Cautious Preparation

If you’ve paid attention to the news, some workers are discussing the possibility of striking due to what they believe to be unsafe conditions in the workplace thanks to the spread of Covid-19. I found an article the other day about Purdue workers walking out because of their concerns.

Before this hit our news feeds I realized that our supply lines might possibly be in danger due to Covid-19. If the current workers fall ill, would anyone want to step up and replace them? While I hope that my concerns are unfounded, I decided to do a little something now to ease my concerns.

I’ve recycled some containers, converting them into pots. Within these pots I’ve began to grow some vegetables from kitchen scraps and seeds. I have a challenge obtaining seeds since my daughters have joined the chorus echoed by friends and family that I need to stay home for my safety but my youngest has assured me that, as soon as her store manages to acquire some seeds, that she will buy some packets for me.

In the meantime I have started the few packets I managed to obtain before those around me began to pressure me to remain at home. It isn’t much, but it’s a start.

The modern food chain revolves around workers in the field, the shipping companies, and in the stores. What will happen when more of those workers fall ill to this virus?

While I am not panicked, I have given thanks that I live in a somewhat rural area. There is a slaughterhouse nearby for meat, and a number of my friends raise gardens out of habit. Even with that I feel that preparation is best.

I have personally taken a “plan for the worst, hope for the best” attitude to this situation. As I watch more companies struggle, in a worst-case scenario they will fall like dominoes in time. I don’t even want to think of what will happen to our medical system, local, state, and federal governments. I can’t change it, so I see no point in stressing over it.

I look around for the things I can do right here, right now, with what I currently have available. I can keep my house clean. I can recycle plastic containers to use for pots, I can grow a little bit of food, and I can distract myself by reading books and journaling to keep myself sane. I can also eliminate leftovers entirely as I do all of this, which is something I have done. These little things may prove to be helpful in time, or I may end up laughing at my over-reaction once this is over.

In the meantime, the steps that I am taking allow me to sleep at night without stress. They allow me to sit upon my front porch and enjoy the sunlight without worrying much over the future. What will come cannot be stopped, but I can rest easy in the knowledge that I am doing what I can just in case things become even worse.

What are you doing to pare down your expenses and prepare for a potentially darker future? Please share your stories in the comments below.

~#~

If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!


I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The New Normal

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”

Unknown

The world is under siege by an invisible threat that is overwhelming our medical community to the point where desperate measures are being taken to reduce the spread.

Oddly enough, now that things are coming to pass I feel an odd sense of peace. I suspected that things would be seriously affected in our nation since the Wuhan lockdown in January, so I no longer have to wonder what is going to happen next. My worst fears are coming to pass. The unknown is now the known, which gives me a sense of relief.

I can deal with the known. It’s the unknown possibilities that frighten me.

The last time I left the house was on Friday, March 13. A friend of mine had purchased a television and didn’t know how to connect her devices to it. I take care of my friends so, despite the risk, I went to her home and got it sorted. I am well-aware of the fact that, as things continue to be shut down, that the television will become her lifeline so I wanted to ensure that she was ready, especially since she has yet to fully comprehend the coming changes.

In the midst of the chaos that marks our local community, my daughter’s boyfriend came in on leave. They were married by the County Judge, who was delighted to take a break to participate in something happy for a change. Her husband has since retured to his base in California to see what happens with his scheduled deployment.

So for now, all we can do is wait this out.

My daughter’s job won’t be affected too much. She works in a grocery store, a venue that shouldn’t be shut down in the foreseable future. I’ve got enough money held back to survive for a couple of months. We’ve stocked up our supplies to the point where we can hold out for at least a month if it comes to that. I’ve resisted the urge to stock even more, since the majority of folks in my area did not realize that the situation was so serious until the other day so they are desperately attempting to make up for lost time by hitting the stores hard. They need more access to food and supplies than I do at this point.

One of my closest friends is now in quarantine, so I divide my time between keeping their spirits up as well as checking in on my other friends who are frightened at the changes sweeping the nation. I’m not getting much sleep as a result of that; the different time zones I am dealing with mean that I get to bed in the wee hours of the morning and am awakened not very long after. I nap when I can to compensate.

We aren’t going to be able to escape this, my friends. All we can do is move forward. The challenge we face worldwide is to slow the spread as much as we can to minimize the burden upon the international health systems. The only way we can do that is to stay at home as much as possible and avoid physical contact by maintaining a significant air gap between us and other people. We also need to exercise abundant caution with our personal hygiene by keeping our hands washed and so forth. I’m certain you already know that, so I won’t belabor the point.

If you’ve not stocked up on food and supplies for at least two weeks, I urge you to do so now. While I hope that food and supplies will remain in supply, I am uncertain about the ability of local groceries to keep some things in stock. I hope you will prepare accordingly.

This is going to get ugly, folks. It is going to get ugly, and it is going to be scary. While I see our state governors taking charge and doing their best, I am honestly uncertain of how much help (if any) that the average person will receive from the Federal Government here in the United States. To avoid any danger of being misled, I’ve taken to watching our President’s speeches. Thus far I’ve heard our President bail out the oil industry, encourage the FED to inject a fortune into the stock market and so forth, and announce that he is in talks to bail out the airline and cruise ship industries. Aside from promising an increased availablity of test kits, I’ve not heard our President speak much about concrete plans to help those directly affected by this.

That makes me extremely nervous.

I am not going to lie. Based upon the speeches I have personally watched, I’ve caught our President in several lies just over the past few days. I don’t know if those lies are meant to reassure the general public or not, but between those and the fact that he seems more interested in bailing out the corporations than he is in helping the average person, I have little faith that the United States Government is going to be much help in this. Fortunately our state governors are really stepping up to the plate, which gives me immense hope.

Dr. Fauci gives me hope as well. I have taken to watching his speeches and interviews since he is about the only one in our Federal Government that I trust to speak the truth. The picture he paints for the future is not a pleasant one, but at least it’s honest.

So buckle up and hunker down, folks. It’s about to get real.

Sending prayers, Annie

The Story of Bill

Bill is an American success story. He dropped out of college to follow his dream of making windows – and he hit it big. Bill is one of the people we look up to when we decide that we want to pursue our dreams. I used to be one of those people.

On the outside, Bill appears to be a saint because after he managed to convince everyone to install his windows in their homes and their offices, he used some of his money to improve his self image. He opened a charitable organization or two, convinced others to toss a few pennies of their wealth into the pot, and started doing good deeds, making sure that they were publicized so the whole world would see how wonderful Bill and his friends were.

What Bill didn’t reveal was the fact that he was actually playing a shell game. While our eyes were watching his charitable organization, him and his cronies were buying our governmental leaders in the background. They spent so much money buying our government that they decided that they didn’t want to buy our government and pay taxes too. Bill traveled to Puerto Rico, arranged to pay almost nothing in taxes (it wouldn’t look right if he got off paying nothing, he realized), and then “sold” the rights to some of some of his most profitable products to a tiny little company he created there.

It was the equivalent of selling a $100,000 home to your brother for five bucks, only in this case, Bill used the legal system to turn a portion of his money into the brother. Corporations are almost considered to be “people” in our legal code, so he essentially cloned himself, made the clone a resident of Puerto Rico, and transerred the rights to his most profitable products to this clone at a laughable price to avoid paying taxes in the US.

Bill did this because there is one organization in the US government that doesn’t contain elected officials he can buy: the IRS.

The IRS doesn’t discrimate. It is filled with low-paid employees who have one mission: ensure that everyone pays their fair share in taxes, if not a bit more.

The good people at the IRS watched Bill and his cronies pull stunts like this for years. They had been the ones getting yelled at when people noticed that Bill and his friends weren’t paying their fair share. They took it and took it until they got fed up and decided to fight back.

They not only decided to do a full audit on Bill, they called in the biggest legal guns they could to fight back.

“The nerve of these bastards,” Bill ranted when he received the audit notice. “Don’t they realize that I OWN them? I think it’s time they found out who their boss really is!”

Bill called up his cronies. His cronies called their friends. As one they hired attorneys and jumped into the fray. One by one they called the politicians they paid off, forcing politicians on both sides of the political fence to attack the IRS and start shoving new laws through the pipe to not only make the IRS stop, but to pass laws that prevented the IRS from trying to make them pay their fair share in taxes ever again. They also decided to punish the IRS for stepping out of line. Budget cut after budget cut caused the little agency that could to stop challenging Bill and his cronies whenever possible.

~

While the words I have written here are fiction, simplified for understanding and dramatized for effect, these words are roughly based upon a true story. This is the story of how the rich are using our money to manipulate our nation in their favor. This story is about one aspect, about how Bill and his friends manage to bully our government to get out of paying taxes, but they also use these same tactics to make our national leaders dance like puppets on a string.

Check into the donation records of every single politican in Washingington, and you will find evidence of how they buy our nation’s officials. Bill and his cronies make large donations to campaigns, knowing that these politicians will repay the favor whenever Bill and his buddies pick up the phone.

