Expenses we refuse to have
At the moment, owning a house is almost impossible for us financially. The prices in the UK are way above what any human being would consider normal, so we wouldn’t want to purchase a home here. Ideally, we would find a cheap home in another country that we could buy with cash, but we’re not there yet.
A house would also mean that we can’t move anymore. We like exploring different places, living there for a while, but then move on. I don’t like growing roots. 4 years is enough.
From a financial point of view, having a house would mean paying for every repair that needs to be made. We like the fact that at the moment all we have to do is report the damage to the landlord and wait for it to be fixed. No stress for us.
Plus, we’re more tempted by alternatives than by conventional houses – tiny homes, narrow boats, abandoned farms, off-grid properties. I could have been a hippie, I love this stuff. Our favourite Youtube channel is Exploring Alternatives, give them a browse to see how other people are living.
We considered buying an electric car, because it’s greener and once you buy it the expenses are minimal. But we like being car free. Although we are the only people on our street that don’t own a car, we’re active and we enjoy being a positive example for others. Alin used to own a car and we remember the time and money that thing required. Not to mention that he got it with a loan. Paying that loan was our first financial challenge when we started budgeting 5 years ago. I would not like to go back to that. The only way I’m buying a car is with cash and it needs to be electric, used, and vital to our transportation needs. At the moment it is not vital.
We are 100% against credit cards. The most common response is “but you can use it to build your credit score”. But I don’t want a credit score. I want my possessions to be bought with cash. If I can’t buy something with cash, then I can’t afford it and that’s that. Credit money is not my money, it’s the bank’s money. I’m much more responsible when I spend my own.
Expenses we refuse to give up
The gym membership
Every blog post you will read online about how to save money will tell you to give up your gym membership. It’s expensive and you can workout at home. Which is 100% true. However, here’s something important: we actually go to the gym. About 3 times a week. We go to classes, to the sauna and we use the gym area. We did the math and for it to make sense we need to go about 5 times a month and we definitely do that. The sauna (the only one in our town is at the gym) is something relaxing that Alin and I do together once a week, it’s an hour when we’re without the dogs and we can talk and plan all the things.
We have a premium pet insurance for both Beagles. About £110 every month goes towards that. It’s expensive, but so are the vet fees. Yoko had 2 surgeries and Leona had 3. Every time an x-ray and anaesthetic are involved, the vet bill goes up to £1200 pounds. Thankfully, the insurance company always paid us back, sometimes more than we paid them until that point. Accidents can happen when we least expect it, so I’m happy to know that even if I’m low on cash I will be able to give my pets the care they need.
We have several monthly donations set up for the charities that we support. Although we can’t help everyone and sometimes we need to replace one direct debit with another, they are just small amounts in the huge pile of payments. Giving them up will not help us very much, but having them makes a huge difference for someone else.
Now that we’re on a very tight budget, we had to replace some foods with their cheaper alternatives. But we kept most of our eating habits and tried to find solutions to lower the groceries bill without sacrificing quality. Health is wealth. And if you don’t believe me, check your budget next time you get sick. Not being healthy can cost more than healthy food. From a simple cold that will have you run to the pharmacy to more serious problems that need a doctor and tests, illness means spending money. So we put a lot of effort into staying healthy long term.