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Help with getting to Simple living

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      I admit that I have hit rock bottom.  I have never been frugal or a money saver.  My parents were always living paycheck to paycheck and never saved.  My father's philosophy was you can't take it with you when you are gone.  Now I see my dad at 65 with nothing.  He could retired but he can't afford to live on social security.  My siblings make over $100 grand a year but they are both broke all the time.  It is so bad that the spare bedroom is filled with toys and junk.  Needless to say their children have everything.
      Looking at my family, I have realised I don't want to be like them.  I am making $30 grand with a husband and two children.  I realized when my 9 year old asked for a laptop computer for Christmas that I have made a mistake somewhere.  I have just started to change my mindset.  But how do change the mindset of the family?  My husband would eat take-outs every night if I would let him and my 9 year old thinks money grows on trees. 


        Sounds like it's going to be a slow conversion.  Have a family meeting and discuss the economy and the fact that any of us might be one step away from the streets.  America has lived far too reckless a lifestyle in the financial realm and we are now paying for it.

        A budget is the best first step so you can actually track what you spend … every penny of it.  It's the only way to climb out of debt.  And when you want out bad enough you won't mind the price it takes to get there … and the price is the loss of “things” and “stuff” that you were used to having … not needing, but getting.

        A lot of money is spent on food and beverages.  It's a good place to begin.  Make a commitment to take beverages with you from home.  Drink water.  It will bring other costs down in your budget, like medical.  The Importance of Water cannot be underestimated:

        As far as the details of lifestyle, you'll find a lot of info on here in various topics.  Be a regular visitor as topics come up and search the forum and website.  Don't forget the blog also:

        It's a tough road at first because humans tend to spoil themselves if given a chance … but the further along you get the more your “new habit” will become fun and your determination will be stronger.  You also have the motivation of teaching a different pattern of living to your child. 


          I am a new member who is disabled on a small disability pension.  My husband just turned 65 and we are confronted with a lower income just when this economic downturn hit.  I, as the household buyer have been trying to cut down whenever possible.  We have stopped eating out, attending theatre, buying things we simply want and do not really NEED.  I have put myself on a spending diet and have made a game out of seeing just how little I must spend.  The money we are saving goes to debt reduction and World Vision.  There are people in the world worse off than us!


            It is really important to teach children the value of money.  It can ruin their lives if they don't learn how to take care of money.  I know a family who lost their house after living there over 20 yrs. when the husband lost his job and couldn't find another one because of his age and other factors.  They already had a second mortgage and owed incredible amounts of money.  The sad thing was that he had made enough for them to live on without being in debt like that.  They seemed to just fritter money away.  Even after he lost his job they didn't cut back on living expenses.  They just didn't get it.  They didn't seem to realize that all the little expenses (and big ones) add up.  It was mindblowing.  She continued to have her hair done and professionally colored.  They continued to eat carry out every night.  They even continued to smoke 40 dollar a carton cigarettes. They continued to buy name brand expensive products.  It just didn't seem to occur to them that they could get by without these things.  They thought they were necessities.  They just kept on spending until the money was gone without even trying to pull themselves out of it.  It seemed unbelievable to me, but it was true. Americans are so spoiled that they don't even know sometimes when something is not a necessity.


              Amen, black-eyed Susan!  The U.S. population mentality is not a good thing to raise kids around, but we are blessed to live in a free nation.  Maybe the current economy will take people back to more frugal principles and hopefully people will find that voluntary simplicity, regardless of how much you make, is the way to go to make a real difference in our world.

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