It doesn’t even stop in Washington. Up and down the political chain, from the smallest town to our national government, Bill and his friends are doing this. If you’ve ever looked at your mayor or sheriff and wondered how they managed to win their office, follow the money and you will find out. They’ve yet to make many of the campaign contributions private so you can still track them to a degree.

This is the sad reality of the United States. What was previously considered the “greatest nation in the world” is being turned into a puppet regime.

We can fight, we can scream, we can protest until the end of time and this will not change. The only thing that will happen is that we will be labeled as extremists and hauled off to jail as a terror threat.

But there is one way we can stop them. The method is completely legal, ethical, and non-violent. If we cut off their food supply, if we stop giving them the money that they need to buy our politicians, they will lose their ability to control our country. By removing our money from their pockets, we will cause their businesses to fail.

Even if you buy one less item from them, it helps. Even if you start patronizing one local business instead of the Big Ones, it helps. Even if you just keep the TV you have or the computer you have or the clothes that you have or the phone you have, it helps. Because every single one of these decisions places another nail in their coffin.

Our current business model considers a business to be a failure if it cannot show an increasing profit year after year. Our economic model is based upon exponential growth. Stop that growth, and they die.

If you are tired with the way things are in our nation, if you are tired of the rich growing insanely richer while the rest of us struggle, if you are tired of living in a nation that has turned into a puppet regime, then I hope that you will join us.

Use what you have.
Stop buying new.
Ignore their advertising.
Stop feeding the monsters.

~#~

If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!


I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

A Question About Debt

There is a lot of discussion about how to handle student debt these days. When I came online this morning, I received the screenshot of the above tweet along with a question (abbreviated for clarity):

“I have $XX,XXX in student debt from a college that forced me to leave when I became pregnant. Despite the fact that they refused to allow me to attain my degree, they still charged me. I cannot complete my education until my debt is paid in full because my original college refuses to release my transcripts, and I cannot find a job that pays enough to eliminate the debt without that degree. What can I do?”

I don’t know. I volunteered to write this post in hopes of finding someone who does.

Debt is growing ever more common in our society. In the second quarter of 2019, consumer debt was listed at $13.86 trillion. While I refuse to get into the reasons behind this massive number, today I would like to ask you a question:

Can we fix this? And if we can, HOW?

I think we can all agree that the debt situation has become a problem. Student debt alone has reached the point where politicians are using it as a weapon to gain more votes.

The book Plutocrats even discusses how people in the finance industry have profited from this debt. In an earlier post, I even discussed the multi-million dollar paycheck that a single CEO in the credit card industry has attained.

Back in the age that the Old Testament of the Bible was written, Israelites were ordered to cancel all debts of their fellow man every seven years. The text excludes foreigners, but Deuteronomy 15:1-6 is a fascinating solution to the issue of debt at hand. Here is a direct quote from the start of the passage:

“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.” – Deuteronomy 13:17, NIV

For the record, I do not have debt. Therefore, I feel that I have no right to contribute to this discussion. That said, the massive amounts of debt that our populace has incurred warrants attention.

If you could propose a solution to the massive amount of debt our nation’s populace is facing, what would you propose and why? Please share your answers in the comments below.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The Problem With Wanting Change

“I don’t care what you say to me. Just give me the money!”

– unknown

The problem about change is that everybody wants it but nobody actually wants to do the real work that brings it about. I can preach about the dangers of the Walton Family until Hell freezes over, but if I’m still shopping in their stores I’m not part of the change.

I’m part of the problem.

I’ve wrestled with that dilemma for years now. I have seen cashiers in the front of their stores sobbing as their hours have been cut, just to walk in the back and hear the managers laughing over those exact same wage cuts.

I’ve watched factory managers tremble in terror at the thought that we were scheduled to run a Walmart order on the line – “Make sure you watch those boxes like a hawk! If Walmart sees anything wrong with a single box they will refuse the entire order and we could all lose our jobs!”

I’ve seen truckers curse them in a fury – “I didn’t get paid for my last delivery because I arrived outside of my window. How the hell could I arrive on time when I was stuck in traffic on the Interstate after an accident!?!”

I’ve seen Walmart shift one of their stores about a mile down the road because one little grocery store survived their intrusion. Walmart wanted to kill them all. They closed a perfectly good store just to open up next door to the one little grocery they had been incapable of killing in their last location–and I watched that old man cry as his whole entire life was destroyed.

I’ve personally witnessed Walmart do horrible things and yet the sniveling, worthless sack of shit that I am, I STILL gave those bastards my money.

Oh, I had plenty of reasons for my hypocrisy. Walmart was close, their prices were cheap, and surely to God the Government would figure it out and fix things in time, but you know what?

I was part of the problem.

Walmart doesn’t give a shit what you or I say. Walmart doesn’t give a fuck if we complain that they’re taking over our nation. All they do is laugh their way to their champagne carts because we’re still giving them our money.

For the record, I liked Sam Walton. It’s the actions of his kids now that he’s dead that I cannot condone. Sam was a nice guy. Yeah, he liked his money but he dressed like a real person as he drove around in his ratty truck. He would walk up to you and shake your hand and treat you like a human being. I met him once and fell in love. Sam Walton was awesome.

But Sam Walton is not his kids. His kids were raised with silver spoons in their mouths because Sam thought that was best. And I can’t fault Sam for that, despite the fact that he turned those kids into the greedy monsters that they are today.

So I reasoned that it wasn’t Sam’s fault that his kids were assholes. I walked in those stores and gave them my money as I tried to ignore how Walmart was changing.

And it was Sam Walton himself that gave me a clue:

“There is only one boss; the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

– Sam Walton

Sam Walton was right. If you don’t like what is happening, all you have to do is cut off their food supply and watch them starve.

That’s why our lovely little nation freezes bank accounts when they’re chasing people: the government knows it will starve them out of hiding.

Cut off their food supply and anything will die. Yet I, in my hypocrisy, ignored that message.

That stops now. This month, instead of doing my normal thing, I found another place to acquire my pet food. I paid a bit more but my conscience is clear. I’m not happy about the place I chose this round but that’s okay. I’ll find a better place to shop in time.

I am done with being a hypocrite. I am done with being part of the problem. I am done with the fact that I have sat on the sidelines whining about my powerlessness as I made the problem worse through my purchases.

Every time you walk into a Walmart you think about that. Every time you order from Walmart remember that you are the reason they exist. YOU are the reason that they are destroying our dairy industry. You are the reason that cashiers are losing their jobs.

It is YOUR fault if the Walton family continues to manipulate the government of our nation.

It was my fault in the past but I have ended my hypocrisy. The rest is up to you.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The Walmart Monster

“The best slave is a slave that doesn’t know he’s a slave.” – www.zerohedge.com

The human race is the only species on this planet that is forced to pay money for the right to live. In the United States, our parents have to go into debt just to give us life. They sweat and they struggle to support us through our childhood until finally they release us into the world, praying that we can support ourselves.

Things don’t get much better for us once we reach adulthood. For those of us who attend college, hoping that it will give us a chance, we have to shoulder the burden of immense debt for that privilege. When we want to reduce the amount of debt that we incur, we search around us for work, a job that will allow us to pay our bills and eat something more substantial than ramen.

Many of us go hungry and homeless instead.

The story gets darker for those of us who discover that the privilege of higher education is beyond our reach. The story grows especially dark for those of us who start our families while we are young. For want of a single piece of paper, we are relegated to the waste heaps of humanity. We work in restaurants, we toil in factories, we slave away at gas stations and convenience stores.

We pray that we can find someone who can take our children in so that we can work the hours we are forced to work. We pray not to get sick as we beg for help to survive.

But we don’t deserve to survive. We are worthless. We are lazy. We are nothing but the scum of the earth. We deserve to die.

We are told from the moment of birth that we’re not good enough. We need to fix our appearance. We need to wear certain clothes. We need to buy the houses and the cars and the stuff. They tell us that if we work harder; if we get an extra job, if we get the degree–if we put in enough hours and do enough work that we can fix our situations.

But it’s all a lie.

Even if we get that piece of paper, we still won’t be able to make enough. By the time we repay our student loans, there isn’t anything left. And regardless of whether we choose college or not, our fate will be the same. We will work until we break and be discarded.

We are the slaves of the United States of America. We are the ones who have been lied to our whole entire lives. We have been lied to because we are not the ones in control of our nation. Our nation has been bought by the monsters. 

The monsters work hard to disguise this fact. They lurk in the background, paying off our public servants to pass laws that favor them. They barrage us with ads, ads designed to give us hope for the future so that we will continue to fund their excess while we struggle.

They think they are powerful. They believe they are unstoppable. This has gone on for so long that the monsters believe they are god.

I think it’s time we met the monsters. Let’s start with one of the biggest ones, the Walton Family.

Walton Wealth

As you can see from the image, we are giving this monster $70,000 every single minute. We are giving them more each minute than most of us earn in an entire year. In exchange for that money, they sell us cheap crap at slowly inflating prices. They move into our towns, destroy our businesses, and revel at their monopoly.

