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Monday, January 12, 2015

frugal living 2


FRUGAL LIVING 2

NO CAR

Frugal living is pretty darn simple.  Almost so simple I have only a vague idea why I’m writing a book at all ( other than, hey, otherwise I’d be bored ).  You are strictly forbidden three things.  And if you adhere to the first two the third pretty much takes care of itself.  No car is allowed.  You can’t pay rent or a mortgage.  And absolutely no debt.  Everything flows from there, but I’ll go through things real slow so you can’t weasel out and plead ignorance, then feel justified in throwing up your hands in exasperation and exclaiming my pearls of wisdom flawed.  My wisdom be foolproof.  If you say otherwise it is because you are listening to me talk but you ain’t hearing.  You Can’t Always Get What You Want ( sing the rest of the verse, everybody! ).  We no longer live in a first world country with unlimited wealth with plenty to go around for everybody.  Things are getting worse, and they will for you, also.  Accept declining resources in an overpopulated setting.  You can go frugal on your own, while you have resources and choices, or you can wait for it to be forced on you.  I’m tired of trying to justify myself.  You either want to live within your means or you don’t.  Part of that is NO FRIGGIN CAR.  I know there will be exceptions, such as someone living WAYYYY out in the boonies, needing only limited travel, with property that is already paid off, and them being able to grow a lot of their own food.  But in general, for almost everybody, you can’t own a car and still live frugal.

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If you are just starting out seeking out a frugal lifestyle, you can plan around not having a car.  If you live in the South, you are living in an area where the agricultural lifestyle was the last to die.  There are villages everywhere surrounded by farmland.  Unless you are trying to keep a Yuppie job far away in the city, in theory you should be able to make due living in the country with a village within five miles.  In the West, things are a bit different.  The place was never settled by the Whites until after the Industrial Revolution.  Imports from far away by rail, motor power for water, lack of local food production and long distant travel are the norm.  You have to plan carefully to avoid these traps.  If you live in the northeast or the northwest, move.  The odds of affordable land is remote and the governments are extreme. 

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The way I usually hear folks is that no one could have possibly survived prior to cars and cell phones.  I have never understood the infatuation with cars.  They are a tool, and a very expensive one.  They are only necessary If you make them such.  I’ve lived in most states except Yankee land ( I almost moved there following a gal- luckily that didn’t work out ) and I’ve never needed a car except in Oklahoma.  But that wasn’t through personal choice.  I could have worked around it, but a high paying job combined with one dollar gas and $500 used cars available all day long sucked me into the lifestyle.  That once.  I prefer not having a car own me. 

END 

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19 comments:

  1. I'm forty and have always lived without a car (I do have my licence though).

    It is only that way that I avoided accumulating too much debt (and when I did it was due to survivalism ! my Yuppie period) and then I could pay it off.

    Another factor is planning : a car can (and usually does) wreak havoc on any long-term financial planning.

    That said, on a few occasions I did use the services of a friend who owns a car and I paid him back generously by inviting him to eat at my place.

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    1. I'll have to try to remember to include that tidbit. Havoc on long term financial planning. Excellent!

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  2. Lord Bison of the desert, former possessor of the glorious mane of manly hair (I haven't yet recovered from that photo of your shaven dome):
    I have a 2001 mini-van that was given to me. Yup, had to pay registration, inspection and put some new brakes on. But.... we live in a state where insurance is NOT required and we drive minimally. All trips are combined trips. We can load a few bales of hay or a goat in the back (and yes, we've done both). We live in the NorthEast and don't plan on moving. We live close enough to a small (pop. 2000 plus or minus a couple hundred) that we can bike or walk in good weather (a little over 5 miles), yet we are still in a remote area of the state. Property up here is way lower than we were able to find out west....plus, we don't have to buy water rights, etc. Less government control of our property here than we were able to find out west as well! Yeah, yeah...property taxes are a bitch...but not any higher than several other states we checked out. No income tax or sale tax, so it all balances out.
    We have enough land to garden on and raise livestock on. All paid off.
    So, YMMV comes into play. Could we make it without a car? Probably, but right now it is very helpful to have. The car doesn't own us.

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    1. My past experiances with vehicles usually have been High Dollar. Even the last beater truck was costing $500 mechanic bills to hang on for life with the prospect of at minimum another grand for a clutch and carb. Yes, if I did my own work it wouldn't have been so bad. Except the $50 a month gasoline for a mere four trips into town. For some folks, cheap enough. For me, living frugal, two people on a few hundred bucks a month take home, too much. Yet, I understand how many can easily afford it. As long as it is understood gas prices could disconect from historical norms ( even 70's norms ) and you have a fallback plan. But for the beginner frugal living dude, probably best to work around not needing one. Future security.

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    2. I think it's a great way to go James. Cars are money pits, and a big expense to maintain. Carbon taxes will be here soon enough, and will only add further to the expense. The problem for most of us is that it's difficult to find an area that not only has a good amount of jobs, but land just outside of such an area that is literally dirt cheap.

      You seem to have found one of those few magical spots left in the country, so kudos to you.

