Maybe you are like me, and when you were 10, you routinely read your parents’ copy of Reader’s Digest. My favorite page was “Quotable Quotes.” Perhaps this is where I got my inspiration to start a chapbook of quotes and words of wisdom to help guide me to best overcome the adversity of life with grace and determination.
Here is wisdom from a different era that more of us frugal types need to bring back:
“There is no dignity quite so impressive,
and no independence quite so important,
as living within your means.”
– U.S. President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
But the key words are “from a different era.” Ah, to have a vision of a society that values personal economic freedom. “Immediate gratification” (getting the latest device) and “Urgency addiction” (giving more attention to people on the other side of your device than the people in front of you) in today’s society have a way of getting in the way of our pursuing this feeling of dignity of which Coolidge speaks; the kind of personal satisfaction that can come from the independence of living within your means. I wonder, can you have personal economic freedom when the rest of the world doesn’t prioritize it?
Reading about more and more people who are striving to follow Coolridge’s words gives me hope for the future. There are the homesteaders and would-be-types that I’ve read about for the last three years in Mother Earth News (which I had never heard about before getting a gift subscription. Thanks, Sue!) There are more folks starting to grow their own food, one potted plant, one small plot at a time. And even more who are living within their means by simplifying their lives, learning how to cook, learning to live with less, wearing simple, timeless, clothing, finding contentment in pleasures that don’t cost a lot of money, and/or are spending their hard-earned money on making wonderful memories, giving to others rather than on stuff. As you may have read from my previous posts, I am inspired to live in these ways.
However, all that is fine and good until we look at our national and global economic situation. This fall, I’ve read many headlines warning the next big financial bubble in the United States: Student debt. Did you know that Americans owe more on their student loans than on their credit cards? What does that mean for consumers? Even though you personally may not have to worry about financing college, it is likely that you will be affected. A May 2012 article in “Consumer Reports” outlines the consequences “not just for graduates but also for the larger society. Some economists fear that lingering student debt will force many young adults to delay or defer important milestones, such as marriage and starting a family, which can impede a full economic recovery. Young workers with wrecked credit from unaffordable student loans, for example, won’t be able to get mortgages to purchase homes, which could make it even tougher for retirees and others to sell theirs.”
Yikes! Homesteading looks more and more appealing to me! My next post will pair with Marilyn’s post about considering community college as a viable option. A teacher in our community, now retired, required all three of his children to defer their entrance to college for a year to work in construction. You can imagine the positive, learning experience that resulted from that parent’s non-negotiable requirement.
For now, we look to put our garden to bed for the winter, make plans to expand on growing more of our own food, and other ways to continue to frugally and sustainably live within our means.
- Quotable Quotes for Sustainable Serenity 10.14.12 (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
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- Quotable Quotes for Sustainable Serenity 9.30.12 (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
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- Quotable Quotes for Sustainable Serenity (twofrugalfairfielders.com)