Monday, October 20, 2008

Economic Downturn and Homesteader Outlook

We have talked as a family about going on a "money diet", as my best friend often calls it. Now that our stock value has plummeted, we are looking at it as a good time to tighten our belts and teach the kids more about living frugally. We have never been really extravagant, but have always had as much as we needed. An article I read had the following tips for keeping a homesteader's mindset, even if you are not a homesteader. Here are the comments"

Avoid the feeling of depravity and start thinking of it as creativity.

Before purchasing anything (clothing, food, household item, equipment, etc.), there are several questions that run through the mind of someone who considers themselves a homesteader. These questions help decide whether he or she should make the purchase. Here are just a few examples:

* "Can I make it myself for less than it costs to buy it?"
* "Do I have something already that works in place of this item just as well?"
* "How often will I use this new item?" (Hint: If it's not used regularly, don't purchase it.)
* "Can I do without this item?"
* "Do we actually need it or do we just want it?"

When choosing to do without or make do or make it myself, the homesteader looks at the whole event as a way to be creative. Creativity is central to this new mindset, not just a budget or skimping, but creatively finding new ways to do things, new ways to make things, and new ways to use, reuse and recycle things. It's a challenge and a game to someone with a homesteading mindset to see just how happily and simply we can live.