- Public Library for Entertainment – It’s true. We don’t pay to go to the movies. Growing up in Burma, we had to wait until the American movies arrived there. So same principle here, we just need to be patient and wait until they arrive to the library. We also do not go to blockbuster etc. We just don’t. We get music and books we like from there as well. Est. Saving $30 = $360 annually
- No Cable – Just plain regular channels with Tivo Est. Saving $50 =$600 annually
- No Land Line – We are accessible by 2 cell phones, email, FB, Twitter. Saving $50 = $600 annually
- No new clothes, shoes, accessories purchases in the US in over 6 months (except for occasional purchases for Em and her uniforms. I always by them big, so she can grow into them and I only buy one set). School has a hand-me-down program and that works out GREAT! Est. Saving $50 = $600 annually
- Hand-me-downs – Em gets most of her clothes from her cousins. She knows that when she grows out of them we donate them to The Burmese Refugee Children so that they could benefit from them.
- No fancy shmancy products – Just shampoo and body wash. No sculpting gel, no spray, no nail polish, no foundation, no lipstick, no nothing extra. Just basics. Just facial cleanser, moisturizer, eye liner (that’s for Aye) and 30 SPF organic lip balm. I did try Cindy Crawford’s facial products recently. 🙂
- Homemade Lunch- Mostly organic . Otherwise, it costs extra at Em’s Montessori School. Est Saving $75 = $900 annually – Now that is a biggie!!
- NO fast food dining, but we love Chipotle. They serve “REAL” food! Seriously, Emma has not been to a fast food place because of her parents.
- Bring it. Whether it is a road trip cross country, just across Texas, or picnic at the park — we take our own food, own water *not plastic bottles,* own snacks so we don’t have to pay overpriced food and eat fast food. For example, we made our food/sandwiches when we were at Disney World. We love picnics. We don’t deprive ourselves either. If we feel like it, we makes exceptions and eat on the road, but careful with our choices.
- We don’t order drinks, instead if we’ve brought our own water, we just ask for Lime or Lemon and add a dash of sugar and salt, you have yourself a Lemonade/Limeade.
- We use cloth napkins at home and when we are traveling. We almost always bring our own silverware also.
- We have had the same rice cooker for over a decade, maybe even 15 yrs. No Kidding! Kept hoping it will die so we could finally get a new one. We may take it with us to Thailand.
- We don’t have too many latte factors in our lives as we don’t do starbucks, drive through breakfast, lunch or dinner. Except for monthly cravins Aye has for chocolates, Thai food and any other foods come across Twitter and Facebook.
- Birthday Parties – Usually at a local park, It’s FREE! Children and parents are asked to bring gently used toys or books as gifts. Goodie bags are filled with FRUITS!!
- Christmas – we prefer to spend time with immediate family, traveling or on a volunteer project during major holidays. We don’t make a habit of giving BIG gifts to each other. Our gifts to each other is being together, mostly traveling.
- Recycle gifts– Yes, we admit it and not ashamed of it, by the way. If we don’t find it useful, someone else might. We also recycle gift bags and tissues.
- Jack changes the oil in one of our cars. It’s a hobby, it relaxes him. Est saving $150 annually
- While traveling, NO big souvenirs for ourselves, family and friends. We send handwritten postcards.
- We use credit cards when we can to pay for groceries, light bills, gas bills, life insurance and internet to gain miles and points. For example, we utilized these points to get amazon gift cards and applied them towards our latest Nikon DSLR D5000. It was a deal and a steal.
- We have no credit card debts. They are paid off monthly and there are NO fees.
- Last year we bought the Wii with the rebate we received from Costo.
- Aye does trade work with a local dance studio and she gets to exercise/dance at NO charge, 10 classes a month. (Just started this this year). It was once or twice a week in previous years since 2006. Still a pretty good deal. Est, Savings $120 mo.
The great thing about us these days is that we are emptying our home: Downsizing to suitcases.
Everything must GO before summer, including the cars and the house.
Hopefully this post will give YOU some ideas for you to live a bit smaller!
Already living small, what are you doing?? Advice, Suggestions, Tips?? Care to Share!!
LESS is MORE!