How To Go From Debt And Consumerism To Simple Living
Debt and Consumerism
Most people are caught in debt, lot’s of debt. Many people have the disease of consumerism – buying the newest thing that is marketed to them. However, there are growing numbers of people who are awakening to these two mainstream problems and they are doing something about it, even considered radical — living a simpler life.
I was raised on the farm for a few early years of my life. Both my grandparents were farmers until they “retired” (farmers never retire). My father didn’t want the farm so my parents sought modern ways of making a living. Didn’t have a lot of money growing up but I didn’t know it then – back in the days before computers, video games, and all the freakin toys we are exposed to today. When you don’t have money, you don’t buy things.
I, as well as you, were not concerned about the things in the world back in those days. One bad thing in the world every few years – we could handle that.
Today is different.
One thing that is strikingly different is that most people are in debt, some in so far that it may be unrealistic that they’ll ever come out of it.
Debt and consumerism are two masters that control everything about you. From where you live to what you eat to the fear you always feel — these two demons will control your life.
As the world becomes smaller and it’s problems become bigger, I have radically changed the way I make money, save money, and spend money. Just several years ago I didn’t think much about it. I made money and spent it; wasn’t in consumerdebt, only real estate debt, which everyone thinks is okay (it’s not). A comfortable life; not Beverly Hills living but comfortable enough not to complain (about money).
But now I’m selling stuff I don’t need or haven’t used in a year. I’m not buying all the crap that I end up sticking in my garage.Real estate included. I’m thinking and planning for the future a lot more. So I’m always asking myself when I see something I really want — do I really NEED it and what will I be doing with it 6 months from now?
Problem is that when you’re in debt you are slave to whom ever you owe – mortgage, car payment, visa, taxes (you gotta pay taxes and that’s my point). When you’re a slave you’re not free. When you’re not free you can’t exercise yourself and live your life as you should or could.
What is your story? Have you become a victim of debt and consumerism? Are you fantasizing a way out? You can do it but you have to DECIDE that you’re going to make a change – that you MUST make a radical change – otherwise you’ll cave-in to your weakness and fall to the strengths of the billion dollar companies who know exactly what you want, what your weaknesses are and how to get you to spend your money and credit with them.
Homesteading has become a fantasy for some and a reality for others. It is, by definition, a simpler way of life – a self-sustaining, thoughtful way of life.
It’s funny to me because I grew up on a homestead. My parents and their parents grew up on a homestead. Now everyone wants to be on a homestead. Well it’s not cracked up to what you may imagine. Life was rough. It’s hard work and the work is never done. Yes there are benefits, but at a price.
But there could be a balance between modern living today and the old ways of homesteading. You don’t want to go back to outhouses, spending all day sourcing food, and doing backbreaking labor for cheap like they did. How about some of it? Could you figure out how you can have a little of both — living with some modern conveniences, simply?
I get that people want to live off the grid – so do I. The problems of being so dependent on multinational companies, local government, state government, and federal government for water, food, energy and money (city water, foreign foods, electricity, social security, healthcare, medicare…) should cause people to think about what kinds of situations we’re allowing ourselves to get into. It’s prudent to have several sources of energy, food, and income. That’s what living off the grid means to me. It’s not that glamorous. It’s not a happy hippy commune. It’s a way to live life differently — and not be so dependent on others, like the government and Walmart, for those things. As it is now, the government is seeping deeper into people’s lives and Google and Facebook know more about you than you would believe. That is not healthy at all — it’s creepy and getting worse, no?
I think homesteading is more necessary today, given the current circumstances, than ever before.
Not survivalism as characterized by some radical survivalists. I don’t agree with all my survival friends about how they want to live: assault rifles, combat devices, attack dogs, waiting to waltz through the apocalypse in military gear. Too fear-based for me. Sure, I want to be “prepared” for disaster or disorder, but let’s be practical here, I still have to live with my wife and she’s got to put on her makeup every day. That’s okay.
On the other hand, I want to think differently than the heavily indebted, massively consumptive public. Don’t you? You don’t want to get onto their bandwagon-that’s choking their lives further every day.
Homesteading is a nice alternative. Proactive and logical. Prepared but not radical. Planned instead of impulsive.Homesteading may be a life that is freer than the alternative. Hard to find it these days.
Homesteading asks different questions of you:
- “Can I make it myself for less than it costs to buy it?”
- “Do I have something already that works in place of this item just as well?”
- “How often will I use this new item?”
- “Can I do without this item?”
- “Do we actually need it or do we just want it?”
- “What do I need to do before next springtime?”
- “How many sources of income do we have?”
- “Where am I going to supply all my food from?”
- “How can we be safer?”
- “Who do I trust to help me when I need help?”
The whole is bigger than the parts that make it. Creativity and resourcefulness will cause you to live a different lifestyle.
Are you ready to do things differently?
Where do you find joy in your life and what will it take for you to go there?
I bet if you were out of debt, exorcized your consumer demons, and planned your life, you could easily join those who are freer and have a mindset of a homesteader – those who live a more purposeful life (yes, you can argue that homesteading is not purposeful or even practical, but how many other examples can you offer to prove your point?)
I look forward to seeing you on the journey.