Alternative Living # 5 ~ Money

Money makes the world go around…

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness.  Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.  ~  Mr. Micawber

I was a broken man when I eventually moved into the waterside apartment I call the garret.  Broken in body, mind, and spirit.  I was also flat broke.  Which is likely to happen when your business partner is stealing you blind.  (Given how much money she took from me she was probably the most expensive sex I have ever had.)

shoesI was used to having more money than a money-pit, trophy-wife could spend on clothes, jewelry, shoes…, so being penniless came as something of a shock.  I had two choices, make some more money, or spend less.  Given that there was no way I was going to take a regular job I had only 1 choice…

I had to learn how to live on less.  Thanks to synchronicity, my time as a Banker had tought me how to manage money.  Here are some guidelines I followed / still follow:

  1. Pay my debts.  Debt is an insidious trap.  Debts incur interest, and if you don’t pay the debt and interest in good time, you risk serious consequences.  The debts I had were a small mortgage on the garret, and some credit card balances.  Of the two, it was most important that I cleared the debt on my plastic ~ credit cards carry a ruinous rate of interest.  Even if I had to live on white-label canned goods for the rest of my life, the first thing I did, (and still do), with any money I had coming in was reduce my debts.
  2. Pay the local taxes and utilities bills.  I had tried living without water, gas, electricity, telephone, internet, a roof over my head, (maybe you should read Alternative Living # 3), and believe you me, it’s no picnic.  In fact, living without modern conveniences is a short way to illness and death for the modern man.
  3. Learn how to say No.  I stopped accepting invitations to go out to bars / restaurants / coffee shops / cinemas.  I stopped giving to charities.  I would not lend or give any cash to anyone.  Salespeople still get very short shrift from me, as in; ‘what part of fuck-off no don’t you understand?’
  4. I stay away from shopping malls, and I don’t buy things from the internet’s virtual mall.  As it goes, that isn’t strictly true.  If it’s raining I take my daily walk in the local shopping mall.
  5. Write lists.  I am terrible for going into a supermarket and coming out with stuff I did not really want or need.  Supermarkets are very good at getting us to buy stuff…  So, work out what I need, write a list, and buy what’s on the list, and don’t buy anything else.
  6. Shop differently.  Use discount stores and thrift shops, look in the bargains sections, look for and use coupons, and never go shopping when you are hungry, thirsty, angry, depressed, drunk…
  7. Sell the stuff I no longer want or need.  When I lived in a 5 bedroom home, I had a huge study, full of books, music, and man-junk.  I am still using Amazon to sell vinyl, cd’s and books.  Yet the garret still has heaps stuff stored in all kinds of unlikely places…
  8. Rethink what I want and need.  I don’t need the latest and most expensive car, newest television, most expensive cable service, most up to fate cellphone, tablet, the latest fashions…
  9. Stay away from booze.  Given the amount I could drink, if once I started drinking, I could spend a hell of a lot of money on booze.  Added to that I do stupid and expensive things when I have been drinking.
  10. Keep away from other vices.  I am very lucky, the only addictive weaknesses I have ever suffered from are women and booze.  I have never smoked or taken street drugs ~ the people who do those things disgust me.  If you read my Alternative Living # 4 you will know how I came to cope with the whole women / relationships / sex thing.

One of the things I discovered about alternative living is that it can be spiritual, and frugal / low cost, and at one and the same time, have a beneficial / green impact on the whole environment.


3 responses

  1. More of ‘Jack’s Rules to Live By’!
    When the US economy tanked in 2008, I lost my business and my home. The only thing I couldn’t part with was my books. I packed and carried those boxes from one janky place to the next.
    Learning to live that new way was a scary experience. I’m better off for it.
    I’ll be adopting a couple of your rules to add to my own. Thank you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes, living on less is a liberating experience. Now, even some of my books have to go….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great advice! We have been adopting a more minimalist lifestyle lately. We spent so much time accumulating stuff, now we realize we don’t need it and we are simplifying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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