Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." (Luke 12:15)

Minimalist Living - The Conserver Lifestyle

[Blog Post]
Security doesn't come from having more but from needing less. "Because we lack a divine Center, our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. 'We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like'. Where planned obsolescence leaves off, psychological obsolescence takes over. We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick. Until we see how unbalanced our culture has become at this point, we will not be able to deal with the mammon spirit within ourselves nor will we desire Christian simplicity."
― Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

"a man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had." ― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress

Read My Story

Job, Money, Status, Stuff . . . the American Dream? The American nightmare! The more I have, the more I want, the more things breakdown, the more stress to replace them and get more.

How does it end? An unfullfilled life (and death) or with removing those "things" that satisfy so little.

The older I get, the less I need, and the more I realize how my possessions have become more burdensome than comforting. The more I have, the more I have to lose. I am a slave to my stuff. The more money I make, the more stress I have and more fearful of losing what I have strived so hard to accumulate. "The one with the most toys wins" is a favorite saying for the one who seeks stuff to make them think they are happy. A movie called "LESS: Losing is Everything" helps to make the point that "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change" and will gain a new-found sense of freedom.

Needs vs. Wants: NEEDS are basic (not fancy) things we must have to survive like air, water, food, shelter and clothing. WANTS are luxuries; things I can live without like TV, car, jewelry; things we would like to have simply to enjoy. I ask myself the question "do I NEED this or do I WANT it?" Is it a necessity for my health or to perform a task, or is it something I want, just because? I have found that most of what I thought I needed, is simply something I wanted and could have done without and saved money, space and the aggrivation to get it. Later, I find those wants have lost the alure that sucked me in to buying them, and now I just want to get rid of the financial burden, or inconvenience, they cause.

I encourage seeking simplicity. The more I have, the more I have to lose and greater will be the pain when it's gone.

Things I Have Learned:
Consider a Disciplined Pursuit of Less: Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing, and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to say NO to really terrific opportunities as well. Ask "What is essential?" and eliminate the rest. Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to eliminate the nonessentials. At once, we have the key to unlock the next level of our lives. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Too many of us trade our happiness and well-being for the reliability of a steady paycheck. We work long hours at jobs we dislike or find unfulfilling so that we can buy a lot of stuff that never really seems to satisfy us. And when that paycheck turns out to be not so reliable, we panic. Unemployment terrifies us. Is there any way out of this dilemma? Charles Long reveals one possibility -- the Conserver Lifestyle. . . . Security doesn't come from having more but from needing less.
Books on Frugal Living

[Blog Post]
Is Simple Living For You? If you've ever thought of simplifying your life, there are likely many things that you haven't considered and a few that you have. You may picture it as easy and something that is far more fun and exciting than the life that you’re currently living. Be as it may, there are still some things that you'll want to ask yourself before you embark on this journey. Answering these questions may help reveal the truth.
#1. What does "simple living" really mean to you?
#2. What can you live without?
#3. What do you want out of your simple life?
#4. Do you want to spend more time with your family and loved ones?
#5. What steps do you need to take to make your simple life happen?
#6. How are you currently spending your day? How does that align with your goal of a simple life?
#7. Can You Adjust your budget to lead a simple life?
#8. What are your commitments in life?
#9. Can you learn to say No?
#10. How connected are you?
#11. Have you created a simplicity statement?
#12. Do you have to have the latest and greatest gadgets?
#13. Do you love the life that you have now?
#14. Are you spending enough time with those that you love?
#15. Are you ready to purge your life?
#16. Do you want to streamline your life?
#17. Are you getting adequate alone time?
#18. Are you eating in hurry?
#19. Are you tired of always being in a hurry?
#20. Can you live with less space?
#21. Are you ready for some financial freedom?
#22. Are you afraid to get dirty?
#23. Can you live the minimalist lifestyle?
#24. Can you plan ahead?
#25. Are you organized?

Living Without Money: Sometimes, in hard situations, people have to live and survive off of very little. Some have even chosen to live this way, permanently. Knowing how to do this now, instead of when disaster strikes, will only help you survive the more difficult situations. Here are some tips to get rid of your money addiction and live life without the pressure of money.

