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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Roody 06-21-11 11:20 AM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12819486)
I'll make it simple for you:

Buy low, sell high. Works every time.

You're a big help as always.

:rolleyes:

Platy 06-21-11 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12819042)
Since you brought it up, does anybody have more thoughts on investments that are compatible with a simple life?

These days, the kind of investment I personally like is acquiring useful skills. That is, to put some time and effort into learning how to do things that pay off by reducing costs or providing tangible benefits. This avoids the inefficiency, risk, taxes and overhead of converting one's personal labor into money, managing financial investments, then later converting the money back into desirable goods & services.

One example is learning how to repair & mend stuff. Another example is to learn to cook well with cheap ingredients.

This kind of non financial investment is best suited for people who are underemployed in the market economy to a greater or lesser extent.

Smallwheels 06-21-11 02:24 PM

Investing In Yourself
 
Thank you Platy for reminding me of this. I should look into classes at Home Depot if they're still offering them. I want to do some framing and insulation work on a trailer home. Learning to do it myself would save a ton of money. Even learning about wiring would be beneficial for my future project.

Slowly I'm learning computer skills. Most of them are within programs. I really don't have the desire to learn programming code. Right now I'm getting familiar with using Linux. I really need to learn how to do FTP (uploading web sites and modifying them). These skills are for creating a web site that one day will earn some money for me.

Creating my own source of income would simplify my life in many ways.

Investing time to gain knowledge that you know will benefit you is probably the best investment there could ever be. Some people think a college education is beneficial. I think the cost to benefit ratio of a college education is too high these days.

Learning how to build a house, fix your vehicles, and cook great foods, are all very useful things to know these days.

Roody 06-21-11 04:28 PM

Thanks Platy and smallwheels. My7 first thought when I read your posts was, "But how is an "investment in myself" helping me to prepare for retirement?" After I considered it a few minutes, I had a couple new thoughts:

First, I realized that learning the right new skills, like the ones you guys suggested, might save me significant money after I retire. If I save even $100 a month with DIY projects, that's about the same as putting another $20,000 in my retirement accounts!

Second, I remembered that recent neurological research is showing that mental exercise--such as learning new information and skills--might heolp protect against dementia and other cognitive declines associated with aging. What better retirement investment could there be?

Platy 06-21-11 05:31 PM

Yeah, Roody, the phrase "invest in yourself" has been co-opted by the education establishment to imply accredited degrees, certifications, multi-year programs, giant student loans, etc. You know, all the stuff that only they can provide. Those are all good things, but I specifically meant learning immediately useful skills in bite-size chunks.

Now about retirement. Everyone knows of some retired guy who's turned into Mr. Fix-It / Mr. Gardener / Mr. Chef. One reason this happens is, they can save a bundle of money and have a good time doing it. A person does need a certain amount of money income to retire, but the idea is to sharply reduce the income requirement by satisfying your own needs as directly as possible with ingenuity and labor -- which is precisely the Do It Yourself philosophy. You can do a little or a lot. One great thing about this approach is, it's not just for the retired. It's helpful for anyone who "has more time than money", as they say. It's not a complete solution, but nothing else is, either.

wahoonc 06-21-11 05:55 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12819042)
Since you brought it up, does anybody have more thoughts on investments that are compatible with a simple life?

Knowledge and skills...

We were doing some mock interviews with pageant girls a couple of weeks back (my wife is big into pageant work and I am a certified judge ;)) and one of the questions that was asked was; "What is your most prized possession and why?" One the top girls and possibly the next Miss NC replied with; "My college degree, no one can ever take away the knowledge I gained earning that degree." Awesome answer! FWIW her BS is in Zoology and she is working on a Masters in Agriculture!

I don't believe you can ever go wrong learning something new or a hands on skill, even if it may be an archaic one.

EDIT: I should add, make sure you don't fall prey to the "gotta have all the accessories" for the new skill! One of my wife's cousins has spent several thousand dollars on the "gotta haves" every time she takes an different course; scrap booking, oil painting, water colors, etc, etc.

