23 Feb 2013

Living Differently

Brand New Bespoke Narrowboat

My wife to be and son are napping at the moment so I thought I would take the time to type something up that I've been thinking about over the last two or three days. 

It all started with Maria's post over at the Money Principle, a great article that made me look differently at the Marxist theory. I then stumbled upon the art of non-conformity, another great article about how people don't understand, from flicking through Maria's "Money blogs" links.

I still love the fact that Maria is flustered by my milk and caviar comment from one of her old posts. I still can't understand how she thinks £120k is "enough". That's where the second article came in. Maybe she just doesn't understand the route a lot of people are now taking. 

People aren't just looking to make small changes anymore, a lot of people really want a wholesale upending of everything they do. Maybe because they're bored of their work, or where they live or they are just sick of the day to day of broken Britain. 

So maybe it's time to take the advice of the non-conformists. Maybe looking at life from a different angle is required.

A zero based budgeting approach comes to mind, whereby we scrap the budgeting tools we've used before and start with a blank page. What do we really NEED in our lives.

Humans usually need a few basics, water, food, shelter. Everything else are things we add for comfort or at the extreme greed. 

So maybe we shouldn't start looking to reduce our mortgage rate, or look to save on our car insurance, we should probably look at cheaper places to live other than houses and maybe start thinking about getting rid of the car altogether.

These are the kinds of changes that can turn an ordinary person into an early retiree or at least someone that is not forced to go to work to fund a lifestyle beyond their own means.

That is the kind of person that for me has really got life sorted in their own head, they’ve no need for superfluous items and their comforts come from within.

This kind of lifestyle leans itself to one where families spend more time with each other and learn how to do things for themselves rather than outsourcing at higher costs. Where skills are nurtured from an early age and progress with each passing project, without being put aside because we’re “late for Corrie”!

I looked at my own budget took out mortgage, car, and media costs and immediately my spending went from 80% of my wages down to 42%. This budget still leaves room for luxuries. With a savings rate like that I could retire in 11 years, which seems like a long time, but I am earning a sixth of that £120k and supporting 3 people!

Sounds pretty awesome to me, just imagine if I could double my salary… it drops to 6 years! As Paul Whitehouse once said… BRILLIANT!!

Of course this is unfortunately a pipe dream until I can convince the other half to move to a narrow boat and cycle everywhere ;)


  1. I like the idea of living a life differently now - so that I can live a life differently then .. my aggressive pay-down of my mortgage is actually buying me a future where I will sell up this house and downsize radically (have you looked at the small house movement on the web?) I'd love a tiny house in a large suburban garden - two tiny houses for my boys to live in debt free and enough to grow all our veggies ...... of course I have twenty years to do this but enjoying the journey nonetheless.

    1. I'm still loving your story Elaine and the recipes are to die for! That Greek feast is on the menu this weekend


  2. "until I can convince the other half to move to a narrow boat and cycle everywhere" - LOL!

    My Mrs is OK biking, she loves it, but I think she's planning on upsizing to a Georgian mansion one day. Can't see that ever happening, but you never know...

    1. Maybe build your own one grand designs style? Got a spare couple of mil to chuck at the project?!

      I might test the water with a narrowboat holiday, frugal and we can see if we like it :D