They pay us workers so little that we have to beg the government to have enough food so we can eat, but that’s still not enough for them. They have begun to eliminate the jobs we are forced to take just to pay our bills. They are so greedy that they suck our nation dry by exploiting loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

They have taken over our towns.
They have corrupted our government.
They are destroying the dairy industry.
And now they are after our children.

What will they go after next?

There is only one we can stop this monster. There is only one way that we can destroy their power. There is only one place we can strike that will hurt them.

That place is in their wallet. We have to starve them out if we want to retake our nation.

Stop giving them money.
Stop shopping at their stores.
Stop feeding the monsters.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

How to Annoy Your Credit Card Company

It is becoming more difficult to live without a credit card in this world. You need credit cards to make online payments since more and more companies are moving exclusively online. Brick and mortar stores are beginning to refuse cash transactions now. I suspect that this trend will continue.

While you can use the debit card provided at most banks in lieu of a credit card, this carries risks. If your card is cloned by a skimmer or in any way compromised, you can lose access to your entire bank balance while you get the situation sorted. I learned this the hard way when it happened to me several years ago.

Credit cards can provide a layer of protection from this but the protection comes at a cost for the unwary. Accept the wrong credit card offer and you will find yourself paying outrageous annual fees for the privilege. If you decide to go with a prepaid “credit card,” as in the ones you find at the corner gas station, their transaction fees can be prohibitive.

That said, if you would like to annoy the finance industry while you’re protecting your bank account, a credit card is a wonderful way to do that. All you need to do is pay your balance off in full each and every month before the due date.

You see, credit card companies make their money through annual fees and interest fees. The credit card companies who don’t charge an annual fee rely upon interest fees and late payment fees to make their money. If they can tempt you into carrying a balance every month, these people are very happy campers. In 2016 alone, credit card companies took $63.4 BILLION dollars out of our collective pockets, and they enjoyed hoarding every penny of it.

Just imagine the good that $63.4 BILLION could have done for the poor in our nation alone. That much money could have benefited the poor worldwide, if properly distributed. Yet Richard Fairbank, the CEO of Capital One, a popular credit card company, took home $17,328,902 in 2019. You can look that up. It’s listed in the SEC filing right here.

That one man, Richard Fairbank, is a prime example of how the rich are getting richer off the backs of the rest of us. We slave and we sweat and we struggle while him and people like him sit in cozy air-conditioned offices and laugh.

But there’s a way to strike back at him and the others in the credit card industry. We can use their money for free, and there’s not a thing they can do about it.

Credit card companies hate when people use their money for free. They even have a term for it. People who use the money from credit card companies for free are called “freeloaders” and “deadbeats” by the credit card industry.

It’s easy to do. In fact, I’ve been doing it to get back at them for about a year now.

All you have to do is take out a credit card at one of the no-annual-fee credit companies and pay off your balance in full each and every month. Do not make the minimum payment. They will do their level best to persuade you to make the minimum payment. Pay off the entire balance in full.

It kills the credit card companies when you do this. If you’re smart, you’ll take the money you intend to pay the credit card company off with and stick that money into an interest-bearing account so that you can make a bit of money off of their money each month.

The funny part of this is the fact that the credit card companies cannot penalize you if you do this. When you pay off your credit card balance in full each month, they are actually forced to reward you with a good report on your credit rating.

Please note that if you have trouble paying your bills and with credit in general, you may want to avoid this bit of revenge against the credit card companies. If you cannot resist the temptation to spend more than you can pay off, I urge you to avoid this act of rebellion like the plague. Credit card companies work extremely hard to persuade you to carry a balance for a reason, and they are so good at it that the CEO of Capital One made over $17 million due to their talent.

That said, I enjoy using their money immensely each month. When I work up my budget, I transfer the amount I intend to spend on my credit card into an interest-bearing savings account. By using their money instead of mine, I am able to earn a bit of interest at their expense. It’s not much, but it makes me laugh every time I do it.

This act of revenge allows me to take a bit of money out of the pockets of at least one monster every month. Even better, it allows me to make money at the expense of that very same monster. If you have an issue with the usurious rates and the hidden fees that credit card companies charge, you might want to stage your own little revenge.

How do you fight the monsters? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I could use some ideas :).


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The Art of Recovering from Disaster

A friend’s house caught fire over this past summer. He was at work. By the time the firemen departed, the house and its contents were destroyed. My friend was gutted. He’d not only lost everything he owned, he’d lost his trusted companion, a pet he’d had for almost a decade.

He took some time to grieve and then started the process of recovery. He rented a new place and began anew.

We can all learn from my friend. While disasters take different shapes and forms, the sense of pain from the loss is the same. With the right mindset, we can turn that loss into an opportunity to recreate ourselves from the ashes.

I started that process yesterday. By releasing the burden I’ve hidden for almost a year, I wiped the slate clean.

I had a good cry and then asked myself “what do I do now?” I found the answer in my friend.

It’s time to pick my butt off the floor and start over.

I knew that this was coming. I fought against it. I tried every trick I knew to how to try in an attempt to avoid my reality. I didn’t want to sacrifice the beliefs I’d held for a lifetime. I didn’t want to surrender to the madness. But ultimately I am a survivor, so I refuse to let what I learned defeat me.

I have no power to change the world. I have no power, no authority to do any damn thing but eat and shit and die.

I can work with that.

You see, I may not be able to change this world but I can change myself. I may not be able to change this world but I can control the choices I make and the things I do. I may not be able to change the world but I can go into the long night content with the knowledge that I did what I could.

“If you find yourself confronting an unjust and corrupt system, it is much more effective to learn its codes from the inside and discover its vulnerabilities. Knowing how it works, you can take it apart – for good.”

– Robert Greene, The 50th Law

I have fifty years of experience in how this world works. Corporations convince us we are lacking to persuade us to give them our money. They use the money we give them to further their own purposes; their purpose is to make the rich richer by draining the rest of us dry.

To stop that scenario is simple. To stop the corporations from draining us dry we have to remove the source of their power.

The only way to remove their power is to stop giving them money.

The milennial generation stumbled upon this truth some time ago. They stopped giving their money to support certain industries. When those industries felt the blow to their pocketbooks, they began to scream with pain. Do a search for “industries milennials have killed” if you want to read the details.

I may be old and uneducated but I’m smart enough to see from the evidence that the process works. I’m humble enough to learn from their experience so I have chosen to follow their example. I may not be able to execute it perfectly but if I can arrange to give the monsters less, I can help starve them out in some small way.

I’ve already began that process. Instead of following their instructions to buy new clothing, I have chosen to use what I already own until it falls apart. Instead of following their instructions to discard the excess clothing I have thanks to the little washer I own, I placed the items in a box for future use.

The longer I can go without buying clothing, the less I will feed the monsters. Even better, there will be less clothing entering our landfills. That is a wonderful bonus.

For far too long I’ve fallen for the lie that I needed to look and dress a certain way. The only reason they want us to look and dress in a certain way is because it makes them richer. In the end, as long as we’re clean and our bits are covered, the details only matter to them.

We have a surplus of clothing in our thrift shops. We have tons of clothes rotting in landfills because of their programming. I may not be able to change that reality but I can refuse to participate in it.

Is there a way you can stop feeding the monsters? Please share your stories in the comments below.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The Man Behind the Curtain

I generally take my dogs outside around the same time in the mornings. And each weekday morning, for a number of years, my dogs have decided to bark towards a neighbor’s yard across the field.

I’ve looked each morning, scolding them, because I saw nothing of importance. I thought they were just barking at the wind so I told them to hush and be still.

Today as I sat on my stoop I happened to be examining the clouds in the distance when the dogs started their routine cacophony. Out of habit, I turned my eyes toward the yard…

…but this time I noticed something different.

Just beyond and to the right of that particular yard happens to be the entrance of one of our local water treatment plants. Moving around that entrance was a worker, opening the gates for the day.

Had my eyes followed their normal routine I would have never spotted him. He was far enough out of my normal focus that he would have remained unseen. Yet by changing my routine, changing the focus of where my eyes habitually go that man came into view.

I’ve spent this past decade scolding my pets for barking at that hour and in that direction. I spent this past decade scolding my pets for barking at nothing.

But they weren’t barking at nothing. They just saw something that I didn’t.

The same thing happened to me after Katie became an adult a few years ago. To settle the lost feeling I felt, I began to change my routine. I took a job, I read new books, I researched articles that I’d never thought to research in the past. I even started college.

I changed the focus of my mind as a result of those actions. And when I changed my focus I began to see things about our society that had previously passed unnoticed. During my research, I stumbled upon something that has shattered me.

Remember when I launched my grand goal to demonstrate that even the poorest among the poor could become wealthy? Remember even earlier, when I preached that we all just needed to live within our means? Remember when I announced that anyone could change their circumstances if they only worked hard enough?

I was convinced, completely convinced, that each and every one of those statements were true. I devoted my entire past life to proving the veracity of my beliefs. I spent this last decade, even longer, preaching those beliefs to you.

But when I shifted my focus I realized that I was wrong. There were things happening in the distance that I had not seen from my viewpoint because I had failed to shift the direction of my focus.

