I am going to preface this post today for you. I wrote this about four months ago. I have sat on this post since then. I am usually a pretty positive, fairly practical person. Not much really gets me down on a normal day. However, the state of our economy along with the financial situations of a good deal of Americans have gotten me fairly worried with a good dose of being angry.
This is me being angry after receiving my paycheck one day and realizing that between bills and groceries, there would be very little left over for anything else. I don't blame my employer for this. I consider them a fair employer who pays me fairly for my level of work. I actually enjoy my job, but enough is enough.
You have all heard the phrase, "Every day you can get up, go to work, and pay your bills is a good day" (or something like that). I suppose that is true, but wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to pay bills or work incredibly hard just to pay them?
Most people with a family cannot live on a single income anymore without making some extreme sacrifices. Unless you have a very good job or are prepared to live without the little things that make life bearable, you cannot really make it on one income anymore.
Even in two-income households, people often struggle to pay the bills. Why? Because the cost of living is rising without income rising with it. Why is the cost of living rising? Why are goods and services becoming more expensive? Because the greedy are getting greedier? The sellers of the goods will claim transportation and other overhead costs are what is driving up the price, but their pockets are not getting lighter either. Yet the people who actually do the work of making the goods (the workers) are not getting paid any better. Any raises they get are sucked up by higher insurance premiums, more taxes, and the costs of other goods. A vicious cycle that those in power like to keep us in is getting worse by the day.
Why does the cost of housing (buying, renting, and owning) eat up a significant amount of someone's income just to have a roof over their head and a place to stay? Why does it cost so much to rent or purchase a home? Do you realize when you purchase a home, you don't actually own the land? You just paid for the right to own the home on the land that it is on. That land belongs to the city, county, state, and/or federal governments and therefore they can make you pay property taxes on something you have already paid for the right to live on.
Why do we pay for services and goods that should be free? Why are we taxed on almost everything we purchase just because we purchased it? Does the government have a right to that share of your money and why are you being penalized for making a purchase in the first place? Do they have a right to your money in order to pay the salaries of those in power who do not serve your interests in the first place? Yes, they say the money goes to the schools, recreation departments, and other community services. They say the money goes to help pay for roads, "helpful" government services, and those in need. However, those in need and those in power get raises and benefits paid for by the money that we worked for. Is that right?
Why are we paying to be titled, licensed, registered, and proven to be competent in anything and everything? Just because you bought a vehicle, decided to get an education, or work in a trade does not mean the government needs to earn an income off of your hard work. They claim you need to be held accountable for your vehicle, life, job, trade, and hobbies like hunting and fishing. Why do we need to pay money to be held accountable? Why do we need to be held accountable in the first place? Why do they need to profit off of our achievements, trades, and hobbies? That was our work, not theirs. They didn't work for it. We did.
Why are we paying more at the grocery store? The price of meat and dairy is high bordering on astronomical. We all know that profits are not being passed on to the actual growers of the meat, dairy, and produce. Wholesalers cannot figure out why there is a trend towards people growing their own food and buying directly from the grower/producer. However, they are doing their best to put a stop to it by taking more business away from grower/producer, paying them less, supporting local and state laws against local homesteading and small business owners, and attempting to take away free trade from buyers and sellers on a local level.
To sum this up, the greedy are getting greedier and it is the lower and middle classes who are paying dearly for it. The farmers, self-employed, and small businesses are paying dearly for it. This is what corporations, big businesses, banks, governments, and world leaders want. They want us so broke, so desperate, and so dependent on them that we do not know any better than to work more, work harder, and keep buying their goods and services. We have been conditioned to believe that we need all of the stuff they are pushing, all the services they created, and all the laws, rules, and regulations we are forced to live with.
I know some of you are going to say that this is the way it is and I just need to live with it. Well, here is the thing. I don't want to. I don't think it is okay for other people to tell me how I am going to spend my money, my time, and rule my life. I am not okay with that and you shouldn't be either.
I just got paid today. I get paid every two weeks like clockwork from my regular full-time job. I make more money than I ever have in my life and the money is going less and less further than it has in the past. I also get child support and a small income from this blog and my eBay store. However, I am still almost broke every month. By the time I pay bills today, buy groceries, buy gas in two vehicles, and purchase feed and any other necessities, the money will be almost gone.
Remember when people used to be able to save a portion of their income? More and more people admit to not being to save money at all because of their expenses. I do contribute to a 401K because I have made it a priority and I don't believe I can rely on social security to cover my expenses in my retirement. However, every time I have money saved otherwise, something comes along to wipe it out and it is usually a bill of some sort.
This makes me wonder why people keep on this rat race because I am trying to figure a way out of it short of death. Every day it is a struggle to be as frugal as possible, make money however I can, and still be kind to those who need it. Every day most people in America living in lower or middle classes struggle with money to some degree. The problem with poverty and living paycheck to paycheck is getting compounded daily with the rising costs of living in this country.
Now, in the media and other places, there is this growing sense of wonder why people are inspired, encouraged, and flat out enchanted by the self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyle. They are wondering why people are living this lifestyle as much as possible or living it completely. They can't figure out why people are leaving their "comfortable lifestyle" for one that requires blood, sweat, and ingenuity to make it happen.
People are leaving the rat race for this self-sufficient lifestyle because they do not want to be apart of the rat race anymore. They want to provide their own food, not be regulated by their bills, and they want to live a less chaotic life doing what they love. They want to decide how they will spend their money, their time, and live a better quality of life than most people can dream of. They do not want to live a life regulated by someone who is more concerned with their own profits or policy-making than making this country a reasonable place to live.
You want to hear something else? You should be working towards this life too. You should be figuring out every day how to live more simply, more independently, and more self-sufficiently. You should be getting prepared to live a life without the creature comforts that we are told we need to have. Why?
It doesn't take a genius to see what is coming down the pipeline. Our federal government is getting deeper in debt every day. Foreign countries hold the notes for our national debt. Our Congress, leaders, and government agencies serve big banks, big corporations, special interests, and their lobbyists. We citizens are just pawns in their game. Every day the laws and regulations are getting a little more socialists and a little less constitutional republic. Every day we pay a fine for being a citizen (taxes, titling, licenses, and more). Every day we watch our basic rights being subjected to debate and withdrawal because they do not serve the interests of foreigners or special interests.
The world and country we live in right now is crazy and getting crazier by the day. If you don't figure out a way to prepare for it and become as self-sufficient as you can, you will become a casualty of the implosion that will happen in this country. That is why you need to be figuring out how to live self-sufficiently. You need to know that you have the skills, knowledge, and tools to live a decent life. You won't be able to do this when the stuff hits the fan. You need to know how and be actively practicing now so you won't be taken by surprise later.
Thanks for reading, Erica
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