This weekend Nason and I did something a little…crazy.  It was something that needed to be done, but we thought we would have to do it in stages.  But we took a breath, and cashed my paycheck to buy soil and gardening equipment.  And boy did we have fun!

We borrowed our friend’s truck, and went to Home Depot.  We bought so much soil that the fellows who were helping us just loaded a pallet into the truck bed.  We got the fencing we wanted, and the tools we needed, and even had some money left over.  As we left Home Depot, we realized that we had actually done it, and all that is left to do is buy the equipment for a drip system.  So this will be a week spent outdoors, digging trenches and filling them with soil, and starting to grow seeds, and reinforcing our garden fence.  I’m pretty excited, and glad that we did something a little crazy this weekend.

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Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about new technology that is coming out, and it made me stop and take stock of the things I own.  And I realized that I could be considered outdated.

My cell phone is not a Blackberry or an iPhone; it doesn’t even have a keyboard!

My television is not flat screen, we don’t have cable (one less bill) and we don’t own a DVD player-we watch movies on a Playstation 2.

We have nice laptops, but mine is secondhand and Nason’s is issued by his work.

Most of our furniture was free, and all of it was previously loved.

In truth, none of these things really bothers me.  If I had an iPhone, I would probably use it and love it, but I don’t stress about the fact that I don’t.  I like new furniture, but I’m perfectly happy with the 20+ year old sofas we got from my parents.  New things are nice, but I find that constantly pursuing the latest style or toy will only lead to discontent in the long run.  There will always be things out there that are newer and cooler than what I own.  And wasting time striving for those things seems silly-I’d rather spend time with people than shopping around for the latest and greatest thing.  So I’ll stick with my cell phone that only has T9 for now.

At least, I will until it stops working.  Then maybe I’ll see about something with QWERTY.

A few months ago, when we initially started looking at houses, Nason and I made a big and risky decision-we started putting my paycheck into savings and began to live solely off of his.  Now, we did not make that much money to begin with, but we still made enough to get what we needed and then some.  We lived well within our means, and so we were pretty comfortable.  However, when we made our decision, that meant losing a third of our budget every two weeks (Nason makes more an hour and works more hours, so he makes about twice as much as me).  This meant we had to drastically alter our lifestyle.  We stopped going to the movies, and we rarely eat at restaurants, and we started (occasionally) using our credit cards to carry us over until the next paycheck.  Now, we really live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes it’s tough.

But, even though it’s difficult, it has actually been beneficial in so many ways.  We communicate more about our finances than we did before.  We are less wasteful, and we are smarter shoppers because we have to be.  Despite taking such a cut in our budget, we are still debt free, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.  And our savings account looks fantastic.  Even though we occasionally use money from savings on projects such as our garden or the trip we are taking this weekend, we consistently put more money in than we are taking out, so our savings account has been steadily growing, which was the initial idea.

Honestly?  I think we have more fun now than we did before.  While we do not go out on dates as often as we used to, we like to go hiking, or spend fun nights at home.  We have two Nerf dart pistols, and we will run around the house shooting each other.  Our life is quieter now, and I like it.

This is our good life-while we are pretty poor, we are incredibly happy, and I honestly think that we are better with our finances now than before.  Having to handle our money differently has led us to be more responsible with what we have, and we are better stewards for it.  Even though our lifestyle has changed, our level of happiness is still the same, if not higher.  That is what the good life should be, right?  I think so.