My current learning has been computer oriented, working on programing :P

I am much more of a physical, hands on person. I do much better with things like welding, carpentry and gardening. I have also learned over the years, learn to do it the old fashioned manual way, then decide if you want to go modern with the power tools. Years ago I took cabinet/furniture making courses. We learned to do things with the most basic of hand tools before we learned how to use the fancy power tools. Good hand tools well taken care of will last a long time and are easy to store. Most of my cabinet making tools fit in a large wooden tool box the size of a small coffee table. Many of them were inherited from my grandfather and are still used today for smaller projects. Ditto my mechanic tools, bicycle tools and homeowner tools.



Aaron :)

nash4343 06-22-11 02:40 AM


Originally Posted by Alekhine (Post 1993605)
-I hand-wash all my clothes with a 1940's clothes plunger, and hang them to dry outside.

Would love to see a pic of this 1940's clothes plunger.

wahoonc 06-22-11 03:42 AM


Originally Posted by nash4343 (Post 12823015)
Would love to see a pic of this 1940's clothes plunger.

Probably looks a lot like this one...still available from Lehman's Hardware.

Aaron :)

http://image.lehmans.com/lehmans/Ima...large/66rw.jpg

nash4343 06-23-11 01:23 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12823052)
Probably looks a lot like this one...still available from Lehman's Hardware.

Aaron :)

http://image.lehmans.com/lehmans/Ima...large/66rw.jpg

WOW! Amazing....
Thanks for the pic. I would have no clue how to use this.

Nash

wahoonc 06-23-11 04:07 AM


Originally Posted by nash4343 (Post 12828303)
WOW! Amazing....
Thanks for the pic. I would have no clue how to use this.

Nash

Get a big bucket, wash tub or use your bathtub or sink. Fill with dirty clothes and warm soapy water, put the plunger in and plunge up and down against the clothes, them move them around and continue for a while until A) you are worn out or B) the clothes are as clean as they are going to get :P

Aaron :)

I-Like-To-Bike 06-23-11 04:22 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12828430)
Get a big bucket, wash tub or use your bathtub or sink. Fill with dirty clothes and warm soapy water, put the plunger in and plunge up and down against the clothes, them move them around and continue for a while until A) you are worn out or B) the clothes are as clean as they are going to get :P

Aaron :)

Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

nash4343 06-23-11 05:03 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12828430)
Get a big bucket, wash tub or use your bathtub or sink. Fill with dirty clothes and warm soapy water, put the plunger in and plunge up and down against the clothes, them move them around and continue for a while until A) you are worn out or B) the clothes are as clean as they are going to get :P

Aaron :)

LOL sounds like a lot of work. Could end up with great looking arms though. I will settle for my good ol washer and dryer. Here is Spain we wash in washing machine but most hang clothes to dry.

Nash

Roody 06-23-11 09:27 AM

I wash bike clothes (quick dry fabrics) by hand when I get home at night and they dry by morning hanging in the bathroom. You have to rinse them and wring them out very well.

I only do this for very small loads when it's definitely not worth using the washing machine. It's a fair amount of work for even a couple items. I don't know how women (mostly) did it back in the old days when they hand cleaned a whole family's laundry! :eek:

Platy 06-23-11 09:45 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12829519)
I don't know how women (mostly) did it back in the old days when they hand cleaned a whole family's laundry! :eek:

They boiled the laundry with home made lye soap in a big iron kettle by the side of the house, stirring and pounding it with massive wooden plungers. This harsh treatment was necessary to kill lice and other bugs. There wasn't as big of a quantity of stuff to be laundered because outer garments were typically worn for days or weeks between washings. Washing and hang drying a week's laundry was considered to be a full day's work. Traditionally it was done on Monday. Ironing took most of another day. I don't think ironing was strictly necessary from a health standpoint, but most people at the time would have been aghast at the thought of wearing wrinkled clothes in public.

Roody 06-23-11 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by Platy (Post 12829636)
They boiled the laundry with home made lye soap in a big iron kettle by the side of the house, stirring and pounding it with massive wooden plungers. This harsh treatment was necessary to kill lice and other bugs. There wasn't as big of a quantity of stuff to be laundered because outer garments were typically worn for days or weeks between washings. Washing and hang drying a week's laundry was considered to be a full day's work. Traditionally it was done on Monday. Ironing took most of another day. I don't think ironing was strictly necessary from a health standpoint, but most people at the time would have been aghast at the thought of wearing wrinkled clothes in public.

