As the name of this website suggests, we are really interested in the idea of living a life back to the basics. Both Donnie and I hate the work crunch and the endless hours of playing catch up around the house when we are both working.
After much conversation one day, we both realized we did not find this rewarding, and we aren’t making real money anyway. It all goes back into modern conveniences. When we dug a bit further, we also discovered that what gave us the most feeling of accomplishment was actually our hobbies.
We were currently living in a small town in Indiana. Our hobbies included gardening, woodworking, a little blacksmithing (is this a real word?) on Donnie’s part, working with clay, sewing, and cooking from scratch. These were all things that we got out of what we put in.
In our fields of work, you can bust your butt all day long, but you are never really making anything more out of it. Taxes eat away all of our overtime. With our hobbies, we got out exactly what we put in. The more time we dedicated, the better we got and the more we got out of it.
So we decided we wanted to take a more basic approach to life. We need money to live off of, but we do not need convenience. The more time we put in, the better we become, and the less money we need.
So when we found ourselves in Arizona with a better job opportunity for me, it meant Donnie could stay home and we could finally get started.
What have we done so far? Not much different than before. We are doing everything we were doing before. Then we added some rabbits. This is fun. I’ll add a whole section on that. For now, we are researching. We want to learn more about everything before we go any further. That is why we are here! I will be using this website as a source for the information I learn as I go. But for now, here is my list of the main goals to living the basics:
- Only spend what you have. It seems like everyone is in a hurry to go into debt. We didn’t always do this. There is the exception of something like your house or your business or school, but that cell phone? or brand new car? Don’t need them! Buying a decent, used vehicle can save you tons of money in the long run and it isn’t hard to find a reliable one for cheap! I picked up a 2006 Minivan for $4k with only 150k miles on it.
- If you CAN do it yourself, learn how to. Do you know how much money people will spend on having something fixed or having their oil changed? The internet is your friend. Do these things yourself and you will be able to improve them quicker!
- Plant a garden. Everywhere. No kidding, I have grown a garden in a 2ft by 5ft side yard before. If you rent, grown in containers. It is worth every dime you put into it. That being said, do not spend a fortune on convenience! Those seedling trays are great, but you can recycle other containers as well. You can even find the trays recycled in a lot of garden centers, just sitting there waiting for you to pick them up. Seriously, ask your nearest garden center! And it is great to start off with a good soil base, but before you spend a ton on that, look up what you can add. We live in the desert and rabbit poo more than covers our soils needs. Some place may need more nitrogen, which can be found in coffee grounds! Save money, eat great. More on this later too. I can go on and on.
- See what animals are allowed. In our town, you can have up to 3 adults of each animal, but no loud animals and no pigs. This would translate to our rabbits being allowed (1 buck 2 does) and chickens (not roosters). We had a neighbor with a goat, they are loud. Ducks would also be a great option.
This is probably enough for right now, but you are getting the idea. If you CAN take care of things yourself, if you CAN feed yourself, why pay for the convenience of someone else doing it for you. Time? I thought this too. Then I shut off our cable TV. We have time. I even have time and I work and go to school. This is how people used to live! We are now a couple generations removed from this though, so many of us have to learn how to do these things all over again!
Now that we have an idea of where we are going, I will be looking up how to reach these goal and sharing them here.
Thanks for reading, I know I can be long and ranting 🙂