Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cost of living

Autumn Grazing by Bill Saunders
Autumn Grazing

How did you get to live in the house you are now?

Housing costs depend on what choices have been important to you and are currently important to you.

Some questions to explore :

How much space do we need?
How can we maximise the space versus costs of property?
What are our housing needs?
How much are we prepared to pay for our housing costs?
Do we need to own a property?

If you did not reassess your housing costs before here are some ways of saving money or making your house help make ends meet.

Check that your house meets your needs ( i.e. could you manage with a smaller house, smaller garden different location etc). If it feels too small ask yourself how you can make it appear to be bigger? What is the core issue that makes you feel you need a larger house?
If you have a mortgage on your property check that you have the best possible rates and that you can manage the payments. How much are you prepared to pay for the way you live?
If you have a spare room, would you consider taking in a lodger. There is an issue with lack of privacy but if extra income is necessary could it be an option. Aim for maximum occupancy for your home which will also reduce your ecological footprint. Ensure that you have lodgers on a contract basis to protect yourself and your home.
Have you insulated your home as much as is possible both in terms of investment and possibilities in your home?
How much stuff do you need? Can you continue to declutter?
Is working from home a possibility cutting out commuting?
How much vegetables and fruit can your garden provide?
What temperature are you comfortable with?

With hindsight anything is possible; as I see people move into their new home I recall the many many boxes of stuff I packed, paid to be moved and then never needed. It is not a quick process but part of the downshifting journey.

My definition of success is total self acceptance. We can obtain all of the material possessions we desire quite easily, however, attempting to change our deepest thoughts and learning to love ourselves is a monumental challenge.

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