When my eyes finally traveled the right path they revealed to me a truth I found horrifying. A truth that I didn’t want to admit. I tried to turn away, tried to do the “business as usual” routine but I couldn’t. Once I spotted the truth, I was so disgusted that I could not look away.

My daughters must believe that I suffered some sort of mental breakdown over these past few months. I know some of my friends do. Because I went from chasing it “all” to where I stand today.

I quit my job and I lied to you when I did it. I lied to everyone. I told you I had enough coming in from my book royalties to surivive but the reality is a bit different. I was so horrified, so frightened that I couldn’t even process what was happening. So instead of revealing that I’d quit my job to supplement my income with my savings, I lied to everyone and inflated my income. I desperately needed to think, and in order to think I needed to remove the pressure that would have been placed upon me if I had revealed the truth. I needed to not only process what I had uncovered, but to make a decision about what to do with my discovery.

That lie is the reason I have not completed the book I promised to complete. That lie stuck in my throat and the words refused to come. I do not regret that lie but it is time to come clean. While it was a matter of mental survival at that point, I find the burden of that lie to be unbearable. It is time to explain my actions and accept the consequences of my misdeed.

When I began to change my focus to study the wealthy, the nature of business, and the stock market, I realized that the game has been rigged. Despite my father’s assertion that I could be anything I wanted to be, despite the fact that I have heard time and again that I can change my circumstances if I try hard enough and do enough work, the fact is that these statements are false.

I have been lied to my whole entire life. I am horrified and heartbroken and more than a bit embarrassed at the fact that I’ve preached those lies to the entire world my whole entire life. And I am not the only one who has been lied to. I suspect you’ve been lied to as well.

That is why the tone of my posts have changed. That’s also why I have been more than a bit erratic, because the pain I feel is so raw right now that I’ve yet to calm down. I am so upset, so furious at the truth I’ve discovered that I want to destroy it all. I have become the cat who has noticed the vase and I want so desperately to knock it down and see it shatter.

We are not poor because we choose to be. We do not struggle because we choose to struggle. If we pare our expenses to the bone, as I have, there is only so far down they can go. While frugality does help, it is not the solution to the problem.

The reason that we are poor and scared and broke is not because we’ve not done enough to improve our circumstances. The reason we are poor and scared and broke is because we have been brainwashed into believing that we are somehow wrong.

Want to score a date with the right person? Get the cosmetic surgery, have the hair colored, get the right cut and style and you will be good enough for them to notice you.

Want to score the right job, the job that will allow you to pay all of your bills with money to spare? Get the degree, buy the wardrobe, speak and act in a certain way and your path will be golden. You’ll never have to worry about money again. Don’t worry about the debt you’ll incur as you do this; you’ll be able to pay it all off with ease once you earn your fortune.

Want to live like “normal” people live? Buy the six-figure house and the $50,000 car. Go out to eat at the fancy places. Wear the little boutique clothing. Watch your labels! Work the job, get the promotions, raise the kids, clean the house. Buy the tablets and the gadgets and the stuff. The person with the most toys wins. Anyone else is a failure.

Do you know why we’ve been taught to believe these things? We have been taught to believe these things because they keep us quiet. It is hard to protest against something when it’s our own damn fault we’re in our mess, isn’t it?

But it isn’t our fault. You see, when we spend our lives pursuing these things and believing those beliefs, our focus is so great that we miss the man operating just outside our line of vision. Just as I missed seeing that man open those gates each morning, we miss seeing the truth of what is happening.

We have been led to believe the things we believe not because they benefit us or are even true. We’ve been led to believe these things because they inspire us to take actions that keep that man behind the curtain in power. With each and every one of these actions, we work to make him richer and give him more control. From behind that curtain, he is using us in a plan that I can barely comprehend.

Let me explain.

Check into the names of the stuff you buy every day and you will discover that those brands are owned by corporations. Those corporations are owned by other corporations, which in turn are frequently owned by even another corporation and so forth. Like tiny little nesting dolls, this chain of corporate confusion is being used to funnel the money you give them to a very dark purpose.

It’s hard to track. I barely scratched the surface during my research but if you look closely you will start to see it. Companies take over other companies by buying up their stock; if one corporation buys below a certain number of shares they don’t even have to report the specifics. So if the person in charge of one corporation buys several other corporations, then uses those corporations to buy some more corporations, he can ultimately use all of the corporations in that chain to buy stock below the limit of what they have to report, in a method that is not only completely legal, but obfuscated to a degree that we don’t have a clue about what is happening.

It is by that method that a unknown number of people are trying to take over the world.

All of the money from all of those corporations is being funneled up the chain to one or more people who are so rich that they aren’t just after the money now. Their primary goal is to corner the markets to consolidate their power. They are currently using the funds to influence our politicians through lobbyists, campaign donations, back-scratching, and other methods of control.

~

I know that I sound like a conspiracy fanatic. This is why I went off the deep end for a time. I didn’t want to believe what I had uncovered during my research. I certainly didn’t want to be labeled a nutcase, so I tried to keep the knowledge to myself and just go on with my life but I can’t.

I can’t. I tried and I’m sorry but I can’t.

Because in this case to keep silent would be wrong. To keep silent would be to allow them to continue to grow their power until they manage to conquer the entire world. I don’t know what their plans are once they accomplish this but what little I discovered has left me terrified.

I don’t know how to fix this. It’s so far beyond my comprehension that I don’t have a clue. All I know is this. Every single dollar we use, every single purchase we make to the corporations in question is being used to fund their actions. And they have hidden their tracks very well.

This is why the rich have become so much richer these past few years. They are draining us, sucking us dry as they move to shift the pieces into place. This is why I began to beg of you to become more thoughtful with your purchases. This is why I have been acting erratic and have altered the course of my life.

I feel as if I’ve stumbled off a cliff and gone into freefall.

I hope you understand my actions a bit more now. And if you have any idea about how to handle this, I would appreciate it if you would let me know because, to be blunt, I am scared completely shitless.

Have I gone completely insane?


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

We Should Practice What We Preach

I stopped exploring most of the minimalism, simplicity, and frugality blogs on the Internet these days. As a general rule, they fail to practice what they preach so I find them offensive.

The first thing you see when you click on one of those blog links is a giant popup. “Sign up for my mailing list and I’ll give you this piece of advertising disguised as helpful information for FREE!” When you sign up to make the popup disappear, your inbox will be flooded on a regular basis with advertising. “Join my class! Sign up for my FREE webinar so I can talk you into paying money for this class, this app, or whatever it is I’m selling!” The variety of methods that they use to persuade you that you NEED to give them money is not only impressive, it is disgusting.

When you finally manage to dispose of the popup, you are then forced to read their content, content that is disrupted by ads as you scroll down if they don’t break it up into a slideshow format designed to force you to click several times and view a bunch of more ads.

Even worse, when you get to the content, what do they do? They review different products and services with the intent of persuading you to BUY.

Seriously, you don’t need to buy MORE crap. You’ve already gotten more than enough for your needs. If you happen to be visiting those sites, chances are that you’re so broke that you can’t afford to buy them anyway.

But they do this. They don’t care how poor or broke you are. They don’t care that you’ve got far too much stuff already. All they care about is emptying your wallets a little bit more.

It’s not about helping you; it’s about enriching themselves. Check into the private lives of many of these people and you will discover that they make more money (and live at a higher standard) than a poor person can even comprehend. How can they possibly have your best interest in mind when they don’t know what it’s like to be so poor that you have to cook a pot of beans just to eat that week? How can they possibly understand the challenges that they don’t have to face because they make so much more money than you?

See, it’s easy to buy a new gadget when you’ve got the money to spare. And it makes sense to them to spend dollars just to save a few pennies because that’s how they were trained. Even if they weren’t conditioned to purchase things that won’t really save money in the long run, they have realized that if they can persuade you to buy these things that they will have more money in their bank.

And the only way to tell them apart is if you see them practice what they preach.

An excellent example of this is Marie Kondo. I refuse to link to her site in disgust for her actions. I used to like her; I found her logic as related to eliminating items that didn’t “spark joy” to be refreshing.

Until she showed her true colors, that is.

I wasn’t bothered by the fact that she started a show about her particular brand of minimalism. I was grateful for that because it helped to spread the word that people as a whole need to thin out their stuff. I was glad that she managed to find a way to do that and make a bit of money in the process.

But then, after she preached and preached about the need to thin down and eliminate, what did she do? She released a whole line of stuff that she wanted you to BUY.

REALLY?

How does that even make sense? If you needed to buy something, you sure as hell wouldn’t be tossing your perfectly serviceable stuff away, now would you? How can you speak out of one side of your mouth to tell people to throw their shit away then open the other side and tell them to BUY?

It is hypocisy in the strictest sense, spurred entirely by greed. She doesn’t give a shit about you; all she cares about is filling her bank account. She doesn’t care that you’re poor and broke and overwhelmed; just toss out your shit, buy her crap, and suffer through the overdraft fees when you discover that the shit you’ve kept has worn out before you’ve managed to save up enough money to replace it.

