How do you build a life you don’t feel like escaping?

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I’ve been putting some more thought into why I want to be here sharing “my story.”

For one, I don’t think I’m a “how to” person. I don’t feel I’m a great teacher. And, probably through some identifiable psychological complex, I am rarely confident enough in my choices to think that I should be striving to give advice to others on how to live. I’m happy to give advice when asked, but don’t think I can walk anyone step by step on how to be happy and build wealth (especially since I’m often still quite surprised myself by how well I’ve done financially). I DO think some people can gain insights that might help them out from hearing what I have to say.

I make good money, yes. But, as a single income family, it’s nothing crazy. Two nurses could easily earn more money than I do (I think).

I have no grand expectations of getting “rich” or buying fancy things and taking extravagant vacations. Honestly, I haven’t went anywhere or done anything I would consider a vacation in 4 years!

Me and my spouse made a decision early on to try and make a life that we didn’t feel the need to escape from.

Ways to escape life can take so many forms. Spending on things we don’t need. Vacations we can’t really afford or that set us back on our other goals. Eating out even.

To those of us not making huge sums of money (yes, I know that’s all relative and arguable), that aim to build a life you don’t have to look for escapes from is key. We have had to go about slowly adjusting our expectations about what a good life means to US.

What are your keys to happiness? Not worrying about money has to be one of them. Even before you have decided what the rest looks like if you can put your mind towards saving as much as possible early on, it opens up the opportunities a great deal. And of course, that whole living below your means element plays a part. Adjusting your spending to below a level that causes you any worry has to be the first step.

So, among other things, hopefully I can help give some insight on how over time I’ve adjusted (and continue to adjust) my expectations for life to aim for a life I don’t feel the need to escape from.

I’m by no means perfect. For example, I am envious of those who can follow some sort of minimalist philosophy. But I’m not ready to let go of of many of my things yet, even fully recognizing the stress that my clutter can cause me at times!

And I would sincerely like to help young professionals, especially if they are still in school set themselves up from the beginning so they don’t have to dig themselves out of debt. But that all begins by having some idea of what you hope your life will look like eventually.

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Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.

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