One Red Paperclip

Here’s a favourite inspirational read of mine. You would find it in my rainbow bookcase if you rummaged. It’s a keeper. ‘One Red Paperclip’ tells the story of how, in fourteen successive swaps over a year, Kyle MacDonald traded one ordinary paperclip for a house. Not one for his model railway or dollies but a proper sized joint for him and his girlfriend to live in.

Why do I like this One Red Paperclip? Well, it inspires me to think beyond conventional ways of working and investing. Perhaps the education, financial and social system has conditioned me to maintain the status quo. This guy’s story helps me to see that there are other ways of acquiring what I need and want.

I’ve recently made the decision to retire and take my NHS pension early. It’s not going to be a fortune but it will pay my share of the bills. But in order to afford treats and travel I’m still going to have to work in some capacity. And there lies the conundrum. Do I work on the NHS bank for a couple of days a week which will bring in a solid dependable income? Or do I try my hand at some unconventional side hustles?

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion – I’m always looking for a good ‘alternative’ book to read, so have just ordered a pre-owned copy online. You might enjoy ‘How to be Free’ by Tom Hodgkinson. Good luck with your ‘retirement’ plans – I think when we’re in the thick of things at work, it’s easy to forget that we all have a finite time to be here and that other life paths are possible.

  2. I admire you deciding to take that leap to build more time for yourself. You’ve described such a stressful, but so valuable career. Maybe a change would be good. Perhaps something seasonal do you know your working months and respite months?