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Grandiose Overtures

As I write this, I’m noticing a theme of late. Lamenting my (and everyone’s) expensive life, at the same time I’m defending Stuff and getting bogged down in the slowness of projects (at least when done frugally). Sheesh, what a whiner!

Clearly, “somebody” is struggling with the day to day drudgery of frugality. Somebody. I get like this on occasion. I know it. When I do, there’s a little day dreaming I’m prone to. That is, I start to muddle over grandiose overtures. Big moves. Leaps. To fix or at least completely alter my situation. I’m curious to see if you do too.


What do I mean by “big moves”? Over sweeping actions that would effectively render that penny pinching drudgery I’m rallying against moot. To be more specific, our go-to “what if” is moving.

This happens frequently (by which I mean every time), we travel. Anywhere. Even to middle of nowhere rural Oregon. Perhaps especially to middle of nowhere rural Oregon. Where gas is .15 cheaper per gallon. Where I have a reasonable hope of buying a house I could actually pay-off. Or at least having a 3 digit mortgage payment, as opposed to 4. Cheap housing where I could expand my garden and food production. Nevermind the bleak employment prospects. Disregard the limited access to my friends or anything resembling culture. It gets my wheels churning. Rural Oregon leads to North Idaho, leads to Austin Texas, leads to parts unknown. The point is drop the life you’ve got. Pick up a new and improved one somewhere else.

And then there’s the fact I’d have to quit my job. Talk about daydreams.

Obviously, the penny-pinching would not become a complete thing of the past. That’s just silly. All legal tender would still require pinching. Moves are expensive. Moves that compromise jobs and earning potential are more so. In my mind’s eye, this is about starting over. Removing myself from the expensive PNW, my bloated job, and my slightly slimmer mortgage to see if we could do it frugally somewhere else. And would that frugality be easier?

A girl can dream. And she does.

Moving is the most frequent and long conversation inspiring subject, but such overtures they call to me. It goes beyond drop everything and move. When I have a little success with home food production? I think about ripping up the front yard for expansion. Because, I don’t want to make some of my food. I want to make all of it.

I don’t want to save some of my money. I want to save all of it. Or as close to that as I can get.
I don’t want to loose 10lbs. I want to loose fifty.
I don’t want to run 3 miles. I want to run 13.1.

Getting the picture here? Extremes. Grandiose moves. Whole Hog. Success only begets further inspiration. Sometimes they are day dreams. Sometimes I actually do them. Luckily, that only seems to happen when it makes sense. So far, the practicality of moving doesn’t add up. Relocating too many dogs, most of which are senior. Attempting to rid myself of the fat mortgage without involving bankruptcy or foreclosure. These are not things I am interested in. Currently.

I’ve also yet to rip up our yard. My melon is awash with thoughts of goats, bees, ducks and bunnies. Thinking about all the things I’m growing this year goes hand in hand with all the things I could be growing. Most of those additions probably won’t come to fruition. (Bees though….)

For someone with this kind of affliction, those small daily decisions can get painful. They seem never ending, instead of a means to an end. I have to remind myself, I can’t escape. That’s helpful, right? In some ways, moving would be easy. One decision. Complicated yes, but free (at least temporarily) from the staying the course tedium that’s so difficult to maintain. Unfortunately, (or not) it’s those small steps that make for a successful leap. The three mile run leads to the thirteen. You have to lose 10lbs before you can ever hope to see 50lbs. What I’m growing in Ugly Garden now, is a solid, respectable start, even if it represents a fraction of our food consumption. Keeping at these tiny, minuscule, occasionally ridiculous acts of frugality, is my best good chance at escaping Corporate Servitude. These statements pain me. That doesn’t make them any less true.

Will we move someday? Perhaps. Maybe the stars will align, and it will make sense. We might have fewer dogs. Home values might rebound. I think the fewer dogs scenario is more likely. In which case I’ll be completely mentally prepared, having walked through the scenario in my mind thousands of times.

In the meantime, our lawn may not be safe.

Am I alone in this? Do you daydream about ‘fixing’ your life? How do you handle the money-saving blues?

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Poor To Rich a Day at a Time

LOL I think everyone daydreams. I dream about the day 4 years from now we take off on our trip across America on horseback Researching, planning and keeping information at

To further that dream, that we find some rural abandoned cabin in some mountains somewhere that we squat in and give up being slave to money…….to live a moneyless lifestyle and be truly free from everyone and everything but ourselves and what our own minds push us to do! To 100 % Live off the land, go where and when we want and just BE.


That’s a great dream! And one you are actively working on! Bonus points there!

Crystal Wayward

I daydream about pulling up roots and running away as a means of “fixing my life” every day. If it were actually possible, I think is be moving into your neighborhood. :)


Glad I’m not alone, and you’d be more than welcome in our ‘hood. 😉

Kimberly C

I’m often bogged down in the “what if” dreams. The dreams of a house we might have someday, and how rural we could make it without being too rural, how much land we could stake out. Will there be chickens? Goats? Bees?

What if.. I took that other career path, instead of the one I’m on now, or that other other path I haven’t thought much about. What would it be like not to hate my day-to-day job?

The dream of retiring 40 years from now (maybe 30.. 35..) and living somewhere fancy like rural Alaska, or just one of the San Juan Islands. Or maybe a house boat.

I guess I try to fit the dreaming time into moments of my day when I can’t be doing anything else productive. My work is rather monotonous, for which I am sometimes thankful. It’s nice to dream, I think, because it shows a desire to want things to be better, instead of giving in to resignation.


Career path what if’s are particularly hard. And can be paralyzing, at least for me. Is there such a thing as a day to day job you don’t loathe? Or is the day to day grind just that? Always a grind. Questions, daydreams, questions, daydreams.

Gee the rural Alaska sounds nice. 😉


I agree that career what ifs can be hard. I have had them myself. If you are bored with your day jog, consider the possibility of starting your own business.

You’ll never be bored again. Overworked (self-driven)? probably but bored – No.

Best of luck to all


I wish I had the answer for you DOD. I really hate advice myself, so I tend to not give it out. I typically bite off more than I can chew, and have gotten very frustrated at all that I haven’t gotten done. I am definitely not a type a personality. I backed myself in to some pretty difficult career corners in my time. Being frugal was how I got out. was wondering if you have read ‘The Tightwad Gazette’ by Amy Dacyczyn? it is very inspiring and has lots of good info. She is very definitely type a.


Big fan of The Dacyczyn. Although in all my book buying adventures I’ve yet to pick up that one, which is kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

I completely agree about the inspiration.

I’ve been told I’m type A. I disagree. 😉


I’m a daydreamer, but I wasn’t always. I left a job I loved five years ago for a desk job that I hate. I was single and needed the money to support myself as there was no guarantee prince charming would arrive. Now I have a Roth IRA and a 401K, but my commute inflated to 105 minutes from 22 minutes one-way. I dream of finding a job that pays the same, or even 20% less, where I can ride my bike to work and have all the time I want for current hobbies and hobbies yet to be discovered. Or maybe just a job where I can work from home and earn a decent living. On the bright side, I’m only 14 years away from retiring and earning 66% of my salary for life!


I have a problem with those kind of bright sides. 😉 Delayed gratification to the extreme.

I too daydream about a better job for less money. HA! Oh, to long for a pay cut. Hilarious.

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