I think there are only 2 groups of people that will be interested in this post:
- People who like to know how did I make it.
- People who like to know how did I fail that.
I would like to apologize to the people from group one; actually I didn’t succeed in this challenge. I planned, I tried, and I failed. But the process to challenge myself to live this lifestyle taught me a few things about frugal living and I thought I could share it here.
In case you don’t know, I got this idea from a book written by an ordinary English teacher called Kath Kelly. The book’s title is “How I Lived A Year On Just A Pound A Day”.
The ideas I get from the book is that, it is not about limiting your choice when you embracing a new, more frugal lifestyle (from whatever life style you are having now), it is about exploring more choice you can make to your life style that enhance your enjoyment. If you are into frugal living, you might be able to relate yourself to the people in the story.
Ok, let talk about what did I learnt from the book:
Choose a cheap or free hobby
Now, this is a tricky choice and I don’t suggest you go and drop all your hobby and start spend all your time reading book in library or go walk at the park (although this two are quite a good candidate for the discussion here). The most important consideration I like to put out here is “ Are you getting the equal benefit from the money you spent on your hobby?”
For example, you love badminton and you are currently joining a badminton group that played twice a week in the sport hall nearby your house. Is the money you paid for the right to play in the group worthwhile for you? Are you felling satisfied with the return you are getting? If the answer is fantastic, don’t change anything. We do want to retire early but not retire miserably.
What I am suggesting here is if you are having some hobby that costs you quite a lot of money (again, only you know how much is this) but it didn’t give you the enjoyment you are expecting, drop that hobby, choose another one. If that is a group hobby, it might be trickier. You can try convincing your group member to switch together with you but this might not works every single time.
Cycle (it means exercise) more frequently
Ok, if you are already a training freak that workout twice a day, every single day, you need to slow down. I am talking to the people who took 2 hours to think whether should they go out and run for half an hour. If you fall into this group of people, you might want to stop thinking and start running. Cycling and walking are pretty good choices if you are not exercise regularly.
But, remember that you just need adequate amount of exercise to maintain your fitness level, and over train actually do more harm to you than help. I am currently exercise every other day, my session includes 2-3km of running plus some push up and squat (with just body weight).
Human evolves over time, so does their spending. We used to be contended with just prata on our plate, ice milo on our side and we can chat away the night without feeling cheap. But somehow all this changed when we start working; we now need at least a restaurant for meet up because “it’s been long time since we last met”.
There are a lot of interesting ideas in the book; I think Kath and her friend did a picnic at the beach after she came back from France (Yes, she travelled to France when she is on a pound a day budget). They also tried things like museum opening, school fun trip and sometime they gather at library (I guess there is a noise allowed section in UK library?)
Be creative, think about what activity you can do with your friend that does not costs you a lot of money. I tried chatting with friend at coffee shop for 2 hours, that was a good night. I tried gathered with friend at beach and playing card the whole afternoon, which was a good time spent.