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Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sign of the Times - And Why We're OK

Above: Unchecked consumerism and corporate greed has lead to the above, a waste of time, effort, and precious natural resources. A modern ghost town!

Wow - The news is just crazed. Economic collapse. Housing market in shambles. The US government wants to give the stupid/greedy bankers, 700 billion taxpayers' dollars to fix their fucked up/fraudulent activity. Oh, wait a minute. No, they don't. Well, maybe there is some sanity somewhere. In Canada, the politicians keep saying that our financial system is more conservative, and won't be effected by the US economic woes. Bullshit! Up here, people/industries are already stumbling, over what's happening down there. But, as vandwellers, we'll be OK. Why?

No one is better prepared to handle economic hard times than we are. We have eliminated the largest expense that most people face, housing. We don't have a mortgage. We don't pay rent. That allows us to allocate money on life-sustaining practises, like food and health care. We don't have the stress of trying to make enough money to juggle all these expenses. We have eliminated approximately 40% or more of a normal person's budget, just by lifestyle.

But, it doesn't stop there. Say, you're in a area which is already in recession mode. There are no jobs in your town/county/state or province. This is happening both in the US and Canada. Just go. Leave tomorrow. Point your van towards somewhere, anywhere, where there are good work prospects. Ones for real! When you live in a van, nothing holds you back. Later, if you want to return, where you've been will still be there. The only difference will be that you are better off both economically and your basic well being. Why? Because you didn't let that area drag you down; you did what was necessary to avoid that downward spiral. Because, as a vandweller, you have the ability to go where the work is, whenever you feel like it. No mortgage, no lease, no furniture, just go.

The other thing is, all these economic hard times and doom and gloom are completely artificially created. In other words, they can be fixed. The economic behaviour of over-spending, credit leveraging, the lifestyle of so many people, both American, Canadian and worldwide, is flawed. It isn't sustainable. Both economically and environmental. So what's happening now was going to anyway. Hopefully, the governments of our countries will start to earn their paychecks and regulate the thievery, plunder and pillage that's been taking place. We'll see.

The fact is, since we are less of a slave to the system, we can skate through these times more easily. Here are some basic tenets of personal fiscal behavior, that may help you.

First, 'Eliminate all personal debt, ASAP!' The worst investment is debt, that is allowed to accumulate by negligence, credit card abuse or whatever. Work, scrimp and save, and pay off that debt. I still have two credit cards. They have their place for emergencies and specific spending practices. But, I pay them off monthly, so I accrue no interest.

Second, "Live within your Means". Simply, make more money than you spend. The reverse ideology (spend more than you make), is the base cause that created these economic woes in the first place. So, don't go there personally. This idea is as old as the hills. But, it still rings true today. It's the basis of true fiscal responsibility. Live your life free from the yoke of debt, as much as possible. By living as a vandweller, and eliminating the enormous cost of conventional housing, you don't have that expense and you have the freedom to go where there is gainful employment.

Third, 'Work'. If you buy food or gas, you need money. In order to 'live within your means', you need income. You may be able to barter your services or something you make for said items, but, unless you live off the land isolated from our society, you need to do something. So, get over it and just do it. Whatever it is, you've got to something to address this need; there's no escape from that fact, unless you are independently wealthy. Deal with it.

Fourth, 'Live frugally'. The less demand you place on your income, the easier it will be to 'live within your means'. You are already well on your way, when you live as a vandweller. But, with some ingenuity and effort, it's amazing how much more you can save along the way. There is so much information about this out there, I'm not going to go into it here. So, unless you want to be a slave to your spending habits, learn how to spend less of your hard earned money.

Fifth, 'Opportunity'. When you live as a vandweller, you have streamlined your lifestyle to the point, where very little stops you from applying yourself to take advantage of opportunity. I have always believed that when there is crisis or disaster, there follows opportunity to create a better place or system/strategies to correct what caused said crisis. So, be apart of that. Apply yourself. Reach out and strive to live that solution. Create opportunity. I've always joked that I am a 'blatant opportunist'. Well, I am.

I'm not a rich man. I'm not a poor man. I'm just a vandweller, a modern nomad, slippin' through the swirling mass of confusion, in an Aerostar.

Above: We do have choices. It's up to us to choose, less is more! It's my path, what's yours?