Have you ever watched this video before? I know. There’s LOTS of controversy concerning it. But let’s look past the messenger and focus on the message for a moment.
Let’s face it.Â America is addicted to cheap stuff.Â We are consumers.Â Big time consumers.
And we like our stuff disposable.
These days people can’t wait to throw stuff out in order to make a reason to buy the newer, cooler version.
With a budget like ours, the motto “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do with out.” is a mainstay.
Most families make small changes over time.Â Our family was forced to change our mindset practically overnight.
I get emails all the time asking me how we do it.Â Emails telling me that they could never shave off as much from their budget as we have from ours.
SURE you can.
The first step?Â Decide that you WANT to.Â Then list all the reasons you NEED to. Because shaving down a budget is as much about attitude as it is anything else.
Need a good reason to make this change of attitude to being happier with less?
I’ll give you two:
The need for all of us to prepare for a possible future long term period of unemployment…
…or for the seriously bad news that is on it’s way for many more states.
Can’t happen to you?Â Yeah, I bet these guys thought that too.
But your state hasn’t been hit by any of this economic stuff?
Oh, really?Â My home state of Utah is looking at a 2011 shortfall of $700 Million.Â Which is 15% of our 2010 budget.Â Two places scheduled to bet hit hardest?Â Education and Medicaid.Â Â Â With Reed being an Administrator and Parker relying heavily on his Medicaid coverage, this is more than a little nervous making.
Georgia is looking at cuts of 24% from their 2010 budgets.
North Carolina 31%
New Jersey 37%
Nevada 57% cuts
Still thinking it couldn’t happen to you?
Fortunately, mapping out your own austerity plan for your family doesn’t have to be as painful as the name implies.Â Especially if you start before anything bad happens.
A few easy things to implement now:
Decide on what your needs are.
Buy less.Â Instead of being a consumer, foucs on ways you can be a producer.Â Upcycling fits into this category.
Grow some of your own food.Â It’s not to late to stick a tomato plant into a (thrifted, of course) pot.
Spend some times on sites such as Pinching Your Pennies.Â Here you can learn how to shop the sales, buy in bulk, and if you choose, use coupons.
Learn to cook from scratch.Â My Mom just dropped off FIFTY pounds of rolled oats.Â The total price?Â Less than $16.00.
Yeah.Â For most of us, NOW would be a really good time to start choosing to be happier with less.