Many months ago, I had an idea that I would like to start a blog. Then came the burning question, “ What the hell would I write about?” I had an idea that many people were like me, repulsed by the incessant drumbeat of consumerism and yearning for a different way to live (dare I say- A better way) to live. That was when I started to think about the concepts that had most affected me in my adult life and how my goals had become aligned with Simple Living, Frugality, Living Green(er), and the ultimate goal of Financial Independence ( currently, I would call us Financially Resilient). I made list after list to distill the most important attributes of each and noticed that certain themes from these four movements tend to intersect with each other repeatedly.
Let’s break it down: If you are a frugal individual, (or like me, constantly aspiring to be frugal) you are likely buying your own groceries from local purveyors or farmer’s markets ( or growing your own produce). When you can’t do that, you buy your groceries at the lowest possible unit price and stock up when you see a super sale. You are cooking your own nutritious food from scratch, avoiding pre-packaged foods and an excessive number of take out dinners. You are coordinating your errands so as to avoid using unnecessary gas. You are packing your lunch, buying juice concentrate, and exploring exciting venues close to your home for free or virtually free entertainment. You likely do not own a hundred pairs of shoes, because three or four pair are all you realistically need, and you will likely by a top quality pair at the lowest sale price, so that they will last a long time. In that brief example of a frugal individual, they have also embodied the tenants of living green ( decreasing the use of fossil fuels, buying local, reducing your consumption of products that contribute to landfills). You are exemplifying Simple Living by making conscious choices instead of spending with reckless abandon. The happy result is that you are fast on your way to FI, because you are pocketing all those savings.
I could go on and on about how these four movements intersect, but you get the idea. I call this intersection, happiness. Other people might call it independence or freedom or healthy living. I also like to ponder the fact that you needn’t be a master of all four ( or even a master of one) to enjoy the benefits from their intersection and ultimate happiness vortex. My whole life can be summed up with the phrase “Jack of all trades, Ace of none”. I LOVE learning new skills and trying new things, but I often get sidetracked and loose focus. So, letting myself off the hook and not getting uptight about having to be a black belt tightwad ( a title still held, IMPO, by Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette) is a bonus. Regardless of your level of skill, any knowledge is beneficial. We are at an amazing point in history where human beings have access to an enormous amount of information, literally at our fingertips. What we choose to do with that knowledge can change lives. I choose to take the road toward the intersection of happiness.
Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.