I’m drowning in bills. Every month they come in tsunami-sized waves: mortgage, car payment, phone, cable, electric, water, and credit cards. If I don’t find a way to spend less money, I’m going to have to get another job just to keep my head above water. Do you have any tips for saving money?
Dear Over-Billed Billy,
Of course I can help you save money! It’s easy: downsize and simplify. Take a long, honest look at your life and determine to do away with everything superfluous. If something is not critical for your survival, if it is not essential to your very existence, then let it go.
If you undertake this exercise seriously, you will come to realize that you only really need a few things in order to live (in the most basic sense of the word). Those things, of course, (in order of importance) are oxygen, water, food, and shelter. Let’s look at them one at a time.
Oxygen. Thankfully, this most important necessity is still free. I’m sure that right now, in a dark little office somewhere, is a greedy capitalist scheming for a way to charge people to breathe. But until his evil plans come to fruition, it won’t cost you a thing to take in all the oxygen you need to survive.
Water. Fresh water collects in lakes and flows freely in rivers all across the Earth. Sometimes it even falls from the sky and collects in little puddles. As long as you don’t live in a desert, this water is plentiful and free for the drinking.
Food. You can get a quality meal from places other than restaurants and grocery stores. Hunting and gathering wild animals, vegetables, and fruits is a practice lost to the civilized world, but it is a viable (and cost free) way of procuring food. Also overlooked is scavenging the discarded but still edible wastes of restaurants, grocery stores, and regular people.
Shelter. Survival doesn’t require a big fancy house. At most you need some clothes to keep you warm and a tent or tarp to put over your head to keep you dry. Again, these things can be scavenged for free from other people’s refuse.
That’s it. That’s all you need! Get rid of everything else. You can quite easily survive in this world without having to pay a penny for your necessities. How’s that for saving money!
I know what you’re thinking. I can hear the protests forming in your mind and rising up your throat before you even give voice to them: “Your advice is to become a homeless person! I’m not doing it. What kind of life is that?”
I understand your concern. We judge homeless people as the losers in the game of life, dropouts of society whose lifestyle is so obviously inferior to our own. But look at their lives more closely. They don’t drive gas-guzzling environment-polluting cars to soulless offices where they sit in boring cubicles all day, hating their lives and worrying about how they’re going to pay for it all. No, homeless people just live, and live freely. Their lives are simple, straightforward, and real. I’d say that they experience reality much more fully than those of us who enjoy the comforts of civilization – no matter how many reality shows we watch on television.
Peace, Love, and Simplifying Your Life,