Thank you for stopping by the Savery Life.
The focus of this blog is saving more than you spend while living well–staying healthy and strong, traveling (if that’s your thing), building a bulletproof wardrobe, cooking and eating high quality food, and even a little bit of investing.
As a student, I always took away a stronger understanding from lessons peppered with a variety of illustrative examples. So this blog is a collection of examples of how to enact the simple but not easy tagline of “Save more than you spend. Live well while doing it.” This post is the thinking behind the examples.
If you are trying to figuring out how to save more money, you may feel alone or like an outcast. We are not taught to save. In fact, we’re taught the opposite–to buy, buy, buy. To finance our lives rather than to live within our means.
The result is that we become indentured to the things we buy and institutions we borrow from, which does not increase our quality of life. Yes, you have a new car, but you’ve traded part of your future (extra time working) for it. Your options have decreased and your obligations have increased. No bueno. Our consumer culture ties happiness to material possessions and/or wealth and places it just over the next horizon–there’s always a newer model of car, a better Bluetooth speaker, and a new iPhone coming out soon.
So one of the big secrets to saving more and living well is to define “living well” and “happiness” in terms other than material possessions. Effective saving is not simply about socking away the extra change you find in the couch, nor is living well about having shiny new things. These goals are about perspective and attitude just as much–if not more–as it is about the act of putting money into the right accounts. Happily, the skills and attitudes of effective saving and living well are like most any other skill–they can be learned and honed through practice.
I think that a solid starting point to avoid the pursuit of buying new things just to have the newest things. Instead, learn new skills, spend time doing things you find meaningful with people who are important to you, share your knowledge.
When saving is a goal, it is also crucial to be a skeptic when regarding the consumerist culture. It is like a rip tide–you cannot see it as you swim along through life, but once it starts pulling you have two choices: either struggle directly against it until you’re inevitably sucked under, or swim parallel to the shore and cruise on to the beach under your own power.
This is not to say that you have to adopt a monastic habit of denying yourself anything anytime. It is saying that you should be the controlling agent in your purchases, debts, and earnings.
I am far from an expert, but I’ve found others’ blogs about their financial approaches helpful, and this has inspired me in two ways: I would like to share techniques, perspectives, recipes, and general life advice that’s been helpful to me so that others can benefit from it. I also plan on learning more by actively researching and writing posts, engaging with readers than I would if I did not write.
This content of this blog is unified around shifting one’s attitude away from always trying to have the newest or the most stuff to appreciating, making the most of, and intelligently utilizing what you have.
When an attitude of saving is developed, it is eminently possible to live well while saving a large percentage of one’s income (in most situations).
I love to cook and eat real food, I’m interested in style and design, and I think it’s important to travel from time to time. I am able to do these things while still saving some money.
Not everyone may be a saver by nature, but I believe everyone can develop habits that lead to saving money. I also believe that if people have a picture of a more frugal lifestyle and learn to embrace a little bit of discomfort, they will also learn that they quickly adjust to a new normal.
It’s partly about overcoming fear, too. I was (OK, still am) intimidated by investing. I recently dipped my toe in the investing pool for the first time, and it’s a little nerve wracking. But it’s important to learn how to get my money working for me. Community and solidarity (shared experiences and goals) are potent treatments for fear, and that’s partly what I hope this blog provides–for me and for readers!
So this blog is about saving money and resources in many different ways–from recipes to stretch the grass-fed beef you bought in bulk from a local farm to fixing your own car and home to honestly assessing wants and needs and developing an attitude of saving.
It is about investing money, time, and effort in ways that align with where you want to go. So read, think, comment, and share your ideas. I’m glad you’re here.