The global economic collapse has become an eye-opening experience for many people. The ongoing crisis continues to create more joblessness at a time when the cost of essential items like food and energy continue to rise.
Inflation is only expected to continue due to excessive printing of money to compensate for the bursting economic bubbles, which were arguably created by printing too much money with artificially low interest rates in the first place, among many other scenarios.
The 2008 price shocks in oil followed by the financial collapse have led many people to begin taking measures to become more self-sufficient. And recently the ominous signs of food shortages, the weakening dollar and the rising price of oil all point to a similar atmosphere in 2011. Some have taken steps to conserve electricity, reduce spending and consumption, while others are planting kitchen gardens and installing solar panels on their homes. Even living off the grid is becoming a mainstream concept for those seeking independence.
Indeed, becoming more self-sufficient is proving to make common sense whether one anticipates more hardship to come or not. Sure, many of us would love to live completely off the grid without giving up everyday comforts, but this is not practical for most of us. However, there are many steps that can be taken to move towards self-sufficiency which can be relatively painless and quite rewarding.
The following are 10 suggestions that can lead to independent living:
- Reduce your debt: Especially get your credit card debt under control, since it is entirely corrupt. Call your credit card companies and ask for a work out plan similar to what they received from the taxpayer bailout. If they don’t cooperate to your satisfaction, there are some reasons not to pay at all. Reducing debt can also be achieved by preserving what wealth you do have and one of the most surefire ways to do that in this age is to get your money out of fiat currencies and into tangibles. Land, firearms, food storage, fuels, precious metals, commodities, hard assets, etc.
- Reduce your consumption: Evaluate your current budget and determine absolute necessity. Push your comfort level to find areas where you can scale back, and then identify comforts that you’re willing to sacrifice.
- Reduce energy use: Change light bulbs to LED and not CFL. LEDs have a much longer life, better quality of light and a much lower power consumption. CFLs give off very strong electro-magnetic radiation and can cause irritability, headaches and more. LEDs will cut your energy usage by up to 75%! Have entertainment systems and computers plugged into a powerstrip that can be shut off completely to reduce “phantom charges.” This includes those kitchen appliances like the microwave, coffee maker, etc. Even though they are turned off, they are all still drawing electricity from the grid, especially televisions and it adds up to big wattage! Carefully plan shopping trips and other transportation needs to reduce fuel costs.
- Store energy: Always have back-up propane storage and a large wood pile for a rainy day. Investing in a generator of some kind (even a solar panel and a deep cycle battery) will be money well spent.
- Invest in food storage: With a falling dollar and rising food prices, why not create a food savings account? Get some good books, dehydrators and vacuum sealers for storage methods. The best storable food items are grains (rice, beans, flour), canned goods, seeds, and some prepackaged items.
- Produce your own food: Replace your lawn with a garden, fruit trees, and keep chickens. Go on hunting and gathering adventures for nuts, fish, and wild game. Store extra garden seeds!
- Learn new skills: Surf the Internet, read books, and take courses in practical skills like gardening, cooking with whole foods, composting, carpentry, alternative energy, natural health and wellness etc.
- Start a side business: Turn your passion or hobby into a small side business to make some supplemental income. Who knows, it may become your path to full financial independence.
- Install alternative energy: Start with small installations like a solar hot water system, a solar freezer, a solar attic fan, or a wood stove etc. If you have limited funds, tip-toe your way to independence.
- Suggest solutions for your community: Start or join a local cooperative for food, products, and services. Engage your local community in discussions to take steps for self-sufficiency. Share your story and build support.
These steps will save money as we move closer to the ultimate prize of independence. Each action we take to live more simply frees us from the control systems put in place to make our lives more complicated, more toxic, and less independent.