Interesting, and shows how exhausting this work was. (Actually I didn't mean "how" they did it literally, I meant how did they find the time and strength to do such exhausting and tedious work?)

Platy 06-23-11 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12829697)
Interesting, and shows how exhausting this work was. (Actually I didn't mean "how" they did it literally, I meant how did they find the time and strength to do such exhausting and tedious work?)

They had no alternative and it really wore people out. Modern fabrics and detergents, along with indoor plumbing and sanitation, makes hand laundry easy in comparison. I don't use a laundry plunger myself, but I do hang dry my clothes.

Newspaperguy 06-23-11 10:21 AM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12828443)
Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

That depends. What happens if the stream freezes in winter?

wahoonc 06-23-11 11:40 AM

Saw a paper/study a while back the claimed that labor saving devices in many cases really aren't if you factor in the time required to pay for them versus the time spent doing work the manual way. I didn't completely agree with the conclusions but they were interesting. One was the cost of a vacuum cleaner versus not having carpets and beating rugs a couple of times a year.

Aaron :)

Smallwheels 06-23-11 04:32 PM

Somewhere on an RV site I found a story about a guy who uses a modern day version of the plunger and bucket system. If I recall properly, it was a three bucket system. One was for washing and two for rinsing. Each bucket was a five or six gallon tall plastic design commonly used for paint and other things. The plunger looked more like a bell than a plumbing drain cleaning model.

There was a formula for creating the soap. One ingredient was white vinegar. To me adding that would seem to make the whole process more expensive, maybe not. The person using the system said that the clothes came out cleaner than they would using a commercial or home washing machine. The article said that such a kit was sold on ebay. I found the plunger on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQurD1JXHy8

This kit would seem like a good thing to have for an RV dweller that didn't want to move his machine around town looking for a laundromat. It wouldn't be needed for the people who only park in RV parks.

I also remembered the Wonder Wash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk-CK_2OmHk

Would these things make life simpler? They might for an apartment dweller who didn't have a washing machine. On Amazon.com (where I go to read product reviews) several apartment dwellers loved the money savings and not needing to walk down several flights of stairs to the cold basement.

This post made me also realize just how much the internet has simplified my life. I can learn about so many things so much faster than ever before. Without the internet how long would it take for me to come across somebody who owned a Wonder Wash or Breathing Mobile Washer?

I-Like-To-Bike 06-23-11 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 12829844)
That depends. What happens if the stream freezes in winter?

Beat the clothes with blocks of ice?

wahoonc 06-23-11 05:59 PM

I use a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle rather than a commercial softener. It strips the soap out of the cloth and leaves it soft without the perfumes, wax and silicone that the commercial softeners do. I also try to hang my clothes out to dry rather than run them through the dryer. It saves energy and isn't as hard on the clothes. Lint is from your clothes disintegrating. :eek:

Aaron :)

Roody 06-23-11 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12832131)
I use a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle rather than a commercial softener. It strips the soap out of the cloth and leaves it soft without the perfumes, wax and silicone that the commercial softeners do. I also try to hang my clothes out to dry rather than run them through the dryer. It saves energy and isn't as hard on the clothes. Lint is from your clothes disintegrating. :eek:

Aaron :)

Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

Artkansas 06-23-11 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12828443)
Wouldn't taking clothes down to a stream (preferably in a basket carried on top of the head) and beating them with rocks be even simpler and just as effective?

Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions.

In many communities there isn't a stream nearby. I lived near to Bear Creek for 8 years. Barely saw a drop of water in it. Sometimes none at all for over a year at a time.:crash:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Ekdog 06-24-11 01:24 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12832156)
Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

I do the same. No vinegar smell.

Regarding washing clothes by hand: I imagine that using a washing machine requires less water. I know that's the case with dishes. A dishwasher is much more efficient than washing up by hand.

wahoonc 06-24-11 03:57 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 12832156)
Do the clothes smell of vinegar?

No vinegar smell at all. I had a chemist friend explain how it works one time but I missed most of it...I was a biology major.

Aaron :)


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