When I got my first well-paying job the love affair with money began. Money, I thought, gave me power and freedom. If I wanted to go somewhere, I could. If I wanted to buy something, I could. So I went places and bought things. And then went to further afield and bought bigger, better things. Then the money got a tighter, so I took on consumer debt. Eventually the majority of my pay cheque went to servicing the debt and what was left over wasn’t enough to go places and buy things anymore. I was unhappy. I had been stripped of my power and freedom.
This scenario isn’t unique to me. It’s how most of the middle-class get by. They spend beyond their income, take on debt to extend their buying power, and then get strangled by the repayments and interest. Banks are the only winners.
Money has driven this project. That is, my desire to get away from the stuff is my inspiration. The plan is to deal with money less. By reducing my need to earn and spend.
So far I am mortgage-free and own a couple of blocks of dirt. All they cost me is less than $1k in council and water rates each year. I will be able to build—just—the house of my dreams with cash too. Then I will build a bit of a buffer in my savings account, for a rainy day, and feel comfortable that my income can be drastically reduced—to about 10% of what it is now. My outgoings will be some food, transportation, medical, clothing, internet, insurance, phone, superannuation, entertainment, the odd gift, the occasional building and gardening supply. At this rate, I won’t even have to pay taxes! That’s the plan. That’s the level of involvement I want to have with money. I want to be more ‘producer’ less ‘consumer’.