Monday, January 30, 2012

Financial downsizing.

This week I am working on downsizing financially. That means to cut spending and cost (for me). The big project is to re-finance the house. The intrest rate on the our house is about 3% higher than the present rates. That means we'll save about $50,000 or more by re-financing. I struggled with keeping the term the same and lowering the monthly payments or shorting the term of the loan and  keeping the payments the same. I went for shorting the life of the loan. Our payments may drop a few dollars, but more importantly we will cut ten years off of our morgage. Plus the PMI points will drop off 5 years sooner. By the PMI points dropping off our payments will be lower in three years instead of eight.

Next, I have bought a used vehicle that is in great condition. I am hoping to keep this for many years to come. Our present vehicle has about a year left on the lease. I didn't really want two vehicles, but the deal on the second vehicle was just to good to pass up. Plus, it is a small truck and I can use it to get firewood.

I am hoping that we can plant a bigger garden and spend less money at the grocery store this Summer. That's right, I am thinking gardening already. I will be planting lettuce, spinach and broccoli in a month or so. I know it may seem like Summer is so far away, but it will be time to plant your cold hardy plants in no time. Tomatoes, corn and greenbeans are little farther out, but it's almost time to start some seeds for other stuff.

I hope to spend more time with friends in the back yard or on the porch this summer and less time at the bars and resturants. I am hoping to get a group together to do (at least) a monthly dinner. Everyone can bring a covered dish for all to share. That way we all get to visit and try new things without having to cook (and clean) an entire meal. Plus, we can enjoy each others company without the cost of the resturant or bar. I know I have one friend who is wanting to do this with a vegitarian group, which is awesome since I am a vegetarian and always looking for new food ideas. This also will give my wife (who is green food challenged) a chance to try new things with out us having to make stuff and then I have to eat the left overs for 4 days. Plus, he is wanting everyone to bring a 6 pack of one of their favorite beers each time. Then we can all sample different beers. This will also be great. That way I don't have to buy a whole 6 pack to find out I am not a fan of a beer. I said we could do a wine month also. This could be made more fun if some months had themes. The sky is the limit if you are wondering what I mean. It could be as simple as a one dish meal, appetizers, Southern food or even a European night. The list goes on and on. I am guessing you could even dress up for the October get together.

I am also hoping to do some bike camping this summer and spend time with friends doing that. It can be an less expensive way to do a vacation. It is better than a "staycation", but not as expensive as a vacation. This is not for all people. If you don't like to bike or don't care to camp then it's probably not for you. We like to do both, so it's right up our alley. It makes both things better when you put them together. Then getting to and from the campsite can be as much fun as camping.

As you can see I am cutting back on out going money, I am a vegetarian, I ride my bike and I am trying to figure out new ways to eat healthier. Hopefully all of this will simpliy the good life financially as well as help me to extend the good life.


  1. Rance,
    Great Post! I am planning to rent a house in San Diego that has a 2/3 acre organic garden on the back part of the property. We are going to raise chickens and a small apiary for bees. I like the potluck idea and want to do the same thing here. I am reading Voluntary Simplicity right now and enjoy thinking of ways I can simplify my life in order to live more richly in my connection with Nature, Friends and Family rather than material possessions.

  2. Thanks Micah. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the post. I really would like to do more, but there just isn't enought time. Kind of ironic. We really would like to move to a smaller house, but I don't think that's going to happen for a few years due to the housing market. That is why we refinanced. We have done quite a bit to downsize our footprint.