Friday, December 16, 2011

Frugal Retirement-Making Time

I firmly beleive that retirement should be about doing the things that are important to you-living life on your own terms.  Actually, I believe that about life in general. People need to make choices about what works for them, rather than following some generalized "plan" of what they are supposed to be doing when. Managing that, in retirement or any other time, requires setting priorities.  I'm not just talking financial priorities here, I'm also talking about the issue of time.

Recently I've decided to make some changes in how I use some of my retirement time.  I've stated more than once that flexible time is a huge advantage of retirement.  As such, I am not willing to give up the way I live to move to a day to day set schedule. I will never, ever, be the girl that has a daily routine that she follows. Put simply, that's not me.  There are very few things that I do at the same time daily, other than have dinner.  That said, I did want to free up some more time. 

The reasons for my wanting to access more time are varied, although there is a similar theme.  Lately I've willingly taken on a couple time consuming projects and hobbies. I'm exploring canning and preserving. The nature of this hobby/interest is that it requires blocks of time.  I want to expand my quilting hobby and business into larger projects and to an "art" level.  I've decided to study watercoloring.  On the home front, I plan to intensively container garden in the spring.  I would like to be able to do as much of our landscaping ans possible.  Finally, living a frugal do it yourself life requires that I spend time vs money. Making gifts, cooking from scratch, and other do it yourself money saving projects often have a time component.

While I want to do all of these things, also want to maintain a slightly slower pace to my life. I still want to be able to spend a day on the patio reading, to walk daily (when I feel up to it) or sit and cuddle with the dog. I want to be able to say "yes" to a day trip or a last minute invitation.

Freeing up time is kind of like freeing up money.  One has to make choices.  One has to elminated the uneeded or unwanted. One also may have to make substitutions.  Some of the steps I've made to free up time for all the "good stuff", were already in place.
  I don't watch TV during week in the daytime, ever (unless the tornado alarms blare or martial law is declared). This includes the news, the stock reports (ha!), cooking shows or anything else. If it is something that has value, on rare occasions I may set the ole DVR.

 I am not hannah housekeepr (or even the flylady), and I have trimmed routines as much as possible. In my life that generally means that most cleaning gets done as part of doing something else. In other words, I dont clean the kitchen. I put everything away and wipe when I am cooking. I do the other basics as needed and have never spent a day just cleaning in my life.

I finally decided to eliminate some of my computer time.  This may be a double edge sword, but I found that once I sat down, I was down.  I figured I will try waiting to access the computer in the afternoon, after I've done all the other stuff (I do check email in the morning).  I think this will help me because it will have a natural end (walking the dog and dinner time). I still should be able to access discounts and deals and do research, even blog. If I run out of computer time, I'll get on during my low energy evening hours.

Finally, I am trying to have a permanent place for most of my projects whenever possible.  This one is not just about time. It is much more convenient and tempting for me to work on something when it is easily accessible.  I realize that I probably have an advantage here. Because I have not downsized, I have some space. I am able to keep out my machine and sew as I need. I'm still working on the painting part-I expect it will be easier in the warm weather because I can keep a table and easel on the covered patio.  I got a small storage bench and have stored everything related to gardening on the patio, rather than back in the shed.  I keep baskets around with paper and pencils and the current books as well.  so far, I haven't found as easy a way to work this one in the kitchen, although I do keep commonly used items out instead of hidden in the pantry.

 Oh, and last but not least, even in retirement I am working to keep weekends........well, weekends. Certainly when gardening season comes things will have to be watered.  Some of my hobbies and interests will carry over for sure. But by keeping those days ME time, with no computer, and limited TV, it makes my time management much easier.

Today, I am making raspberry fudge sauce and Butterscotch topping to give as gifts...its taken me a few hours, but the end result has been worth while, rewarding..........oh, and frugal as well.


  1. Good ideas. I need to keep my life's priorities in mind as I do my days. Time is too easy to fritter.

  2. I am really enjoying your blog-- just found it so am catching up with old posts.I too am (semi) retired, have made choices about time vs. money, seek a SLOWER pace to life, and want to enjoy my hobbies and homemaking more is 2012.. thanks for sharing! For 2012 I am going to reduce computer time but will keep some "blog reading" time in the schedule!


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