Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sustainable, Self Sufficiency - The Third Phase of the Revolution, Part 1

My financial journey has been a scenic one.  It has taken many twists and turns.  Some of the views have been breath taking.  Others have been rather terrifying.  But I have enjoyed every minute.  I love sharing my story and my vision for universal financial freedom with anyone who will stay still long enough to listen. 

Now that we are debt free (except mortgage, but that will be soon enough), I have turned my attention to what it means to live a 'debt free lifestyle'.  I thought I would move down a path of 'wealth building', but that one is well worn, having been travelled by many who are far more knowledgable than I.  Two of the great ones are: Dave Ramsey and David Bach.  I love their wealth building ideas.  Since they've already done the heavy lifting, and since my name isn't Dave, I took another path.  Fortunately for me, my bride has been willing to walk this new trail with me.  I am a lucky man.

As you might guess from the title of this weblog, I call it "Recession Proof Living".  The website will be,  The space is reserved, but not yet built.

If you read IOU NO MORE, you know I introduced the subject of putting your finances on 'Cruise Control'.  If you haven't read the book, get a copy right away.  If you can't afford a copy of your own, borrow one.  I'm serious.  The plan will change your life.

Turns out that for and ADD charged, Type A male, like me, 'Cruise Control' was boring.  Smart, but not satisfying.  So I began to investigate why I was feeling unsatisfied.  I came up with several answers. Some  were spiritual, some were political, some were personal.

Politically, I am very concerned about the direction of this country.  Both parties worry me.  I see Govt. getting bigger and the American wallet getting smaller.  My 401k hit the tank like everyone else's did.  I have no confidence in the future of Social Security nor in taxation.  I began to ask myself what would happen if this country had a total meltdown.  What would life look like?  Would a 3 to 6 month emergency fund be enough?  Were others wondering the same thing?

Personally, I am a control freak.  I need to be in control of my own destiny.  And I felt at the mercy of the Government, my employer and the big industries that dominate supply, demand and pricing of commodities and other necessary goods and services.  I look down the road and am bothered about what I see.

I'm not a Global Warming believer.  I hate fear mongering politics disguised as concern for the earth.  Bah.  Humbug!  But I do have some things in common with the environmentalist fringe.  I don't like the way we're mishandling resources.  Traditional farming methods are destroying the soil quality of our planet at an alarming rate.  We are washing tons of chemical fertilizer waste into rivers and streams, poisoning the water and the life dependent on those waters.  And whatever you do, don't get me started about commercial animal production....Oh, by the way, have you looked at the label on a can of pretty much anything we put in our shopping carts on a weekly basis.  We are pretty much ingesting the entire periodic table.  I'm thinking that might not be a good thing.  And we're paying for the privilege. 

On a final personal note, I was born to live in the country.  I need room to roam.  I need to work in the soil with my hands.  I need the fresh air, the livestock....the manure.  Green Acres is the place to be.  Living in the suburbs, spending hours of my day in commuter traffic, punching the clock, is not 'cruise control'.  It's torture.

But it was reading the Bible that changed my whole perspective.  God has a way of grabbing hold of me, shaking me like a rag doll and pointing out my obvious blindness.  What I discovered about saving and giving was life altering.  It was also liberating.  Phase two of the Revolution came directly as a result of my Bible study.  Phase three is, I believe, a natural consequence of phase 2.  I'll start explaining myself next time.