Benjamin Franklin said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
I have spent the past year and six months learning. I have searched for a way to live in the northeast that would be frugal. I have looked at expensive (to me) homes usually needing work on the Cape with low property taxes, less expensive and tidier homes in New Hampshire/Vt with huge property taxes which would mean the yearly living expenses would be very high. I have also looked at homes in Western Mass which are sort of in between these two.
I have determined there is no way for me to live frugally in the northeast. There would have been had I bought my house back in the early 90's, but now house prices are so high that frugality seems to go out the window. (Even though prices are down, they are still high to me). I am done banging my head against a brick wall, trying to make "reality" conform to my desire to live frugally, among friends, in a landscape I love.
Only 6 years ago I lived on $10,000/year! How could things have changed in just six years. It doesnt seem that long ago to me. I dont give up easily, but I am damaging my health and sanity by this searching, searching, searching. I have to give up some of my ideas about how to live, in order to move on and be open to the unknown. I wish I werent so stubborn sometimes.
Truthfully, I feel as if I have been asleep since Mom died almost two years ago. I am just now waking up.
Ben also said, "Remember that time is money."
This is often interpreted to mean so get out there and earn money, there isn't much time. To me it means, when I take time to process things slowly, to learn slowly and reflect, I am doing the equivalent of earing money. The time to ponder, to me, is as valuable as money is to others. When I lie in my hammock under the trees and daydream, I am not lazy, I am earning money. By that definition I am rich. And also thrifty as I am not spending a penny.