The Big Picture

arkbirdladyMarch 16, 2013

I am making my own laundry mix and I've had no problems and I wash in cold water. But one important point here is that no two households have exactly the same priorities or the same spending habits and there is no universal rule for frugality that applies. Now I'm retired and I am, believe you me, doing it on very little. Waste food? I just don't. Have too many pets? Yes, I do, but they are important to my mental and emotional health even though not kind to my budget. Over the last 20-30 years my household budget has gotten tighter and tighter and that's typical of what is happening in this country. At the same time I've become more and more inventive at doing it myself and saving money. That's a good thing, but I do wish I were less stressed over money matters.

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arkbirdlady, it sounds like you are coping well, good for you. I was wondering how many of the posters pinch pennies because they have to or just because they want to. My mother lived a rough life when she was younger, she did not always have money to feed us. When things got easier years and years later, she still continued to pinch pennies even though she had more money than any of her children had. It became a hobby with her and she bragged that her utilities were lower than any of her neighbors. The utility companies sent inspectors around quite often to see if her meter was bad or if something illegal was going on. We tried to get her to spend some and she wouldn't, she didn't want anything. A few years before she died she gave us our inheritance, so it wasn't just the security of having it, just a hobby.

Needless to say my hobby is spending my money. LOL

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:28PM
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I don't think most of us actually look at the "Big Picture" in the same way, or even at all, for many. We are more-often-than-not too comfortable in the here and now. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

It reminds me of the fable of the grasshopper and the ant, and there are more grasshoppers than ants these days. You just have to look inside closets, basements and garages filled with "stuff" that was paid for with credit and is no longer wanted/needed/used..... Instead of paying for Christmas by saving for a year for it, so many are paying high interest rates all year on purchases made for Christmas.

To contrast that lifestyle, I have been following a blog from a family in Greece for the last few years. We are rethinking the "Big Picture", especially since hubby is on the cusp of retirement. Economically, what they are going through in Greece could also happen here in the U.S.

Suggestions from Greece:
-stockpile food, water, medicine and household supplies while you have job (their unemployment is around 28.6%)

-alternative solutions - such as solar cooking, solar water heater

-don't carry any debt

-learn how to navigate through underground barter economics

-learn several trades

-farming, gardening; raise chickens, rabbits or pigeon to feed yourself and barter the extra

-expect shortages of everything - including life-saving medicines

-expect a breakdown of the nation's power grid

That's a "Big Picture" we would rarely have contemplated in the past, but now are giving serious consideration.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:27AM
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If the world gets in such sad shape that we are starving, I will just starve along with my family and the rest of the world. I am 76 years old, my reality is the today's. Some times I think I don't have much of a life, but all of a sudden I realize I do have one......a good one.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 3:56PM
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