Thursday, April 22, 2010

Article: Generation Cedar

No, we haven't achieved some level of higher understanding here. And no, we certainly don't "get it" all the time...or even half the time. Maybe a 10th of the time we're just spot on, I don't know.

But. Generation Cedar shared a great post about economic hardships and how they can rebuild the family so to speak.

I agree with all shared in the post (like that matters really...but it was good) but it still sort of surprises me that so much of it is all common, practical sense and so so many people just don't get it still. How far down the messed-up path does this world have to roll before selfish folks catch on to what has been taught and shared...yeah, I know, nevermind, preaching to a mass wall. Too many folks are bricks who still believe they deserve this or that just because.

The whole sharing is at

::::From a USA News article, Americans are finding "things they can live without".  Interestingly, when one thing is lost, another, often better thing takes its place.  Can you see from this list how prosperity so quickly robs families of important things, while a dearth can restore them?

As Americans downsize, do more of their own cleaning, and look for stuff they can sell online, they're discovering tons of things around the house they can get rid of…. "We keep being amazed at how having less stuff, with no deprivation, actually gives us better quality of life," says Deborah Merchant. "We've gained emotional and spiritual maturity."

(Your Grandparents didn't have even half the odd junk lying around, yet the privileged today have long claimed they deserved all that stuff. And they worked hard to pay for it. Well, if swiping the plastic card and then paying for 20 years is working, anyway)

Cable TV.
Many people are cutting back on pay-TV services or canceling them altogether, which saves $50 to $100 a month…. Others are giving up television completely. "There's no money for cable TV, so my Internet does me for all my news and other entertainment," says Mariluna Martin of Los Angeles. "That's money saved, plus no TV means no blaring of bad news, fear-mongering, ad pressures, and other unpleasantness." Martin spends more time reading books and sipping tea at a neighborhood café. She finds that rewarding: "The changes I've had to make have made my life better. Things are simpler and healthier now."

(We haven't had cable/satellite
TV for probably 8 years. We haven't had 'TV' since the digital change-over. We watch a video now and then, but that is growing more and more a rarity. We aren't somehow special or enlightened, we just couldn't afford it and when we cut back, it hit the top of the priority list. Some folks choose to cut back their groceries instead of turning off the cable. That I don't understand at all. It's 200+ channels of garbage and useless time-wasting. There aren't enough redeeming shows, or even enough educational aspects worth keeping, and that was 8 yrs ago. I doubt they've created something more useful and worth the fees since then.)

To save on rent or mortgage payments….grown kids are moving back in with their parents….. "We have learned to enjoy a simple, cost-effective, and minimalist approach to life by developing an appreciation for nature and family," he says. "Big, expensive toys and trips were fun before, but we really don't need them anymore."

(We never were a spend-a-bunch-on-a-vacation sort of family anyway, so that one just never has made sense. We too some vacations now and then, nut they didn't involve fancy trips a bunch of rentals, gaming and the dreaded filth of the amusement park scenes. We visited friends in other areas and went camping and such. We just aren't a svae for a year to blow it in less than a week with only pictures to show for it sort I guess. )

Prepared foods.
More people are cooking at home, and they're doing it with fewer pre-made sauces, marinades, dressings, and other ingredients. "Moms are back to basic cooking," says Chance Parker, a market researcher at J.D. Power & Associates. "They want to use fresh herbs and spices. It saves money, and it's more healthy."

(It takes losing a chunk of income before someone can say gee it's healthy to cook myself? There's been a lot of talk around lately about eating only from your pantry/food stores, stocking up, baking/cooking from scratch and the like -- we stocked up ourselves and yes, it's a great thing. In a serious reversal of your economic lifestyle, seems the first things eaten tend to be the store-bought foods, though. When feeling the stress, families who can no longer spend money for fast-food stops, grab junk boxed meals at the store instead of planning any real meals. We're not even reprogrammed when our own economics fall or decrease. We still 'deserve' the snacks, the pre-packaged ease, the quickie stop on the way home, those 'magic' cappucinos, frappes and coffees. Then what happens? If your situation doesn't change back to your normal, you've blown through the snack stuff and the quick foods and are left either with nothing because you lack any food storage, or you have buckets of wheat and grains and not a clue, or a taste for their meal rations. )

Extra calories.
Some Americans say they're eating less to save money and drinking more water or doing other things to suppress their appetite.

New gifts.
Regifting is a time-tested practice—but there's always room to refine your strategy. Linda Amicucci of Tenafly, N.J., holds a "treasure party" with a group of friends after Thanksgiving every year to swap recyclable gifts.

New cars.
It's no secret that new-car sales plunged to levels 40 percent lower than the peak in 2006. But many buyers who have traded down to a used model are surprised at the quality of the merchandise.

(And there are still folks struggling to make a payment of more car than they need just because they want the status. No, I don't drive a 15 passenger van for the status LOL. I drive it because we didn't fit our 12 passenger van anymore (after we outgrew the typical 8seater and the 9seater station wagon)and we own it out-right, having paid it off 5 years ago when it was about 2 years old. And we rarely make trips around...except lately with all these doctor visits. We are homebodies...which saves us even more money)

Thermostats all across America are going lower in winter, higher in summer.
(Well, I, um...I'm a work-in-progress there on that summer side. This year though we are cutting back big time. Forced acclimation. I don't want the bills for using the a/c far more than I want my usual comfort level. Sissy of summertime as I may be)

A daily commute.  Telecommuting increased during the recession as well, and more people say they're riding bikes or walking more to save on gas costs—or a gym membership.

Who needs it? "I have learned that it takes little time to run dangerously high credit card balances," says Tom Poirer of Lowell, Mass., "but an inordinately long time to pay it back. I have learned to deprogram myself from the consumerist mayhem."…We may ultimately end up with less stuff. But at least we'll be able to afford what we have.

(We haven't had a credit card since eldest daughter was a baby. They don't serve a purpose in our lives. They ensure we spend money we don't have, and that we are bound hand and foot to someone else and that's not what I want. Sure, it's nice in the very short term to buy this that or whatever, but there's no way I'm going to pay for several months or even years just so I can say I have something so disposable now. A mortgage is one, toys and disposable junk is another)

But those are just my rambles...the article and sharing are better anyway. We don't live some great lifestyle here, enlightened and higher at all. We just choose to be more independent. And you can't do that when you are tied to the world with money strings for your own daily existence. Some folks had to make these choices a while back when things started rolling down hill. Sadly, too many were forced into these decisions because those golden jobs they had disappeared overnight. It's not over yet. There are still huge numbers of folks still walking down that path, fooling themselves into believing that as they have lasted this long, they simply won't have to find out what it's like to be forced into unfamiliar lifestyles. Me, I much prefer making my own decisions rather than having circumstances, or others, make them for me.

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Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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