Wandering

Tag: Frugal

Bald and Free: What would you be willing to do?

Bald and Free: What would you be willing to do?

On my journey of self, one of my first shifts in frugality that has actually stuck with me, was an investment in a nice set of clippers. I never went to fancy salons to get expensive haircuts by any stretch. But when I thought it through, shaving my head was about far more than saving a few dollars on hair cuts.  I usually went to a SuperCuts or Cost Cutters, so it was only $12 or so, before tip (unless I had a coupon). Recognizing that time is money, I had to drive there, wait for my turn, remit payment, and drive home, on top of paying cash for the cut and tip for the worker.

Barber Shop Sign

Barbers? Where we’re going, there won’t be any barbers!

When I started reconsidering my life and thinking about luxuries we might no longer have available if I lived off of savings in (aka “retired to”) the remote parts of Costa Rica or Mexico, I imagined that getting to the barber might be one of those little complications I could do without. I also considered that I might be able to use the money I was spending on haircuts for something more meaningful, so I went for it.

A few things made this easier for me than it might for others:

  1. I am male,
  2. I’m getting old enough that people don’t assume anything weird when I have little hair up top, and
  3. A career I had pursued early in life was as a cosmetologist, so I was familiar with the tools,
  4. Buzzcuts are in… The Rock, Vin Diesel, Patrick Stewart, Bruce Willis, et. al. are all sporting nearly hair-free, carefree, hair styles.

But this change wasn’t just about who cuts my hair, it was also about giving up my attachment to having “nice hair”.   My concern about people’s response to my new lack of hair was holding me back. Once I worked up the courage, I haven’t looked back. I’ve just gone shorter and shorter. I started with a size “4” guard, and now I’m down to a “1”.

Rather than getting a haircut every 8 weeks or so (looking pretty shaggy in those last few weeks), now I have a fresh trim every week. Just put the guard on, and swoosh it all over the noggin until it stop making the “cutty” sound. Every weekend, I touch up my ‘do, and look fresh as a daisy. Once in a while, I’ll notice a spot when rubbing my hand around on my head that maybe I didn’t do so well on and feels longer than the rest. That helps me improve my skills, and I can just go at it with the clippers and fix it in a jiffy.

How much does this really save?

With little hair, I barely use any shampoo and don’t need conditioner at all. My haircuts take about five minutes from the moment I decide I want to do it until it’s done. Rather than feeling an itchy back for a few hours after the cut, I can trim up right before I shower, and all of those itchy bits wash right away.

In hard hair cut savings, I’ve gone from

  • $15 every 8 weeks = $97.50 a year

to

  • $30 for the trimmers that have lasted 5 years so far

But when you factor in the ease of maintenance, lack of hair products, and time savings… it comes out to a whole lot more.

Metaphor for Minimalism

The reason I share this story is not necessarily with the intent of kicking off a sweeping craze of opt-in baldies like myself.  With this shift in my thinking, the change required, the courage required, and the shift of focus from ego and working to please others to that of attaining peace through minimalism, are representative of many changes you can make to reorient your world from rampant consumerism, keeping up with the Joneses, and other reckless spending.

With the confidence that these changes are okay, and that I’ll be okay after making them, I started making other little changes.  Little changes add up to big dreams getting closer and closer.

What will help you find your happy?

  • A tiny house?
  • To fulltime in your RV?
  • To attain peace in your life?
  • Good health?

No matter what you’re going for, one foot down the path is far better than both up on the sofa.  What small things can or have you done to start down the road to your life goals, that are actually attainable? Share your story in the comments below.

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Everything You Know is Wrong

Everything You Know is Wrong

I’m not sure what put me here, but my world as an adult was focused upon pushing myself harder and harder to get more and more.  Maybe it’s simply because I was a child of the 80’s, wherein Alex P. Keaton rejected his parents’ hippie ways to become a business-minded youth.  That was pretty much my speed at a very young age.  I needed to unlearn, as wise Yoda instructs in the Empire Strikes Back

Make More or Do More With Less

Minimalism is not that you should own nothing... but that nothing should own you.
Minimalism is not that you should own nothing… but that nothing should own you.

In order to free myself from wage slavery, either I needed to become incredibly rich with passive revenue streams out the wazoo from God-only-knows-where, or I need to start cutting back.  Of course, I did what every red-blooded American is conditioned to do… try to become incredibly rich with passive income streams, of course!  I’m sure I’ll get into the details of all that madness at some point or another.  However, suffice it to say, that’s not where I ended up.

My lessons from this path substantially reinforced Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s well-worn quote, “Less Is More”.  Everything I own seems to end up owning me.  The big house needs dusting.  The lawn needs to be mowed and patched up.  The lawn mower needs a tune-up.  And the list just goes on and on.  Where does the time go? It goes to taking care of the accumulated “trophies” of material gain.  More time comes from less “stuff”

Work Smarter, Not Harder

In order to make do in my life, rather than make doo (💩) of my life, I needed to understand how to work smarter, not harder.  Not in the general sense, mind you – that seemed obvious.  But, how does someone live a simpler life?  What do they do?  How do they live?  What fills their days?

So I began to research my buns off.  I started looking into all sorts of ways that would allow me to jettison my existence of excess, my life of luxury, and finally face frugality.  These were only a few of the method of frugal living I looked into as a means of escaping the rat race:

  • Retiring to Costa Rica/Mexico
  • Extreme Couponing
  • Minimalism
  • Tiny House Living
  • Self-Sufficient Living (backyard farming/solar power)
  • Van Life

Each one of these investigations yielded a unique world of interesting tools, techniques and tips.  The attempts at mastery of these skills combined have shaped my concept of a meaningful and interesting existence.  Not one of them is right or wrong, in and of themselves, but each must be approached and implemented in moderation.

 

Photo Credits

One of my key aspirations is to express my creativity through capturing the beauty of nature through photography and videography.  All of the photos on this site were taken by me, The Happy Camper.

Anonymity

Because my wife and I still work for our wage slave masters, while I viciously attack the concept of such servitude in this medium, I will use a pen name and refrain from being directly visible in any of the photos or videos.  This is because “the man” isn’t terribly interested in having people work for them who aren’t in it for the “long haul.”  Just as companies can fire someone when it’s right for them, I reserve the right to quit my job when it’s right for me, and would prefer not to gain any unwanted attention from the overlords until then.

My Gear

Starting out:

Current Gear:

Amazon

Amazon Link Goes Here

Affiliate Links

You can help me achieve my dream purchasing any products you would normally buy from Amazon using my affiliate link. The Amazon Affiliate program allows content producers (like me) to earn a small commission for any customers referred to Amazon.  The cool thing is that the customers don’t pay any more for their purchases than they normally would. This allows viewers and readers to help support content creators without incurring any extra expense.

Thank you for your support of my happy! Any money that I earn from these ads, whether from advertising or Amazon Affiliate sales, allows me to focus more on creating content and take my steps to escape from wage slavery.

Amazon Affiliate Link – http://amzn.to/2sRGOqL