The frugality paradox

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Not quite a balanced budget

Keynesian economists would insist that by saving money and reducing your consumerism, you harm society by slowing the overall economy.  I don’t know enough about formal economic theory to pick a school of economics, so I will refrain from making broad generalizations about the greater economy, but any economy which is dependent on the debt and misery of its citizens doesn’t sound like a healthy one to me.  I can only say for sure that my personal economic situation has certainly improved since the day I decided that a lifestyle of debt was no longer something I would participate in, that I would not continue to pay interest to someone to use my own money.

It’s easy to pay off debt when your financial situation is stable or your income is even increasing.  It’s easy to say, “I won’t buy a new car,” when you already have a reliable vehicle, or access to effective public transit.  It’s easy to say you won’t take on debt, when you don’t have any you are responsible for already.  It’s easy to reduce your household expense budget by buying staple foods in bulk and stocking up when items are on sale, when you have the extra cash to get started.  And it’s easy to stretch that budget with gardening, when even the most humble of garden starts will require tools or seeds or something that you may not be able to get for free.

If you are fortunate enough to be in a relatively secure economic position, consider how you might increase your security with less debt, savings and multiple income streams.  Your day may come when your household is less financially secure, and can use all the preparations you made.  If you are not so fortunate, make a plan and take one small step at a time in a better direction.

Be the grasshopper, not the ant.

(By Nicole Castle)

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