Why do you think that I’ve refused to offer classes? Why do you think that I’ve refused to create a mailing list? Why do you think that I’ve patently refused the offers I’ve received to market tee-shirts and other items to you? Why do you think that I live in the Hood and dine on Ramen instead of filling this website with ads?

I do it because I actually practice what I preach. I do it because this is about more than filling my bank account. I do this because I’ve seen a problem with this world and with the ways we’ve been taught and I want to fix it, even if I have to starve in the process.

While I’m not starving (don’t worry), I have deliberately made choices not to market to you because I believe that you’ve been marketed to enough. I have deliberately made choices that have affected me financially because I believe in what I tell you and I live my life based upon those beliefs every single day.

It enrages me that there are bloggers and writers and so-called frugality experts preaching to you that you need to toss the shit you already have and buy their shit instead. And there is only one way to stop that. It’s the exact same way you can remove the power and control of the corporations who have taken over our nation.

Stop paying attention to them. Stop buying their stuff. Stop paying for their classes. Stop encouraging them to market to you and they’ll eventually go broke and be forced to quit.

When that happens, the ones who will be left standing are the ones who truly practice what they preach in regards to simplicity, minimalism, and frugality because they’ll be the only ones with the skills to know how to live on less. They will be the ones who will do the work for free, not because they don’t need money to live on (we all need that), but because they feel that the message is more important than profit.

Those are the people you want to support, because those are the people who truly want to help you.

So think twice before you stick your email into their popups. Think twice before you buy their classes, click on their ads, or buy stuff from their product lines. Because to them, you are nothing more than an income stream.

For the record, you can find some of my ebooks listed for free on the torrent sites. If you’re broke, feel free to download them. I know that they’re there, because I’m the one who uploaded some. I’ve given out scores of my books for free to readers who emailed me and shared that they wanted to buy my books but didn’t have the money.

I do this because this is about more than the money to me. This is about the fact that people are poor and broke and struggling and they don’t know where to turn. This is about the fact that I’ve struggled my whole entire life, and I don’t want to see other people facing that fate.

I want to make this world a bit better place.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to do what I do without acquiring a job for the long term. And that’s okay. That’s okay because this is about more than me. This is about helping you realize that society is broken, and the only way to fix it is to stop feeding the monsters.

It’s time for me to stop ranting for now. I’ve a house to clean and a book to write. If I can be of service to you don’t hesitate to email or comment. If you find my posts helpful, please know that even the shortest comment helps increase my ranking on the search engines. Sharing my posts with your friends helps to get the word out as well.

Please help me do that. Thank you.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

A Private Revolution

Sometimes the most horrible revelations can teach us. Yesterday I was presented with the reality of our world. The image of a man who was somebody’s dad, who reminded me of my dad burned its way into my soul as I read about the treatment he received from the nation I called home.

There is absolutely nothing I can do to change the past. I can’t change what happened to that man and many others any more than I can change what has happened to others who have suffered similarly over the course of history.

There is not even very much I can do to change the future. I am just one tiny old woman in a great large world. Aside from trying to encourage change, I have no right to even push because it would violate the moral code that I hold dear.

I can do something, however. I can reach down deep inside of me and use the knowledge of this current reality to change myself. Hopefully, by sharing the things I have seen and the changes I personally make my personal revolution will go a bit farther.

As someone once instructed me, if you want to understand the purpose behind a thing, all you have to do is follow the money. I thought they were being silly at the time but the older I get the more I realize that they are right. Money is the primary reason so many do the things that they do; the pursuit of money infects all of us if only because we all need it to survive now.

The poor make the money with the sweat off their brow. The rich take that money by enticing the poor to part with it in any way that they can. While the poor just want enough to lead a comfortable life, however, the rich have gotten to the point where they want to collect money just because.

My personal issue is in the fact that our society has gotten so unbalanced that the rich are removing the ability of the poor to just survive. They use their money to promote agendas that on the face seem to be aimed at protecting us but when you examine them on a deeper level, you realize that the only ones they want to protect are themselves.

It has gotten to the point in our society that even the placid farmer has began to rebel. When John Deere decided to force farmers to pay outrageous fees by citing “intellectual property rights” and so forth to eliminate their ability to repair their own tractors, these farmers began to fight back. Some of them have went so far as to hack the computers in their equipment rather than bow down to their draconian rules. Others have decided to eliminate modern farming equipment entirely by purchasing and rebuilding older, non-computerized equipment.

Rebels within the trucking industry are doing the same. Rather than comply with new rules and regulations that are destroying their livelihoods, they are now opting to purchase rebuilt older rigs instead of buying new vehicles. A friend of mine drives for a company who rebels in this way. The owner of the company he works for believes that once self-driving vehicles advance a bit more that they will force him to shut down his business. His plan is to conserve his funds as much as possible so that he can retire once his livelihood is gone. My trucker friend is planning the same thing.

The beauty within the rebellions of the farmers and the truckers lies in the fact that they’re not really trying to save the world. They saw a problem that affected them and started voting with their money to make a difference.

We can all learn from that. If we see a problem with the word in general or our lives in specific, we can stage our own personal rebellions by changing the way that we spend our money. We can choose not to support the things we do not believe in by voting with the money we spend.

With this in mind, my dilemma at the moment is pet food. I order their food online but I have yet to locate a smaller company that can supply what I need at a price I can afford. Do I continue to switch between Amazon and WalMart when my supplies run low, choosing the one that offers the brands they like when I don’t want to give my money to either of them, or do I locate another path?

I would like to find another path. I haven’t found it yet, so I will order as little as I can at the lowest price in the meantime. The animals prefer Purina and 9 Lives respectively but I am willing to switch if I can find a viable alternative that they will eat.

Do you have any ideas?


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The World Doesn’t Care About Us

We’ve been raised to believe that we live in a nation that cares about our well-being. We’ve been raised to believe that the land we call home is a place that we can trust. This is why, when our government passes laws that are supposed to be “for our benefit” that we might grumble, but we invariably comply.

Our nation wants what’s best for us, after all.

But does it?

I’ve spent these past few days reading the report (warning, it’s a big PDF) that was composed by a Senate committee on the treatment of CIA prisoners in the aftermath of 9/11. Our nation as a whole became rather dark in the aftermath of that event. In hindsight, that is when the United States as a whole began to change. I began reading with eyes wide open; I remember the news reports from that time period so I expected it to be bad but even so, I was raised to believe that our nation has a respect for human life that other nations lack.

“We are better than them,” sums up my belief, the belief that my father, who fought in the Korean War, instilled within me.

Page 117 of the report details some of the treatment received by a prisoner called “Bin Attash.” The official report notes that pseudonyms are used heavily within it so I am not certain if that is his real name. In the Footnote #686 on the previous page (it’s the bottom of the first footnote on that page, continued from page 115) a memo is noted that states that the prisoners in question were not considered official prisoners of war so the Geneva Convention rules that pertain to the humane treatment of prisoners did not apply.

What I read next taught me exactly what they meant.

This man by the name of “Bin Attash” had one leg. Of all the prisoners discussed within the document thus far, it means that I can understand his physical limitations since my father had a leg amputated when I was a child. The CIA decided to treat this guy with a bit more consideration, foregoing what was euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques” due to his disability.

They forced this man to undergo “standing sleep deprivation,” a procedure where inmates are forced to stand without sleep (I gather they’re tied in a way where they cannot sit), for 70 hours. That’s not considered part of the “enhanced interrogation” procedure because it’s two hours under the limit. After that, they let the guy sleep for four hours and then shackled him in the standing position again, depriving him of sleep for another 23 hours. When you look at footnote #692, you discover that this man’s leg, his only leg, began to swell horribly at that point, so they decided to be merciful. They tied him to a chair and forced him to live without being able to sleep for another 20 hours.

Note that while they’re doing all of this they’re holding the man naked and giving him “dietary manipulation” as well. Based upon what I’ve read, “dietary manipulation” in this scenario can either be giving him things he may not like to eat or pureeing food and squirting it up his rectum. The report doesn’t specify.

My dad had one leg. He could barely stand for an hour, much less 70 hours or 23 hours. He had to sit a certain way and stretch out his good leg for a time if he stood up for too long due to extreme pain that resulted from stress on his good leg.

Yet the United States government forced a one-legged man to do just that.

If our government, considered one of the best in the world, the government that is supposed to care about people can do that (and worse, if what I understand about the waterboarding sections are correct), do they really care about us?

Or are we just the means to an end, a way to fill their coffers and keep the government running?

Think about it. We’re urged to buy even when we can’t afford the things we’re told to buy. We’re hiring Ubers to take us to the emergency room because we can’t afford to hire an ambulance. People are searching up ways to pull their own teeth because they can’t afford the dentist. Women have shared with me that they’ve not only sold their own bodies, but the bodies of their female children, just to pay their bills.

We’re told to incur huge amounts of debt to buy houses larger than what we need, informed that we need to incur tens of thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars of debt to go to college, only to discover that we can’t afford the taxes on the houses we buy or that the paper diploma we’ve been told will help us get the job to repay the debt is worthless for our needs.

