3 ways we live comfortably with less
In moving from a very comfortable life in the Caribbean to Canada in August 2018, my family of four faced a number of barriers. Namely, the lack of availability of foreign exchange to allow us to transition with our accumulated savings, a difficult market for selling our assets at the time, and a lack of credit history in our new country of residence making home buying more challenging. Knowing that the move would reap long term benefits we accepted the short term financial setbacks, not however without some lifestyle adjustments. Here are the 3 ways we’ve continued to live comfortably with less.
1. We got into the right mindset.
I didn’t realize how attached I’d become to all that stuff that I had accumulated in my former home! All that space! We had too many bathrooms to make use of, far more bedrooms than occupants, and spare living spaces that only cobwebs gathered in. It wasn’t until I embraced my new situation in Canada that I stopped and realized that in the Caribbean we’d been living in a house 3 times the size, but using one third of the space. I hadn’t lost anything by moving to a smaller home, in fact I gained a closer relationship with my children and husband. Making the best of our new lifestyle allowed me to shift my perspective. Now I enjoy the juggling of one bathroom and look forward to the stories that we’ll tell one day (though we intend on adding another as my daughter insists on it. lol). I appreciate that all corners of the house are now useful spaces and delight in having my kids more tightly knit around me.
2. We lowered our cost of living: We spend less on the essentials
Without Canadian credit history and the resulting inability to initially qualify for a mortgage we sank most of our savings into purchasing a home. This left us with savings well below our comfort level. To ensure that we didn’t dig too deeply into the remainder we reduced our cost of living in any area we could. Buying a smaller home and taking advantage of sales were the most significant factors in helping to reduce our expenses.
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3. We lowered discretionary spending: We spend less on everything else.
Since spending so much time at home earlier this year, and possibly no one to see me, my perception of the worth of my clothes was altered. The expensive clothing that seemed to add value to my life, no longer did. And while I still enjoy the occasional splurge, that frame of mind stuck with me; well dressed no longer equates to the price tag attached to my outfits. In fact I feel a greater satisfaction knowing that I saved money, without sacrificing style, while dressed-up in my Joe Fresh™ looks.
This mindset has spilled over into my entire way of life, buying more affordably in general and looking for added value.
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