Spending Money I Don’t Have

I just can’t keep waking up feeling like this. Every morning I wake up feeling like I used to when I was lifting heavy every day. It’s mainly my back, and secondarily my butt and legs. I am yawning as I type this. The solution that has sprung to mind is to replace my 14 year old mattress. I’ve hated it since we bought it, it’s too dang soft. But since I really can’t afford a new, quality mattress, I am going to spend the money on a memory foam topper to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then I am going to lay it directly on the box springs to see how that goes. If it is better, then I will most likely take the plunge and by the 4 inch topper to combine with the 2 inch I am going to buy today and just use that as a replacement.

I really don’t want to spend the money, considering how desperately I want to free myself from the rat race. I have determined that my greatest chance of success in this endeavor will be to be able to live on half of what I make now. That means paying off all the debt that I can, and the sooner the better. Same goes for retirement, I have realized that I don’t have a truly actionable plan in place to retire (whatever that word means), and I have accepted that it will not happen unintentionally, so I must begin saving toward that goal and putting into place systems that support that goal. This brings me back to seriously reduced spending.

But I would rather be happy and at peace than free. I don’t think that is possible for the type of person I am, I need to be free to be happy, but my point remains. I can’t focus on doing the hard thing if I am lacking the resolve or mental fortitude to do the hard thing, to make the hard choices, or to do proper analysis of situations and opportunities that may arise. Waking up feeling well rested goes a long way toward keeping my mind strong and agile. I also need to be physically refreshed to continue vegetable gardening and planting trees for food as well as shade (lower electric bills dontcha know). Hence a new mattress of some sort seems to be a necessity. I might as well do it now as opposed to later, since everything is getting more expensive, and pay increases are becoming a joke – borderline insulting even. Invest in any assets or personal property now if you can, and get something that is going to really last so you can push off replacing it as long as possible.

GETTING AHEAD OF THE CURVE – MAKING PROGRESS: LAUNDRY

As I stated in “The Challenges of Getting Ahead of the Curve”, there are just too many moving parts to keep up with for the paltry two days you get for doing everything that needs attention. Not to mention how much more so if you are actually trying to make some kind of significant change to your lifestyle. Nevertheless, there is no excuse to give up. You must keep chipping away, like Andy with his rock hammer in “Shawshank Redemption”. Eventually some progress can be realized, although it is often after changing the way we look at things. I think a critical change that must take place to accomplish this is to stop caring what other people think. The Bible would say do not fear the opinions of man.

Along that line of thinking I have implemented a way of doing things that my grandfather (pop) brought to my attention when I was like 12. This past weekend I was looking at my new pair of 501 Levis (they are worth the money because they really last) and something printed on one of the tags caught my eye. It said “ Wash Less, wash cold”, which reminded me of the lesson my pop had tried to convey to me so long ago. Every day when he got home from work he would immediately change out of his clothes and hang them up to be re-worn another time.

I’ve been doing that very thing for a couple of months now, but rather than rotating out my slacks, I merely re-wear the same pair each day and wash on the weekend if I have enough for a load, or leave them in the hamper and start the week with a new pair of slacks. I’ve also started doing it with my work shirts. It is always freezing at work so I never ever break a sweat, plus I wear a short sleeved t-shirt underneath my shirt so it is basically clean. I currently wear each one 3 times before washing. After a little more research I have discovered that denim should be rarely washed at all. Just freeze for 24 hours to kill any germs or bacteria. This won’t work with the jeans I wear when working in the yard, but other than that…

This practice is going to be even more important now that I am in full stride toward minimalism. I won’t have enough slacks or dress shirts to wear a new one each and every day. So now I have just freed up more time on the weekend, reduced the amount of electricity and water used (and money spent) for doing laundry by doing laundry less frequently, and my clothes should last longer thereby stretching my clothing budget some. More free time, less money spent, and smaller carbon footprint. Win win win.

As a side note, I also found a work shirt (which is actually a sweater) that I like so much I have bought two more – I now have a charcoal, a navy, and a plum. I no longer need to spend as much time in the morning deciding what to wear, I just don’t have that many options now. That’s ok with me, I don’t fit in nor belong in the corporate environment anyway. It’s not like I was ever going impress anybody. I also threw away an older pair of slacks that I wore all of last week but are too big, and I’ve kept around “just in case”. I did not wash them first, just took them off and pitched them. I feel like I am making progress; I feel good.

