As promised yesterday, here are a few of the simple changes I’ve made to my environment in an effort to increase my resilience and lower my exposure to risk.
The most important goals for me are to ensure that my family has a roof over their head and food on the table. These are just a couple of the areas I am working on to achieve those goals.
Learning to Live on Less
In general, my needs are quite simple. I have a small car, a small house and I don’t drink or smoke. It might not seem like that much but smaller cars generally have much better fuel economy. Small houses are cheaper to furnish and to heat and cool. And, addictive habits like drinking and smoking can chew through vast amounts of money for absolutely no positive return. Money that might have gone to oil companies, utility companies or tobacco companies goes to my mortgage instead.
My garden isn’t a sprawling acreage but, I’m using it to reduce the impact of economic risk by lowering my expenses. Robert Kiyosaki says that your home is not an asset for the simple fact that it creates expenses not income. For the last few years, I have been working on creating an ‘income’ from my property to off-set the expenses. I have planted a wide range of fruit trees to provide a variety of fresh fruit over an extended season as well as fruit for preserving. I have a substantial kitchen garden with everything from potatoes to herbs for tea and flowers for the table. I have also planted deciduous trees where they’ll have maximum cooling effect for my house. The ‘income’ I receive is probably not income by Robert’s definition but in my view, the house is beginning to pay its way. My only regret is not thinking this way when I first planted out the garden 10 years ago!
I have more than one job. I currently work two part-time jobs as well as run my own business from home. Yes, it can be awkward at times but I know that not all my eggs are in the one basket. I feel insulated against the vagaries of the employment market.
All these changes have occurred over time. In isolation, they probably don’t have a huge impact but stitch them together and they begin to provide the fabric of a resilient life.