We’ve got tent cities and whole websites devoted to living in vans, cars, and tiny homes just so we can afford to survive while the elite in our nation buys supplements designed to allow them to literally shit gold. There’s even a restaurant where you can eat steak encrusted in gold; that’s how big the difference is.

And for what? We struggle and starve and die so the rich can get richer. Our food supply is virtually cornered by mega-corporations who use that money to pay off our politicians. Our medical industry sells us drugs with side-effects longer than the proposed benefits, promoting addictions so that they can grow even richer by selling us the cure.

The saddest part about the entire situation is that we can’t stop them, not on our own. The only thing we can do is make a dent, but if enough of us make a dent, if enough of us decide to give these bastards as little of our money as we can, maybe we can hit them in their wallets hard enough to make a change.

Because it’s reached the point where we can’t not give them our money. We have to eat. We have to have a place to stay. We have to have some medical care. Many of us need cars just to go to work and we all need clothes to wear. We need access to the Internet so we need to have computers or at least phones to acquire that. We have to pay taxes, if only to stay out of jail.

We live in an age where the “greatest government in the world” thinks nothing of tying a one-legged man into a standing position for days at a time! Do you actually think they care enough about the rest of us to treat us any better?

I don’t.

Please spend less. Even if you can just shave a few pennies off of your purchases, those pennies will add up if enough of us do it. If you can stretch the useful life of the things you currently own, you can avoid giving them the ability to shit their gold. If you have the skills and the land to grow a single tomato, do it. The less you earn, the less you’ll pay in taxes and the less money the government will have available to do stuff like this to people.

Because there is only one thing that they care about: money. They don’t care about you or me or anyone else. They don’t even have the common decency to grant mercy to a one-legged man; do you actually think they would grant you any mercy if you fell into their clutches, or would they throw you into a for-profit prison and brag about the money they’ve made?

I am far from an expert and I’m trying really hard not to judge but there is something broken in a society that can do the things I see it doing.

If we’re not careful we will lower ourselves to their level. As it is, we are all guilty of torturing that one-legged man because it is our votes and our tax dollars and even our purchases that made what happened to him possible.

WE did this! And while we cannot change our past, we can determine our future. We can rise above, we can say “no” by simply changing the way that we vote and earn and spend our money. It’s just like stopping a fire; remove the fuel that makes it burn, and the fire will go out. Stop giving them money and they will no longer be able to afford to commit atrocities like this.

I need to go think now. The tears are streaming down my face to the point where I can barely see the keyboard. I don’t want to live in a world where the poor are forced by necessity to sell their plasma or live in cars and brag about their thriftiness. I don’t want to live in a world where one-legged men are forced to stand to the point of agony for the purpose of “public safety” and hear it called “mercy.”

I want to live in a world where we all have the right to live in peace, with places to stay and enough to eat, a world where people aren’t forced to sift through dumpsters for things to sell just to survive. And the only way I know of to make that happen is to figure out a way to limit the money I give them and pray that it curtails their power.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

The Power of Lowballing Your Finances

The most important step in attaining financial freedom is cutting your expenses to the bone. I don’t care what the “experts” say, it is a hell of a lot easier to come up with a few hundred dollars each month than it is to come up with a few thousand.

A friend of mine reminded me of this when we began to discuss retirement. He shared his dream of building his passive income sources to $6,000 a month. While he only needs $4,000 a month currently, he wants to add some extra padding to his passive income flow in order to cover any cost of living increases during his retirement.

I don’t need that much money.

That is why I was able to quit my last job at the drop of a hat. It is also how I was able to become a stay at home single mother to my youngest daughter–a feat that everyone told me was impossible.

If you want the freedom to live life on your own terms you will pay attention to this.

In order to live at a comfortable minimum I need around $500 a month to cover my expenses. That means that I only need to have $16.67 a day coming in to meet my expenses and have some money to spare. To give you an idea of the difference that makes, my friend would have to find a way to earn $200 a day if he lost his job tomorrow.

Which one is easier to accomplish: $16.67 or $200? More importantly, if you were to lose your job tomorrow and had only $1,000 in savings, which path would allow you to take your time to locate another position?

Do the damn math, folks.

The greater your living expenses, the more you need to earn just to survive and the lower your chances of replacing the income from a public job with passive income sources. In fact, the higher your living expenses, the harder it will be to find a job that pays enough to keep body and soul afloat. If your living expenses are low enough, you will be able to pay your bills in almost any economic climate. You want proof of that? I can work a part-time job at minimum wage to earn more than enough to live on. In comparison, my friend would be screwed.

You listen, and you listen well. We live in a tumultous age. The jobs we know are in the process of being replaced by machines and yet despite that, our cost of living keeps increasing. I saw the first signs of this back in 2009 as corporations downsized to protect their profit and sent droves of people to the unemployment lines. I have no doubts that it will happen again.

If you want to protect yourself, the time to prepare is now.

The lower you can take your expenses, the greater your ability to survive.

I won’t belabor the point. I’ve already written a book on how to live on less so if you want to do the smart thing you will read it. I’d recommend other books if I could but I haven’t encountered anyone who lives on less than I do to brag about.

I pray that you heed my warning before it’s too late.

State of the World Today

I’ve been called paranoid more than once for my belief that we are on the verge of a major problem. I’ve even received a bit of hate due to the fact that I believe that we need to take steps to prevent the rich from getting richer. I’ve even been called crazy for stating my belief that a large number of people will lose their jobs to robots over the next few years.

So today I am going to show you a few articles that I have encountered recently. I didn’t search these articles out; they either appeared on my feed or were shared with me by others.

What would you do if you suddenly lost your job? There is a factory in my old home of Paducah, Kentucky that has laid off 100 people so far. You can read about it here

https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/indefinite-layoffs-affecting-genova-products-nationwide-as-paducah-plant-awaits/article_ae81e19e-1adf-11ea-bc5e-a3cb3f280ce1.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_WPSD-TV.

While you’re reading this, ask yourself how you would survive if you were one of the ones affected?

Over the past two decades people have mocked me for my decision to work in an assortment of fast food restaurants. No “normal” adult would ever sink themselves so low as to work a job designed for kids, I’ve been told. Even when I told them that I didn’t have a choice, they continued to mock me.

To those people, read this. It very well might be your future if you don’t wake up.

https://theheartysoul.com/senior-citizens-are-replacing-teenagers-as-fast-food-workers/?utm_source=PPV

Another thing I’ve been mocked about is my opinions on medical insurance. I don’t have medical insurance and neither does my daughter. Many of my friends and family cannot afford medical insurance. Like me, they only go to the doctor when they are in desperate need because it is so expensive. Due to the expensive nature of American health care, poorer people are dying. Here are the numbers:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/09/poverty-america-literal-death-sentence-says-sanders-following-devastating-gao-report?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook

Last but not least, I’ve been told to remove my tinfoil hat because I have stated that over the next several years cashiers, truck drivers, and factory workers will be replaced by machines. After stumbling upon this article, I think I’ll keep my hat in place.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/end-of-the-world-this-futurist-has-some-grim-news-for-the-middle-class-2019-12-09?mod=mw_latestnews&link=sfmw_fb

This is why we need to stand up and take steps now to protect ourselves. We need to learn how to generate an income that isn’t dependent upon a public job, and we need to STOP making the rich richer!

Wake up, people!

How to Change the World

Big Business cares nothing about you. If it doesn’t benefit their bottom line, it doesn’t matter to them. The lip service they give you is meaningless. Some corporations even acknowledge this with backhanded ways of “helping” their employees.

We aren’t supposed to believe that, however. We’re supposed to believe in “by the people, for the people” despite the growing evidence that our beloved nation is no longer a democracy. Big businesses owned by the extremely wealthy are the ones who control us but what do we do?

We spend our entire lives making them even more powerful.

There is something we can do to change that, however.

Sam Walton made a prescient quote about the subject in his book Made in America, My Story. He stated:

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

Every time we agree to work their jobs we make them more powerful because we help them become even wealthier.

Every time we buy their goods and services we make them more powerful.

We are giving them the money that they are using to buy our government, to use our government to fulfill their desires. We are literally giving them the power when we choose to work for them and give them our money. We bring them joy when we take the money they “give” us in our paychecks and hand it back to them.

If you are content with this knowledge than there is nothing for you to do. Just keep doing what you’re doing so that you can continue to help them.

But if you’re tired of being a legal slave, if you are tired of businesses running your nation, then there are a few things you can do to begin changing the world.

Stop working for major corporations. They use your work to make the money that they use to control your nation. The less workers they have, the less money they will make and the less power they will attain.

Stop buying from major corporations. This one is really hard because we’ve given so much of our power away that we no longer know how to do without the things that they provide. There is a workaround to this for many things:

Buy used. Buy used items from local dealers, people who live with you, have kids that go to school with your kids, and don’t use their money for power. The damage was already done during the initial sale but doing this prevents the damage from getting worse.

