Living La Vida Cheapo ~

We’re looking for ways stretch our retirement dollars and have a few more grand adventures while we’re at it, so living in some place like Nicaragua or Mexico (yes it’s still safe), or Panama or even Spain are very intriguing possibilities for living the good life for less.   This recent article in the New York Times is full of great information on the benefits and pitfalls for people who want to explore the option of retirement living outside of the United States.  It looks like there are several interesting locations where you can live for less than $1500 a month – if you are willing to live more like a local and less like a gringo.  Really, why else would you go there?

And, yes, that’s a big pile of chickens lying out in the warm air on the table.  No, we didn’t buy one.   But right after we shopped at this gigantic outdoor mercado, I paid 5 pesos for two squares of toilet paper so I could use the public restroom.  It’s all just part of the adventure.


Selling it all on Ebay

When you start selling pieces of your life on Ebay, it really makes you think about the things we hold so dear. Why the heck was it so important to collect salt and pepper shakers for instance?  Shakers that neither salt nor pepper touched.  Why does my husband still own his bowling ball from 1974?  Interesting, since he has moved across the country and up and around the west coast lugging said bowling ball that weighs 14 pounds and he NEVER has bowled since I’ve known him.  What deep meaning is buried on the back shelf in the storage room with that dusty bowling ball and its decaying leatherette bag?   I’m pretty sure that we humans are the only species that collect and save large quantities of useless stuff that somehow help us define who we are in this life.  It makes us feel good. We like to look at it and touch it and occasionally dust it and show it to other people who ooh and aah over it and then it goes back on the shelf and we forget we have it until it’s time to move and pack it up (again!) or we tire of it and become enamored with some other entirely useless things that we start to collect and then it goes into a box on the shelf in the storage room to make space for the new stuff we have to have.  Really?  What the heck are we doing here?  I’m not willing to spend more money to see a professional to tell me the answer to that question, but it is definitely something to roll around in my mind on some long, dark night when sleep eludes…or when I’m dusting.

These days, with the benefit of Antiques Roadshow and online garage sales like Ebay, we’re all hoping that the ugly painting or the $2 vase will be worth millions and fill in the gaping whole in our slipshod retirement plan.  We’re also supplementing that plan with lottery tickets, but that’s another post entirely.

Which brings me to my hubby’s latest adventure in collecting.  Selling it all on Ebay.  Yep, literally overnight, he made a giant U turn and before you can say “what the ?”, he says “everything goes”.  That’s where the backpack and rollie idea came in.  Selling on Ebay is a new adventure in putting a real dollar value on your precious, priceless possessions.   Oops!  Paid $75.00 … highest bidder on Ebay – $.99 + shipping.  The fur trade era collection is going first.  Sales are brisk!  Prices are up from that first 99 cent sale.  Who knew people would start a bidding war on used trapper-ware?