About me

Hello! I am Natalya – I am so glad you found me! Jump right in and find out more about me and the Cottage Retreatist blog! 

My philosophy for life is: Money saving. Frugal living. For a simple life.

I hope my story will inspire you to fight back against debt, claim your financial freedom and see how fulfilling it is to live a life without consumerism, focusing on the simple things and finding beauty in the smallest of moments.

About my journey

In 2012 I was over £26,000 pounds in debt, and I was battling with depression brought on by my hopelessness at our financial situation. Fast forward 24 months and all that money has now been paid off and I am 100% debt free! In fact I have even managed to get some savings in the bank!

about me | sinbad and sandyThe journey has not been easy or smooth and you can read more about the last 12 months to debt freedom here on this blog.

Hopefully some of my experiences will help you if you are going through a similar situation – debt is not talked about enough  – it is treated like a taboo and I don’t think that is right so I have tried to be as open and honest as possible!

Part of our journey has been taking a massive leap of faith and moving out of London into a little country cottage retreat in the Midlands, with my lovely partner of 10 years (MrCR) and our (now) three fur babies  – Sinbad, Sandy  and Minksy – our gorgeous rescue cats.

We’ve had up days and more down days than could be imagined but we are slowly finding our feet (although at 30 I would have hoped to have it all together by now!)

About me

about meI have always been a bit of a hippy at heart and while I lost that during our dark days of debt I am regaining my love of nature and that anti-consumerism that I used to have.  So I am always looking for ways to save money, make money and live more simply with as low an impact as I can.

Whether this means growing our own food, shopping local or simply not being consumerist and finding joy in the life we have rather than a life we think we need.

I have never been a fan of sitting at a desk in an open-plan office so my goal is to find a way to leave London behind for good (I still commute there for my job), reduce my work and become more self-sufficient, with time for family, friends and myself.

Most importantly I have a dream of a garden where I grow all my own food and have some clucking chickens for fresh eggs!


So get involved, have a read and be sure to let me know your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers! You can also follow me on Twitter @Cottage_R and I am also on instagram  and pinterest where I catalogue my dreams for the future.

And don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter so you can stay up to date with all the developments at the retreatist hovel.

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My costings for recipes are based on UK supermarket prices at the time of writing (mostly value and own-brand goods).

Please note – I am not a financial advisor, if you are unsure about your situation please contact a professional.  There are many wonderful and free places for debt advice out there – this is my personal journey and I cannot guarantee my methods are suitable for everyone!

Recommended contacts for debt support



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One thought on “About me

  1. Join your nearest Freecycle group. I did and I managed to completely furnish my home, totally free (and also helped other people by giving away stuff I don’t need – like the television, which also saves me the cost of the annual licence). As virtually all my furniture etc is free, I also don’t need home contents insurance.

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