Fix your stuff. Don’t replace something just because a new model came out or it gets a few scratches. Wear it out completely and keep it in service for as long as possible. This keeps your money out of the system and away from their hands.

Cut your expenses. You have to pay for certain services like housing and utilities but you don’t have to give them as much as you do. Be conservative. Spend less. Get the smaller home. Live in the slums. Buy the used mobile home. Isn’t freedom worth more than a fancy house on the hill?

Watch your charities. Here is an article that will help you identify the worst offenders. Many large charities spend most of their donations fattening the pockets of those in charge and fueling the donation system by paying other companies to advertise. Helping others is a wonderful thing but don’t fall for the wolves that lurk among them.

Consider the motives. When a college tells you that you will benefit if you attend their institution or a business tells you that it is to your benefit that you buy their stuff to be healthier or prettier or to have greater opportunities, consider their motives. Do they make money if you believe them? If so, they don’t have your best interests at heart.

Educate yourselves. You can find books at your local library for free or support independent authors to increase your knowledge. You can watch movies and videos. You can find a mentor and learn from them. Experience itself is a powerful teacher. Money does not prevent you from becoming educated, not in this modern age. The only one who prevents that is you.

Spread the word. Encourage others to live on less. Explain why you make the decisions that you do. Show the world that you are taking a stand by the choices you make.

Do no harm. It is not for us to judge how others choose to live their lives. When we support a local business as opposed to a major corporation we are helping our communities. Others may not agree. They may accuse you of being lazy, of “dropping out” or being insane. Accept their criticism calmly and move on. They are entitled to their opinions. We tend to sway more people by our actions over time than any loud protest ever does. Don’t believe me? Then ask yourself what happened to the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It faded into nothingness and is barely a blip in the history books now.

How you decide to do this is up to you. You may decide to pursue full minimalism. You may decide to hit the road. You may decide to stay right where you are and make small changes in your daily life over time. There is no wrong way, only progress.

But the time has come where we are fast approaching a tipping point in our world. If we hit that point it will be too late. The blinders will come off and we will see the truth of the world for what it is.

“If you want to change the things in your life, the things in your life must change”(Kevin Trudeau). If we want our world to become better, then we have to remove the power from those who wield it.

The only way to do that is to take away the money that gives them power.

Good Luck.

Financial Surprise

It is amazing. One day you decide to quit your job. You’re concerned about your expenses even though you know you’ve got it covered.

But then you pay your bills and you realize:

Your bills have plummeted.

This frugalista has just realized that she was spending over $100 a week just on food and other things while she was away from the house.

That’s a bit embarrassing.

Slavery Days are Over. It’s Time to Take Our Lives Back.

I quit my job the other day. I had been asked to do more and more over the passing months, up to and including things that I normally charge $40/hour for in my computer repair business but at a pay scale that is less than the entry-level pay at McDonald’s and other local businesses. While I had already been considering the thought of leaving, it took a single moment of disrespect to make me realize that I had tolerated enough. The owner has a god-like reputation; tales of how he has mistreated senior management (and even low-level workers) are legend. If I had not stood up for myself, I knew from experience that it would only get worse.

The messages of support I received from family and friends since then have astounded me. Many of them expressed the desire to have the ability to quit their jobs as well, sharing horror stories that make my previous position look like a cakewalk in comparison.

The single most common question they asked concerned my finances: “How are you going to pay your bills?”

Between my investment income and my royalties, I’ve got that covered, so instead of accepting a job immediately, I decided to take some time off from working a public job to think.

Because I’ve realized something.

I’ve realized that despite the hope for better work conditions, that workers are still treated like slaves. We are used until we fall apart and then discarded like so much trash. God forbid that we grow old or get hurt because they just don’t care.

We are nothing in the eyes of our employers.

We work their jobs and buy their stuff; without us, they wouldn’t even have their businesses. Despite that, they tell us how grateful we should be to even have a job with their companies. We should accept whatever they decide to dish out because they believe that we would starve otherwise.

But you know what?

They’re wrong.

We don’t have to take their abuse.

We don’t have to work their crappy jobs.

We don’t have to tolerate their disrespect.

We can walk away.

Stop working their jobs. Stop buying from their businesses. We can hit them in the one place where they will feel it the most: their pocketbooks.

I realize that not everyone has developed a passive income that can support them.

I realize that not everyone knows how to manage their finances quite the way I do.

I realize that, due to the above two reasons, many people feel that they can’t escape their current circumstances. They are literally trapped in the chains of wage slavery and they don’t know the way out.

I want to help with that.

If you feel the same then I have a mission for you: I want you to find just one person who has achieved financial freedom and ask them for help.

I want to make this website a place where people can learn from all sorts of experts about not only ways to lower their living expenses but how to build passive income sources as well.

I want to teach the world how to break the chains of wage slavery.

But I can’t do it without your help.

If you are reading this and you’ve already achieved financial freedom, email me.

Together we can change the world.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

One semester down; 19 to go.

We can do 19 semesters.

When I shared that fact with my daughter Katie (who is studying for her Bachelor’s in Health Science now), she announced that it sounded so much easier that way. She had been a bit depressed at the fact that she just committed four years of her life to not only working full-time, but studying full-time as well.

Unlike my Katie, I am only capable of going to college on a half-time course load. The thought of taking four years to acquire a two-year degree would be depressing but 19 semesters?

I can do 19 semesters.

To monitor my progress, I decided to take the suggestion of reader Belinda to heart. She used a five-year journal to keep track of her progress as she stopped smoking and sorted some health issues. I decided to follow her lead and use the multi-year journal format to keep track of both my long and short-term goals. With each passing year, I will be able to look back and see how far I’ve come.

It will help me gain perspective when I feel as if I’m not making any progress.

How do you maintain a positive perspective as you work towards your goals? Please share your stories in the comments below.

How to Live an Intentional Life

It takes a bit of thought to sort through the chaos and programming to determine just how you want to live your life.

My first trip down this path was simple in comparison. I had one goal I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be a stay-at-home single mother for my daughter, so I did what I had to do in order to make that happen.

Life isn’t static, however, so once that goal was complete it was time to set a new intention.

Throughout your life, you will encounter different phases. When you’re young, you may want to go out and see the world or strive to be on top of the world through your career choices. As you start a family, your focus may change to becoming a good parent, to raise your children in a thoughtful, responsible manner.

And when your children are grown, you will have to figure out what you want to do with yourself once your children are gone. Depending upon what you’ve already experienced, you may simply be tired and want some time to recharge.

There is nothing wrong with that.

I honestly believe that we will never have it all “figured out.” We will never be able to set a single path for our life because life is a journey with many different paths to choose from. Instead of trying to figure it out, trying to figure out a single path to follow until the end of our days, we simply need to determine what we want in the foreseeable future and head in that direction.

In my life, I’ve realized that I want to acquire the financial stability required in order to eliminate the need to work a public job. While I doubt that I will ever want to stop working entirely (sitting around the house can make you stir-crazy), I do want to have that option.

I want to focus a bit on my health as well as grow a bit mentally and emotionally, and I’ve also realized that writing is a part of who I am now. Even at my lowest points I search for a meaning that I can pass on to help others. While I never imagined it being more than a hobby when I first started blogging, it has now become a major focus of my life. I am okay with that.

I’m going to share with you the steps I’ve decided to take in hopes of giving you an idea as you decide upon the path you want your life to follow. I may not have everything figured out but that’s okay. I’ve got a basic plan and that’s all you need as well to get started.

In order to achieve financial freedom I will continue living beneath my means. I’ve changed my plan a bit to accommodate the fact that I want to reduce some of the stress on my life, however. I intend to take 10% of everything I earn (passive or active income) and place it in the safest investments that I can over time. This is based upon the advice given in George Clason’s book The Richest Man in Babylon (Clason, n.d.). In this book he stresses the need to keep 1/10 of any income earned to save and invest in the most cautious manner possible. I’ve decided to combine his advice with that of Michael Cheung’s from the book Sun Tzu The Art of Making Money: Strategies for Getting Through a Tough Economy. He discusses the importance of having a good foundation in place to establish financial security. (Cheung, 2012). To fulfil that need, at first the 10% will be used to fully fund an account that will only be accessed in the direst of emergencies. The overflow from that account will be invested in the safest investments I can locate over time. The money I have left over each month after the 10% deduction will be saved up and invested as usual, though perhaps not quite as often, since investing fees can add up on smaller stock purchases.

This new procedure will allow me to hedge my bets as I move towards my ultimate goal of financial freedom.

Since I prefer a simpler, calmer life I intend to simplify the things around me, eliminating my excess over time as I move forward. I’m wiser now from my previous experience with minimalism and I intend to use the wisdom gained. Instead of simply eliminating the excess I’ve acquired I have resolved not to purchase more until I actually need to. I will use up the items I already own instead. I see no point in donating them to an agency where they may end up on a landfill (due to the surplus already available at thrift shops) until they have reached the end of their usefulness. Items that I know that I won’t ever need again will be passed on to the best of my ability.

As you can see from my example, it doesn’t take an immense amount of work to reconfigure your life. With just a bit of thought and planning you can not only enjoy your present but slowly work towards the life of your dreams.

