I was wandering idly around Blogland with a cup of tea yesterday morning, girding my loins for the next bout of DIY. I very much enjoy doing this when I get the time, particularly looking at those with a money saving or frugal slant. There are a couple of well known bloggers who actually have good incomes now and you might think they no longer needed to live such a careful and frugal lifestyle, but they continue to do so because they still have specific goals they want to achieve. I have a feeling they would still do it as a lifestyle choice, even when they have achieved their financial targets.
I live a frugal life because I have to. If I didn’t I wouldn’t make my mortgage payments each month and could easily rack up huge credit card debts. When it is all going well and I manage a bit of extra income, or I don’t get a large unexpected bill because the car engine explodes or I need an emergency plumber I quite enjoy the challenge. It feels like a pretty productive and useful hobby! However, I don’t enjoy sailing so close to the wind most of the time. I know it wouldn’t take much for me feel I am drowning rather than staying afloat.
It did make me consider what I would do if I got to the point where I had paid the mortgage, got a different job that paid lots more, came into some money…would I still be as frugal? Would I shop in Aldi if I could afford Waitrose? Would I still buy all my clothes at bootsales? Would I spend a week decorating my hallway or would I get the decorators in?
I think the answer is that I would do a bit of both. I am naturally frugal and I can’t bear waste of any kind, because that was the way I was raised. However, I would love more quality time with Mr Shoestring and my daughters, so if I could afford the decorators I would happily pay for their skills! I would have more holidays as I love travelling, I would buy a camper van (which has been my dream forever) and have lots of trips around the UK and Europe. I would still go to boot sales, but I would buy some decent quality new clothes as and when I needed them. I would continue to do my food shop with a list and might just pop into Waitrose after I had been to Aldi :).
What about you? If the mortgage and debts were paid off and you had a decent amount coming in, what would you do?
Just to prove I have managed to do something this week, even if we aren’t quite finished and will have to come back to it next week, here is how the hallway is currently looking.