birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Case for Needing Very Little Personal Income

I am on a precipice with money. Having just retired, I'm counting on having enough cash-ola, with all the systems in place, to not have to work in a real job again for the rest of my life. This concept blows my mind.

There are major back-up plans in place. For example, my husband wants to work for about four more years. This, alone, is huge in helping me not fall off any mountain of uncertainty. He also has always been much more on top of our finances, and he is supportive of my plan. That fact is the number two reason I'm less inclined to worry about my lack of economic input.

Number three: I tend to be a frugal person in terms of purchasing. I don't look at "shopping" as recreation as some do. Buying something I don't need or really want is easy for me to decline. And when I do need to spend money, I've always been one to look for a deal. My husband spends more money on clothes and material things than I do- he grew up with certain brands equaling better quality, whereas, I was taught the best deal was the one that cost the least.

Only in the past five years or so have I treated myself to things like professional haircuts, pedicures every 3 months, and a massage a couple times a year. These are indulgences for me. Before, I cut my own hair, or had a friend do it. I trimmed my own toenails, which I still do most of the time. And, I counted on my husband or friends for back rubs. But, those professional massages are so sweet!

I occasionally will buy a book, but my library card is well used. When I've purchased the few cars I've owned, its always been about trying for the car with the best gas mileageand I keep the cars so long that they are a part of my identity. The dishes, silverware, and many household goods we received at our wedding, 32 years ago, are those that we still use every meal. I do treat myself to a lunch out once a week with friends. I figure, what the heck?

Also, if I have an urge to take a trip, for example to fly with a friend to go exploring- I plan to either spend money from selling any paintings I make or tutor a kid for some spending money. All the trips my husband and I take together will be paid for by our mutual savings. I'm pretty darn fortunate- and I figure my husband is lucky to have me as his life partner; I mean I'm a bargain!

Friends from College