What steps can you take to lead a more intentional life as you work towards your dreams? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

REFERENCES

Clason, G. (n.d.). The Richest Man In Babylon.

Cheung, M. (2012). Sun Tzu The Art of Making Money: Strategies for Getting Through a Tough Economy. 1st ed. Allysky.

How Minimalism Can Help You Achieve Financial Freedom

In 2011 I broke free of wage slavery for my very first time. My book royalties had reached the point where I could live on them without the need for a job, so I quit it to achieve my goal of being a stay-at-home single mother.

I enjoyed that life for several years but I found myself too close to the problem when my royalties dipped. After struggling for a bit I went back to work to regroup for another attempt.

What I don’t discuss much on this blog is the fact that I would have never been able to make that first leap if it hadn’t been for minimalism. If I had not actively pared down my possessions and my spending, I would have never been able to quit my job to stay home with my daughter at all.

In hindsight, I realize now that my pursuit of minimalism was behind my ability to take summers off to stay with my daughter for several years previous to achieving that goal. By limiting my purchases and my household expenses, I was easily able to conserve enough money to support us for several months each year.

In light of that fact, I must confess that I haven’t given minimalism the credit it deserves in my success. Even now I apply minimalist practices to my life as I prepare for my next, hopefully permanent attempt to achieve financial freedom.

Anyone can do what I’m doing. While your individual circumstances may be different, the act of reducing what you own and spend can make a massive change in your life. If you add a passive income source into the formula, you have the secret to attaining complete financial freedom.

How to Attain Financial Freedom

  • Look at your life right now. Chances are you have stuff you rarely (if ever) use, rooms that stay empty the majority of the day, and a vehicle or two you rarely (if ever) drive. Eliminate them. If you can sell the items for extra cash, use that money to pay down any debt you may have and build up an emergency savings account. Don’t worry about investing at the moment; right now we’re just trying to reduce the amount of space you need and how much money you need to survive.
  • If your home isn’t paid for (or the payments extremely low), consider moving to a smaller home as close to your job and basic shopping (such as a grocery; Wal-Mart delivers these days) as possible. If you own your home, consider renting it out to develop a passive income stream. Use caution if you owe a mortgage on the property. Unless you can rent the property for more than the mortgage payment (and have enough set aside to cover any down-time between tenants as well as some basic repairs), you may end up struggling financially whenever your tenants move out. If you can manage it however, that passive income will take you closer to freedom.

I need to note here that this was the primary way that my daughter and I managed to minimize our expenses. By ruthlessly minimizing our possessions, we transitioned from needing a two-bedroom home down to a one-bedroom, slashing our housing expense immensely. I shopped around until I located a rental in town that was extremely cheap to maximize the savings. It wasn’t in the prettiest area of town but since we don’t own the things that thieves like to steal (and we keep to ourselves), no one ever bothers us. We managed to cut our housing expense in half (more, considering that local rents have went up a bit since we moved here) as a result.

By eliminating our excess possessions we also eliminated the need of having to rent a self-storage unit as well, which saved us a few dollars more each month. We also benefit from lower utility bills year-round since it costs significantly less to heat and cool a smaller home than a larger one.

  • As a result of selecting a smaller home that was close enough to stores that offered the essentials like food, we were able to eventually eliminate our next largest expense: our vehicle. We both walk to work, hitching rides with coworkers and friends occasionally when the need arises but for the most part we can easily walk wherever we need to go. At first, however, we simply settled upon a nice older van that we purchased for cash, since financing a vehicle can almost double the price you pay for it if you aren’t careful. This allowed us to gradually transition to a life that didn’t require a vehicle for our daily needs.
  • Limit your exposure to advertising. Advertising is designed to make you feel insecure if you don’t spend your money buying the stuff they want you to buy. Traditional television programming is filled with advertising so the fastest (and easiest) way to drastically cut down on the advertising you are exposed to on a daily basis is to eliminate it. If you enjoy watching shows and movies, consider investing in a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription. Since many modern televisions allow you internet access, you can continue using it while limiting your exposure to ads that are designed to make you feel insufficient. I noticed an immediate change years ago when I cancelled our cable television subscription. My children asked for things less frequently and I personally noted a desire to purchase less within days of cutting the cord.

There are other ways to cut expenses but those are the ones that will save you the most money. If you wish to learn how to lower your expenses even more, I urge you to read my book The Shoestring Girl. It goes into detail about how I manage to live on $500 or less a month.

Once you have pared down your finances to the point where you know how much money you need to live on each month, proceed to the next section.

  • Develop a passive income stream. The Internet has created an immense opportunity for those who decide they want to escape the rat race of wage slavery. You can share affiliate links (like I do on this blog occasionally) to promote products and services that you believe in. You can develop your own products to market and sell on a website. There is a huge demand for steamy romance novels currently, so if you enjoy fantasizing about that, you could turn those fantasies into a passive income stream by publishing them online. I have a number of friends who have become quite wealthy doing just that. In fact, I have explored that option personally. While I am much more comfortable sharing my personal experiences to help others, you may find that writing romance novels both enjoyable and lucrative. If so, I highly recommend it. My friends report that they receive thousands of dollars a month in book royalties from their romance novels, and E. L. James became very wealthy simply by converting a piece of Twilight fanfiction into a book series.

For those who have no interest in writing books or internet marketing, don’t worry. There are things you can do to develop passive income streams as well. The most lucrative of those is in real estate. You can purchase inexpensive homes (mobile homes, even) to start out. Clean them up and rent them out. You’ll have to go around once a month to inspect your properties and collect the rent but that is a lot less work than having to show up each day at a 9-5. There are many books available that will help guide you through the process.

You can also invest in dividend-paying stocks as well as bonds. Both of these provide a somewhat stable income stream (no form of passive income is perfect). I am currently investing in dividend stocks as an additional passive income source for when I decide that I am ready to reduce or eliminate working at a public job again.

I highly advise you to create at least two passive income streams before you decide to quit your day job. Things can happen that will cause your passive income to drop, if not disappear. Everett Bogue discovered this the hard way and ended up stranded in Japan. He was forced to sell his laptop for air fare back to the states. I would link to that story but it is old news and has faded from the internet. He is currently working two jobs to survive.  I experienced this personally when my book royalties dropped to the point where I felt the need to return to a public job. If I had been smart back then, I would have heeded the warning his experience provided and adjusted my life accordingly. I could have easily invested enough money back then to have eliminated the need to go back to working at a public job. I didn’t, so I am paying the price of that mistake now.

  • Eliminate your debt. Every debt you eliminate will take the amount you need to live on even lower. While a credit card can benefit you if used wisely (pay off the balance each month), credit as a general rule is verboten. You want to spend your money enjoying your life, not funding the excess of the bankers. The only possible exceptions to this rule would be to finance rental property or to invest in a class that will teach you how to grow your passive income further. Use extreme caution before making these decisions.
  • Build up an emergency fund. You need to have several months’ worth of expenses saved away in an easily accessible interest-bearing account in the event your passive income takes a slight dip or another emergency arises. In hindsight, this was one thing I did right. I stashed away my excess money each month when my book royalties were high. That enabled me to survive for quite a while as my royalties began to drop.
  • Develop your passive income stream to the point where it will more than cover your normal expenses before you decide to stop working. This way you can invest the excess into dividend-paying stocks, bonds, or another form of passive income source such as real estate. This way, even if your current passive income remains stable (or drops a bit), your passive income will continue to increase over time.
  • Once you have created an emergency fund, paid down or eliminated your debt, reduced your expenses as low as you comfortably can, and developed a passive income stream that more than covers them you can safely make the leap. You can reduce the amount of hours you work gradually or eliminate working entirely.

Even now, by following these precepts, I am able to work only part-time instead of getting a full-time job. My monthly expenses are lower than ever now that my daughter has become my room-mate, so we have taken advantage of the situation by investing our excess money and using the time gained to our advantage. Katie enjoys eating out and spending money a bit more than I do, so she has opted to work full-time since she likes to keep busy. She still manages to set money aside each month into her savings as well as attend college full-time by paying as she goes. Like her mother, she has an aversion to debt.

I have money left over from my part-time paycheck every month. I combine that with my (once again) growing book royalties to invest in dividend stocks. I use the extra time I have available to go to college as well, take care of my home, and to write posts like this one that will hopefully help others achieve their own financial freedom.

If you found this post informative, please take a moment to share it with a friend. You may help them realize that they don’t have to be trapped in the chains of wage slavery forever. They too can achieve financial freedom if they want.

If you have already achieved financial freedom (or are working towards that goal), please share your story in the comments below. We all benefit when we share our knowledge.

If you have a blog of your own, consider writing a piece about this post. Do you agree with these steps, or do you feel that something is missing? Be honest in your comments. This will help others learn from our beliefs and experiences. If you feel that my experiences will help your readers, let me know so that we can arrange an interview. If you feel that your personal experiences may benefit my readers, email me as well because I would love to interview you. You can reach me at annie at annienygma dot com.

Have a great day,
Annie