Spending Money I Don’t Have

I just can’t keep waking up feeling like this. Every morning I wake up feeling like I used to when I was lifting heavy every day. It’s mainly my back, and secondarily my butt and legs. I am yawning as I type this. The solution that has sprung to mind is to replace my 14 year old mattress. I’ve hated it since we bought it, it’s too dang soft. But since I really can’t afford a new, quality mattress, I am going to spend the money on a memory foam topper to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then I am going to lay it directly on the box springs to see how that goes. If it is better, then I will most likely take the plunge and by the 4 inch topper to combine with the 2 inch I am going to buy today and just use that as a replacement.

I really don’t want to spend the money, considering how desperately I want to free myself from the rat race. I have determined that my greatest chance of success in this endeavor will be to be able to live on half of what I make now. That means paying off all the debt that I can, and the sooner the better. Same goes for retirement, I have realized that I don’t have a truly actionable plan in place to retire (whatever that word means), and I have accepted that it will not happen unintentionally, so I must begin saving toward that goal and putting into place systems that support that goal. This brings me back to seriously reduced spending.

But I would rather be happy and at peace than free. I don’t think that is possible for the type of person I am, I need to be free to be happy, but my point remains. I can’t focus on doing the hard thing if I am lacking the resolve or mental fortitude to do the hard thing, to make the hard choices, or to do proper analysis of situations and opportunities that may arise. Waking up feeling well rested goes a long way toward keeping my mind strong and agile. I also need to be physically refreshed to continue vegetable gardening and planting trees for food as well as shade (lower electric bills dontcha know). Hence a new mattress of some sort seems to be a necessity. I might as well do it now as opposed to later, since everything is getting more expensive, and pay increases are becoming a joke – borderline insulting even. Invest in any assets or personal property now if you can, and get something that is going to really last so you can push off replacing it as long as possible.

GETTING AHEAD OF THE CURVE – MAKING PROGRESS: LAUNDRY

As I stated in “The Challenges of Getting Ahead of the Curve”, there are just too many moving parts to keep up with for the paltry two days you get for doing everything that needs attention. Not to mention how much more so if you are actually trying to make some kind of significant change to your lifestyle. Nevertheless, there is no excuse to give up. You must keep chipping away, like Andy with his rock hammer in “Shawshank Redemption”. Eventually some progress can be realized, although it is often after changing the way we look at things. I think a critical change that must take place to accomplish this is to stop caring what other people think. The Bible would say do not fear the opinions of man.

Along that line of thinking I have implemented a way of doing things that my grandfather (pop) brought to my attention when I was like 12. This past weekend I was looking at my new pair of 501 Levis (they are worth the money because they really last) and something printed on one of the tags caught my eye. It said “ Wash Less, wash cold”, which reminded me of the lesson my pop had tried to convey to me so long ago. Every day when he got home from work he would immediately change out of his clothes and hang them up to be re-worn another time.

I’ve been doing that very thing for a couple of months now, but rather than rotating out my slacks, I merely re-wear the same pair each day and wash on the weekend if I have enough for a load, or leave them in the hamper and start the week with a new pair of slacks. I’ve also started doing it with my work shirts. It is always freezing at work so I never ever break a sweat, plus I wear a short sleeved t-shirt underneath my shirt so it is basically clean. I currently wear each one 3 times before washing. After a little more research I have discovered that denim should be rarely washed at all. Just freeze for 24 hours to kill any germs or bacteria. This won’t work with the jeans I wear when working in the yard, but other than that…

This practice is going to be even more important now that I am in full stride toward minimalism. I won’t have enough slacks or dress shirts to wear a new one each and every day. So now I have just freed up more time on the weekend, reduced the amount of electricity and water used (and money spent) for doing laundry by doing laundry less frequently, and my clothes should last longer thereby stretching my clothing budget some. More free time, less money spent, and smaller carbon footprint. Win win win.

As a side note, I also found a work shirt (which is actually a sweater) that I like so much I have bought two more – I now have a charcoal, a navy, and a plum. I no longer need to spend as much time in the morning deciding what to wear, I just don’t have that many options now. That’s ok with me, I don’t fit in nor belong in the corporate environment anyway. It’s not like I was ever going impress anybody. I also threw away an older pair of slacks that I wore all of last week but are too big, and I’ve kept around “just in case”. I did not wash them first, just took them off and pitched them. I feel like I am making progress; I feel good.