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    3. Fair enough. We portion out our gas like misers, lol! Going to town for *just one thing* is a no-no here. Even though it's only 5 miles, we have to have multiple reasons to do so.For a newish frugalist (HAH! I created a word!), beginning without a car may be best...or not. Some need time to disconnect from living in a city to transition to a more frugal life. I know, *cold turkey* can be best, but some folks can't pull that off.
      Unfortunately, if *the balloon goes up*, *after the collapse* or however you want to term it, we will have millions of people attempting to deal with a new reality...all at once. THAT scares me. Many will not have taken your advice. THAT scares me almost as much!
      During the Great Depression, banks had a tendency to *call in their markers* vis-a-vis mortgages and other loans pretty rapidly to be as liquid as possible. What happens when they repo all those shiny cars when someone is only 1 day past due? And the houses in suburbia? Well, we have already seen a lot of that during that last *bubble* with entire neighborhoods sitting empty.
      It'll just get worse...and it will spread rapidly.
      My car is useful....now. We do have animals that can be used as pack animals, if need be and they can also be trained to pull a small cart.
      But...those folks in the cities and suburbia...are sooooo screwed.

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    4. Five miles to town sounds like you could very easily go bike only when it suits you. And you are already disiplined.

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    5. 707- I didn't really find the perfect spot. For what you get, land is rather pricey here. $3k for dirt, way away from power and water is a $15k exspense. And the cost of living is up there. But all things considered, well worth it.

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  3. I bought my 1991 Chev S10 brand new in Oct 1990 for $8888. and still have it. I drove it 2800 miles last year and the minimal insurance costs $290 a year. I see no reason to get rid of it. Everything is at least 1/2 hour drive away from us way back here in the sticks and I do not commute to work, I work at home. (building designer, send digital files via email) We grow about 10% of our food and about 80% of the rest is from local sources within a few miles. Will increase our food production this year and subsequent years.

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    1. That sounds high for 25 years ago. Not that I was pricing new cars all that often.

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    2. Compared to everything else that was available in the new truck category at the time it was cheap. But, in the aggregate, you are right. I paid for it in (60) $237.51 chunks - over $14k before it was said and done. I hate payments and that situation cured me. I owe nothing and never will again. If I can't buy it with cash or barter I don't deserve it.

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  4. BTW-
    Your employment situation has been preying on my mind a bit, Jim; and I finally figured out why- I went through something similar just before a company made up an excuse to fire and black ball me. I highly recommend you find another job and ditch the one you have now before they ditch (and black ball) you.

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    1. I have no illusions about peoples value at any workplace as soon as you get below 110% performance. After all, you are working for two positions. Any output reduction s hazordous to profits. Nothing wrong with that, except of the unrealistic nature. They just use you up double-time and throw you away. However, I'm still pretty top performance. A kid half my age couldn't outwork me, or even come close to what I do. Yet, even if I'm replaced in a fit of stupid, I don't believe I'd be blackballed. Yet, even if I am, I know enough people with pull who know managements past "issues" that I can bypass that. I'm hoping. Nothing is guarenteed of course. I do thank you for your concern, but this ain't my first rodeo. I'm an old hand at corporate nonesense.

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    2. You probably wouldn't have to worry about being blackballed in a town the size of Elko James. Now if you were in a much smaller, "quirkier town" I might be concerned?

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    3. In 1982 I was top dawg at Wick's Component Manufacturing, none higher, and then in June of that year I was cut loose and given no reason. Just git. NOW! Then they told the gov't unemployment assholes I quit which prevented me from collecting.

      So I starved. (fortunately I was single then and didn't have the added weight of extra screaming mouths to feed)

      For 7 months.

      That was my punishment for being stupid, and trusting, and all the other idiot things I was trained for from birth.

      Til I found new work as a self employed architectural designer. From Jan 1983 til now I have done the same thing, design buildings for anyone that wants one.

      Why have 1 surly employer that doesn't appreciate you when you can have hundreds or thousands that are more than anxious to buy your time?

      Working as an employee is tantamount to putting all your financial eggs in one basket and then letting a retarded dikhed carry it. If only one person is going to carry my basket it is going to be me.

      Plus, the lone employer steals a big chunk of your coin before you even get to see it. Fuck that. Why in the world would anyone in their right mind sign on for such a lopsided deal?

      This is all sort of self explanatory but then, we've all been conditioned to be herd members in all things. The good news, learning is a lifelong journey.

      It starts with you.

      Onward.

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    4. Herd conditioning is pretty successful. You just know there is a tiger between you and the greener grass. Yes, learning is a journey and thank God it gets easier and more rewarding as you go along cause by the time you get smarter you are also falling apart.

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    5. It is easy to be blackballed in any size town. The HR person just needs to answer the question of "was Grey employed therr" with "oh, *yeah*, _'Grey'_ ........". that's it. Just simple inflection is enough. Even if you can prove they are deliberately doing it, it isn't enough to sue about. It happened to me in Vegas of all cities. (after the 90s, so this is when it was little LA, and not so little either.)

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  5. I'm not trying to be a smart ass, well, maybe a little bit. What is the difference between what you describe and being Poor as dirt? Am I missing some key ingredient to your "lifestyle" that somehow distinguishes one from the other? Homeless people have no vehicle, pay no rent, have no utilities. There is no overhead to being homeless unless you count black felt tip pens and cardboard for the " Please help!" signs!

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    1. Living cheap is not being dirt poor. You live way below your income. Plus, frugal living you can't be homeless as you have your junk land paid off. I appreciate the smart assness, however. Much better than being a dumbass. :)

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