Thursday, 12 January 2012

Welcome


Hi and welcome to the Monarch Place blog.  

I have started this blog as a way of tracking our progress towards retirement whilst still living a generous and healthy life without waste.  
I always planned to retire from my full time position when I turned 50 and now that the grand event is happening this year I can see that it is not going to be possible financially as we are nowhere near close to paying off our mortgage.  So, Plan B is to retire at 55 and I have just over 5 years to make a huge difference in our financial debt.  I’ve already put things into place to save money around the home, things that I would do if I were already retired and trying to live economically but generously.  Money earned from our regular employment can then be put to better use like paying down the mortgage.

A few years ago a financial advisor asked us what sort of retirement we would like so he could come up with a plan for us.  We told him that we would like to eat out occasionally and travel now and again.  At that point our lifestyle and budget were leading us to - quote - "take the public bus downtown to the local RSL Club or Hotel for a cheap meal" and that was about all the travel and dining out were would be able to afford!  Well that shook us up a bit and so a plan of action had to be taken, it's not just going to happen all by itself but is something we need to look into seriously, make a plan of attack and do our utmost to execute it while still being able to have a life.

Vegetable Gardens in Summer & Water Tank
We recently moved back from living overseas (a grand money making adventure that didn't pay off) and moved into a newish home in suburbia that we had built while abroad.  Living on 700sqm is not ideal to be self sufficient but we will do the best we can with what we have.  The house being new we are starting from scratch with almost everything so are able to plan and design as we go along.  It came standard with a water tank and energy efficient globes in all light fixtures and we also had a gas cooktop installed.  

The rainwater tank is connected to both toilets, the laundry sink, the washing machine and both front and back outdoor taps for the garden.  The hot water system is a new model that draws heat from the air rather than rely on electricity alone to heat the water.  I still wish for the solar hot water system from our old home, and we would also like to put in solar panels enough to completely pay for our electricity usage, but they will have to wait a little while longer.  All these things help us to save money in the long run.  I love the motto “Save the pennies to spend the pounds”.
 We built 2 raised vegetable gardens to grow our own organic vegetables and planted some fruit trees.


I would love to raise our own chickens like we have done in previous years, but unfortunately it is not allowed on our size block in the estate we live in, so I compromise by buying free range eggs from a young boy who lives locally and sells eggs for pocket money, a little entrepreneur!  As you can see the eggs come in a range of sizes from absolutely huge from an older layer, to tiny from new laying pullets.  I love to support local businesses  and young enterprise!

I enjoy reading other blogs about self sufficiency, sustainability and financial tips and a lot of those I read are either young families with young children or older retired people who have already attained what we are trying to and are living it everyday.  Two that are particularly inspiring to me are http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/ and http://slowlivingessentials.blogspot.com/ .  I hope to bring a different but similar side to this theme as I am working full time and have a house full of teenage children who think Mum is just a little bit weird with this stuff, but suffer mostly in silence through it all.  

I hope you enjoy your time here and I welcome your comments and feedback.  I hope we can learn from each other and over time become friends and a community who are working towards, or dreaming of working towards financial freedom and a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Chez, I am really into the self sustaining movement now and am so inspired daily by your blog. The plum sauce i made turned out so well, i had so many plums so i made plum jam too. I am now making my own yoghurt and wanted to tell you today i preserved tomatoes with the fowler vaucola!!! I am reading through the down to earth book which is great, next weekend we are planting vege gardens . I have to say i am doing this to find real happyness and contentment in an unbelievably busy world . I feel happy to be doing things from scratch and showing my two girls. I wanted ti tell u something funny, we have a craft cottage near where i live and i was thinking i would like to learn how to make candles, soap and burners. They wern't interested in doing classes or passing down the knowledge , how sad ! I found another lady at a market stall who is starting classes. Thank you for what you are doing passing on the knowledge on what you are learning , take care Rebecca

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  2. Hi Rebecca
    Thank you for the lovely comment and encouragement about the blog. It sounds like you are making great progress and finding reward in passing on your knowledge to your two girls as you are learning yourself. This is the old way of learning, one generation passing on skills to another. It is so sad to hear that the craft cottage near you doesn't have classes but keep searching on the internet, there is a wealth of knowledge out there.

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