What about Internet Access or Cable/Dish TV? Read about this on the P4T Emergency Communications Page

Books about Dumpster Diving on Amazon Dumpster Diving
Dumpster diving is simply looking through trash dumpsters for useful items that people throw away. These items can include building materials, furniture, books, tools, clothes, food and even CASH! There is a chance of finding most anything in a dumpster. If you look in the dumpster behind a local restaurant be prepared for some slimy and disgusting things. Avoiding places like that will be a much nicer experience. Depending on what you're looking for, apartment complex or college dorm dumpsters may be the best. At the end of the month or semester, people who are moving will throw away perfectly good items they just don't want to move. Many times they will place it beside the dumpster for people like us to pick up. If you are looking for food, the best place is behind a grocery store where they get rid of expired food. But set some guidelines, ahead of time, on choosing what you will consider eating.

Consider equipping yourself with a good pair of shoes (protection from broken glass around dumpsters), Cut-Resistant or Heavy Leather Gloves, a cheap flashlight (in case of losing it) and a hooked cane to help pull things to you that you can't reach and provide some measure of protection.

Supplies Acquisition Guidelines
Before venturing out on your dumpster hunt, it's good to prepare a "Dumpster List" of things you want or need. That may help specify where you are going to start your search. You are bound to find other things you want or need but having a dumpster list puts some level of organization for your trip. Additionally, there are "Acquisition Guidelines" to help stretch dollars, limit output of refuse and select items that are easy to transport and maintain should evacuation or relocation become necessary in an emergency. These guidelines include:
  • Durability - built strong and proven strong to take rough treatment and last a long time.
  • Utility - function over fashion; cargo pants for extra pockets, boots vs. sneakers, junky old diesel truck vs new car.
  • Multiple Uses - multi-tool, wok vs saucepan, clothing for work and church, web belt for pants or tourniquet.
  • Portability - Strong but light materials for packup-and-go and kind to the body.
  • Repairable/Salvageable - If is breaks, can I fix it?
  • Tradeable - can it be bartered for something else?
  • Energy - Manually is, generally, better but does it need batteries or electricity to function? If so, how easy to acquire?
  • Redundancy - for bartering, swapping parts, backup of ultra-useful items, available at multiple locations
Questions to Ask When Acquiring Supplies

Automobiles: Boxes On Wheels; Waste of Money
We drool over them; spend tens (sometime hundreds) of thousands of dollars for them and nearly as much on accessories for them. We have to insure them, fuel them, maintenance them on a regular basis and repair them even when we are kind to them. Automobiles; losing value as soon as we drive them off the dealer lots. They are mobile money pits. Let's look at its most basic form and function; it's a box on wheels that conveys us from point A to point B. Yet, in our throw-away, gotta-have-the-latest-and-greatest culture, we give up our hard-earned dollars to these boxes on wheels. A well-maintained vehicle can last well into hundreds of thousands of miles. Think of how much money we could save if we just do regular oil changes. So, when the new-car-bug bites, swat it; then think of ways to keep the old box-on-wheels going and the better ways the money can be spent.
Suggested Readings:
Basic Vehicle Maintenance & Preparing it for an Emergency
Should You Keep Your Old Car?
Stop Wasting Money on Your Car

Consider Old-School, Non-Computerized Skills and Related Tools and Machinery
Technology changes rapidly and keeping up with it is not, necessarily, a bad thing. However, we've become a throw-away society and new things don't last as long as things used to. Old tools and appliances we still have collecting dust will, probably, last long after today's modern stuff has hit the landfill. "New and improved" is not always better. And, no matter how much technology changes our lives, we should still learn some basic life skills. As the world presses further into technology as its solution to every problem, take a step back and question if that is the best approach.

Take the "Old-School" Push Lawn Mower; it's free to use, easy to use, they don't pollute, maintenance is simple, accidents are less likely and you get a surprise workout. Additionally, it will still run during fuel shortages and power outages.
Old-Fashioned Skills [People] Need to Know    [Article 2]
Old School Life Skills That are Making a Comeback
Best Non-Power Tools to Have For Survival
When Technology Fails Will You Still Function?
[Blog Link]

Money-Saving Ideas: (You are not alone)
Emergency Preparations on a Budget
DIY Brita Filter Replacement/ReUse
Charcoal Briquettes to absorb moisture and odor from the air in the home
The Dollar Store is My Friend
Killing Electrical Vampires
100 Great Tips to Save Money
Unnecessary Wastes of Money We Don't Think About
Living on a Dime
The Frugal Life
The Prudent Homemaker
The Frugal Girl
$100 a Month
Surviving & Thriving
The Peaceful Mom
The Frugal Navy Wife
Money Saving Mom
Wise Bread
Spending Plans/Budgets
You Can Do This
18 Tips for Enjoying a Frugal Lifestyle
Minimalist Living

Recommended Readings:
The Untapped Potential of Less
Taking Charge of Finances
Teaching, Strengthening and Preserving Family Values