens.

As for saving money… They’ll be no get rich quick schemes but rather following the example of our parents/grandparents and buy less crap, mend and make do, only buy things that you have saved up for, no credit and always put some money away and save for a rainy day. I feel many young people especially, in this day and age are so pressurized into living up to what is portrayed in the media as ‘normal’ they really struggle financially (and yet I’ve met many young people who absolutely put me to shame and have really got their lives together!!!!).

STRUGGLING
The two things for me that I’ve always struggled with are my obesity and finances (I’m single, one full time income and my past has included some very tough times).

I’m NOT the sort of person that wastes money, expensive things simply don’t impress me (except maybe a fancy Kitchen Aid food mixer!!!). That’s not to say I wouldn’t love a beautiful little cottage in the countryside or a newer car one day but generally, on a day to day basis I am very happy with simplicity and frugality.

But the latter part of 2017 I made some major changes in my life to make things a little easier financially. I moved just two miles from my workplace (which has saved about 85 miles, 2.5 hours and £12 a day in commuting time and costs) and the place I rented out, while being a bit rough around the edges, has saved me £125 in rent every month too!

All in all, I’m about £350 better off per month and if nothing breaks down, if no big unexpected bills come in or my car breaks down, I can try and save most of this! For the first time in my life, IF I make sacrifices and remain frugal, I can theoretically save money and I’ve started to put this into practice.

PLANS FOR 2018.

So specifically my plans for 2018 are

a) To lose 60 lbs in weight (I’ll weigh in tomorrow) by eating simply and sensibly, increasing my walking and daily activity (those wartime recipes will help!)
b) Save at least £3000 in regular savings (as am emergency fund) and £1000 in Christmas Club savings (which is enough to fund all Christmas and birthday gifts throughout the year for my three grown up kids and both sets of grandparents AND pay for all our celebration food)

Throughout the year I’m going to focus on not only simple recipes from the wartime era during rationing but also the modern costs of eating simply and healthily.

In addition I am going to post my monthly household expenditure budget so you can see how and if I am able to cut costs, how much I can save, what sacrifices have to be made to save money on one income. I LOVE reading other peoples blog posts on budgeting and I think this will personally hold me accountable and keep me on the straight and narrow.

There will be things I absolutely will not compromise on to save pennies and that will be my weekly organic vegetable box from www.riverford.co.uk – to me this gives me joy and ensures I have a good supply of healthy food waiting for me in the house.

I hope you’ll join with me and we can work together on this and support each other.

Life is often a struggle. In many ways I am ashamed of being almost 52 with no real emergency fund, no contingency plan, and for only just getting by in life in my past. But then I look back and realize all I could really do was strive to get by and just do the best I could.

I want to change this now. I want 2018 to be the year I begin to FINALLY feel I am in control of my destiny and feel a sense of achievement.

Lets do this……

C xxxxxxxxxxx

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26 thoughts on “Back to Basics: A Life Reset, A Life with Less Crap.

  1. Carolyn, I am with you on this. I want to get back to being more energetic and flexible. I am only 41, but I am starting to feel “older” and my cure for this is going to be getting back into yoga. I am also obese, so I need to modify some of the poses, but this is what I will do to make it work for me. I also struggle with finances. I am lucky enough to be married and have a second income at home, but we are also short of money a lot. I want to cook these wartime recipes along with you to encourage frugality and healthier eating around my house. My daughter is a vegetarian, so she will likely be thrilled with most of the cooking anyway! All the best from America.

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  2. Good for you! I’m 63 and I live on a fixed income. I have no savings now because of a series of unfortunate circumstances. Every year, my rent goes upso it’s hard for me to save. I have arthritis in my hip which makes it painful to exercise and climb the three flights of stairs to my apartment. I’m trying to lose about 70 pounds but my love of sweets, especially chocolate, makes it difficult. But, I am determined to make 2018 the year I finally manage to get the weight off and to keep it off! I will be rooting for you and all of us that are trying to lose the weight 1940s style!

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  3. Good for you! I’m 63 and I live on a fixed income. I have no savings now because of a series of unfortunate circumstances. Every year, my rent goes up so it’s hard for me to save. I have arthritis in my hip which makes it painful to exercise and climb the three flights of stairs to my apartment. I’m trying to lose about 70 pounds but my love of sweets, especially chocolate, makes it difficult. But, I am determined to make 2018 the year I finally manage to get the weight off and to keep it off! I will be rooting for you and all of us that are trying to lose the weight 1940s style!

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  4. Carolyn, I started a long-winded chide on your budgeting for Holiday spending. But it might be better if I ask you to reexamine your thinking based on what you have said in this post about being frugal and mindful about what you are doing with your money. I think, you are sending mixed signals to yourself.

    Good luck and good health!

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  5. I will be doing the same, Carolyn! I need to go back to eating foods that make me healthy (rather than the ones that are fast, or that, even though I’m allergic to, I crave). More fruits and veg, and more walking!

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  6. Well said, Carolyn. I was just wondering what my 2018 manifesto should be and yours sounds a wonderful principle to follow. I agree with the organic veggies because they more closely resemble the nutrition you would get, historically, and they will synchronize with the seasons.

    Happy New Year

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  7. I’ve been reading your blog since you were in Canada( I remember it as Canada, not America, but I could be wrong). Knowing some of the challenges you have faced I know that you are an amazing woman who has always got on with what Life has thrown at you. I’m really looking forward to following you in 2018 , hoping you will inspire me to get on with losing the baby weight I’ve been carrying for the last 25 years !!! PennyL xx

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  8. I was just working on my own budget for 2018 and getting real about savings and how much we spend on things we really don’t need. We don’t need a lawn service, laundry service (which I will cry to get rid of), and money spend on this and that streaming channel. We can also eat a more fixed menu to reduce variable weekly spending. In comparing our current day spending to that of even just the last generation, it has really gone crazy. Our parents didn’t have internet, cable TV, or cell phones. They maybe had one phone bill, basic cable, and that’s it. They had less bills to pay, and purchasing power was greater. We’ve got to get with our own times and make do and mend once again to get off of this materialistic train we’re all on. Solidarity sister!

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  9. You are an inspiation that’s for sure. Now, the most difficult thing for me is to motivate myself. I really could do with all of your abovementioned. Finger’s crossed for 2018 that such an inspired mindset will become a way to live.

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  10. great plans and I hope you achieve them all and more! will be following your progress, sharing your successes. best wishes, Ann on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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  11. Makes a lot of sense Carolyn I’m 64yrs born 1953 and I’ve always said if I looked after me as well as my mam looked after me I’d be a lot healthier and slimmer x

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  12. I will be following with interest! I am vegan but still feel I need to make healthy changes to my diet. Need to lose a couple of stone too. Good luck.

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  13. Good for you Carolyn! I remember the days of the frugal self-sufficiency group, we all tried to live the lifestyle that saved money.. SO difficult sometimes, but the advice I received then has stood me in good stead since.

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    • I remember those days too…fondly and agree, people’s tips and experiences stuck with me too and really helped me through some VERY difficult times about 5 or 6 years ago xxxxx

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  14. You are a strong brave woman, you have come far already, look at your circumstances a couple of years ago having to up sticks again and cross the pond. Life was tough then and you got through it. You are an inspiration to many of us. You are capable of much. You will succeed. Much love and happiness for the new year . Love Lisa x ♥

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  15. Shall be loading up the Slow Cooker first thing Sunday Morning to make a Veggie Soup/Stew Sister and am SAVING POUNDS and Mother Nature Willing, Shedding Pounds this year too! To Healthy Frugalism

    Liked by 1 person

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