OPT OUT

02/01/13

Secede as an individual. Quit supporting the corporate mindset that you so despise and which is stealing your wealth, free time, family time, and quality of life. Disempower the systems that are oppressing you. Empower yourself. Be resilient, not dependant. Without even realizing it we support and enforce our own slavery/oppression. We actively participate in keeping the systems that make us miserable going. We are miserable and we facilitate it. Lead your own life! Don’t get me wrong, I think you should absolutely support those advancing the causes you believe in, but don’t stop there. Use some of that support to make a difference yourself. Think about the kind of person it took to shape and tame this country. You are born of that stock, those were your ancestors. You have that same blood in you.

We need to support things that matter. We need to support things that add value to our lives on the individual (personal) level. We need to support things that will support us.

02/01/13 ACTION

– Bought 5 ounces of silver from the TSPMint which just came online. I didn’t really need more silver at this point, but they are working in conjunction with AOCS and I wanted to show my support for both TSP and AOCS. I want to enable them to keep getting the message out.

BACKLOG UPDATES

Ok, I am going to submit several posts that will be titled with a date so I can get this blog caught up with where I actually am in my life, and the day to day events and actions that have gotten me there. My purpose (as always) is to show that taking small but consistent steps will eventually give me the resilience I am after, even if it takes a while. My hope is that others who desire to become resilient but feel overwhelmed by the financial and time restraints will take the same small steps and set themselves free as well.

08/29/12 ACTION

– Since the last update, I have replaced my S&W 9mm with a Steyr 9mm for $379 that I really like. I haven’t shot it yet, but it fits my hand like a glove. Also bought a small ammo case for $10.

– Yesterday I bought a 16 pack of rechargeable Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries, bringing my total to 24. I no longer have to spend money on replacement batteries, so they will reduce my cash outflow, and they can be charged using an inverter in an extended power loss scenario.

– I have ramped up my job search. I’ve reached out to a few more people, gotten my resume in really good shape and have 2 versions of it, I have one ok 30 second resume, I have done a lot of research on my personality type and am more knowledgeable about my strengths, talents and preferences.

– Bought permethrin to try and control mosquito explosion in back yard (I consider this a prep because the last thing I need to deal with is west nile virus, plus working on my garden will be more bearable if I’m not getting covered in bites).

OT and Prepping

I’ll tell you what, I may be extremely overworked but that OT pay sure does come in handy. I took a little of my extra pay today and spent $11 on a box of 00 buck shot for my 12 gauge and $15 on a box of ammo for my 30-06. I have had them both for 6 months and had no ammo for them. They are no longer clubs, they are now guns! Woohoo!

Why didn’t I buy ammo when I bought the guns you ask? Well, two reason: first is because I bought them at the same time at a pawn shop on my lunch break and didn’t have the time to go somewhere else to buy more; and second because I spent a little more than I had budgeted for the guns and couldn’t afford any ammo. Like my tag line says, no time and no money. That’s more than a catch phrase, that’s the reality I live.

I wish I could have bought more because I have a serious concern about ammo “becoming” scarce in the not too distant future. I think that would be a very good – albeit shady – way to sneak in gun control when so many are opposed to it. Plus, you never know if and when the economy is going to implode, and it would be nice to have plenty of ammo for protection as well as barter should the need arise. After seeing last week’s news about Spain outlawing transaction in cash that exceed 2500 euros, it makes me think that kind of action is getting closer and closer to home. I can see what is happening in Greece (if I look somewhere other than our major news outlets), and have read what Ferfal has said about the collapse in Argentina (in fact they just nationalized a foreign owned company last week). I already have enough invested in silver, so I won’t be buying more until I get more of my cash invested in ammo, medicine and food. Vman has told me that during the UN sanctions on Yugoslavia, gold and silver were almost useless, but if you had gas or ammo you could buy just about anything. The flip side to that is, if it takes another 10 years (or whatever) to end up in that scenario, silver could double in value and you could simply sell some of it and pocket the 100% return or purchase more resilience preps with it while still maintaining some of your silver investment. Just some food for thought.

Actions taken toward resilience 4/25/12:

  • Sent resume to Heather (a contact with our onsite staffing company) yesterday [prepping for personal crisis resilience – the most likely kind according to the threat probability matrix]
  • Bought ammo for 30-06 and 12 gauge today [obvious how this is prepping]
  • Bought 60 quart igloo cooler with high efficiency rating for a great price – excellent for bug out; keep in trunk in case the store by work has a sale on meat. [cutting grocery costs means more money for preps; investing in food – a commodity]