Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Recession is Over...So Why are All the Cheap Living Articles Still Out?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the "Great Recession" has been over since June 2009. Hmmph. Wish they'd let everyone know. The NEBR warns that although the recession is over, the economy's sluggish metabolism is not going to speed up overnight. Well, ya think? Elementary, my dear NBER, elementary.

Actually, I think it's good that the economy recovers slowly. It'll give us more time to think about what happened and how we got there. It cheers me to see articles titled "Save with scratch-and-dent food", "Jackson-area residents revert to traditional ways to save money", and "Are you misplacing hundreds of dollars?". The more our population strives to stretch pennies in one area, the more individuals can free some up for important items like savings accounts, emergency accounts, and IRAs (all of which are usually considered "frivolous" in times of economic hardship).

When we realize our personal buying on credit has turned our debt-based economy into a bi-partisan mess, we can clean up our spending, start saving, and get educated on the politicians who want to represent us. So many of us vote for the here and now solutions without bothering to consider what impact they'll have on tomorrow. Let's force our politicians to offer us viable solutions that have a realistic look at tomorrow by only voting for those who are socially and environmentally responsible for today and tomorrow.

Additionally, let's get educated on where exactly all of our stuff comes from and what impact that has on us as Americans and as Earth-dwellers. For example, do you have any idea how your jumbo-sized chicken breast got to your table or why tons of inner-aisle grocery products have corn-based ingredients? How does our constant need for meat and sugar affect our economy, environment, and health? Watch Food, Inc. to get a few of these answers. Check out to see what you can do to be a more responsible shopper.

Finally, let's all live cheaply. What's wrong with frugality becoming a lifestyle instead of emergency habit? Proverbs 13: 7 says "One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." I'd rather be the person pretending to be poor instead of actually being poor. Forgive me if that sounds callous, but it's true. There are very few people in this world who would chose to struggle financially.

Here are some cheap living ideas:
  • Planting an herb, vegetable, and/or fruit garden in your backyard is one of the greenest things you can do that will pay for itself.
  • Reuse or upcycle your stuff.
  • Buy used stuff (especially cars-just do your research first).
  • Be your own personal dishwasher.
  • Line dry your clothing.
  • Walk, run, or cycle in your neighborhood and buy some (used) weights to make your own at-home gym.
  • Start a co-op for things you need: baby-sitting, meals, cleaning, etc. You'd be amazed what people will do to avoid paying for something they'd be doing for themselves anyway.
There are a ton of great options for being cheap and green.

Take the challenge: Find one thing you're willing to change in order to be more frugal and/or greener. Once that becomes a habit, find something else. Slow and steady makes for lasting change. Think about how your actions today impact tomorrow. That's change we can all believe in! ;)

-Domestic Goddess out.

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