It’s been a while since I last did a downsizing post. I think it could be as long as a year since I did any kind of update. So here is a little recap. A little over a year ago I was living with my wife in a 4 bedroom town house with a garage and all the trimmings. I was driving around in a lovely Mercedes-Benz C230 estate. We had more space than we could ever use & a car which felt far too flashy. The events that lead to this point essentially boil down to a major family trauma & long recovery (which is still ongoing). It was a very stressful time & made us both act out of character.
Prior to this we where very minimal people. We have never had much space or fancy things. We lived an honest life & always managed to do a lot on very little money. Life was simple. It then got very complicated. So last April we got rid of everything. We sold the Mercedes, got rid of the house & moved back with family to get back on our feet. We sold off a ton of stuff on eBay and started simplifying every aspect of our life. It now all fits into a small storage unit & will load into the back of a Ford Transit.
With all that stuff came a lot of finance, which has taken us the past year to clear off. But here we are, we have far less stuff, hardly any debt & everything finally seems back in order.
In September we bought another car. We lived without one for 7 months & it was a great period. We walked everywhere & hired a car to visit Scotland every few weeks to help with the family. But in September we bought our Blue Peril. It’s a 2005 Fiat Panda. It’s bright blue, classless, says nothing about our status and costs next to no money to run. We average 56MPG and insurance & tax is minimal. We have driven 8000+ miles in this little car & it’s a major statement of how we intend to live from now on. No flash, no status items & no debt. We bought it with 22k miles on the clock, all cash & even paid the insurance up front.
As you can see from the pictures below, our car ownership started to spiral. We went from an old Land Rover which I loved, to a flash Mini Cooper which was a total blip & then onto a Mercedes which was madness. We now drive this little blue beast & it makes everyone smile. It’s a zero stress car & has been a huge catalyst for our downsizing & change. I think we are even going to drive it across to Amsterdam in the summer. How cool!
So the house has gone, the car is sorted & we are looking for a new more modest house. Definitely as small as possible, perhaps just a 1 bedroom place. We are also playing around with the idea of building a tiny house. But at the moment we are weighing up doing that or planning our eventual move to Amsterdam. Needless to say it’s a fun time.
With regards the debt, we have gone from many credit cards & overdrafts to one 0% credit card with a much lower balance. We have paid off tens of thousands of pounds in debt over the past year & we are on top of everything. It’s really liberating.
I’ve also been reading Stuffocation by James Wallman & I’m working towards living with only 100 items. People say it’s impossible, but considering where I came from to where I am now I think it will be easy to achieve.
These posts are pretty hard to write so if you have any questions or queries put them as a comment below. I will answer any questions you have as honestly as possible & I’d love to help you guys achieve the same goals. My wife & I feel really liberated & free. I’m really looking forward to starting over in a new place, with a new respect for money & a healthier relationship with our own money. I’ve also come to realise that I love running my own little business & living off a very modest wage. If I ever went back to work now it would have to be to a non-profit. I would rather earn little & make a difference. People always say I could earn a lot with my skill set & education but I am happiest when I’m creating my own future & running my own small business helps me do that daily.
Anyway, ask away. I’d love to hear from you. I’ll keep updating you guys & when I start to downsize even further I’ll do more posts.