This is a real tough subject. When we first started this endeavor, I watched in horror as I saw money flowing out of our bank account. At first I didn't notice. True! We were spending just like we had always done before we moved here. Problem was, we weren't earning money. So we were bleeding to death, financially. True, we had made some good decisions before making the move-- eliminating debt and stashing away as much as we could. But changing spending habits were really hard especially since we were dealing with the stress of a big move, an unexpected health problem with hubby, and a parent who suffered a stroke and needed daily assistance. The burdens masked our money habits until it became a serious concern.
So what steps did we take? Lots! Like in, no money out unless absolutely necessary. For people who were use to buying and spending, this acually was painful. I look back and say, " Of course! How silly to buy and spend." But at the time it wasn't so easy.
I had to change my mindset. Go minimalist...buy used...eat at home...no new toys...make your own...be creative...no binge spending. No more "keeping up with the Joneses". No more worrying about what other people might think. Explore ways to be frugal. Attach priorities as to where we would spend money. Create new ways to have fun for entertainment. For us, this was a major lifestyle change. But if we didn't change, we were going to fail. At the time we didn't know it, but about half the people moving to Hawaii fail and return to the mainland.
The first three years were real tough. Changing our lifestyle and mindset wasn't easy! And after ten years we are still working at it. Still finding ways to be frugal. Still finding ways to be self reliant. Still making decisions about where the money will be spent or not spent.
Some people can make big changes in one step, going cold turkey so to speak. Not us. Too painful. Too hard to accept and keep it up. Too hard to make the change permanent. So we changed by lots and lots of "baby steps". Since we changed by taking baby steps, I'll tell you about our steps a little at a time as this blog goes along.