An area that I’ve been looking at more and more lately is the idea of self-sufficiency. Before global trade became so readily available, nations were forced to be self-sufficient. Now everything is outsourced to someone else. America depends on terrorist nations for oil and communist nations for food and goods. And look at the messes it makes?
The same concept applies to individuals and families. If you depend on other people for all of your goods and services then you are at the mercy of whatever the market conditions are. I don’t plan on being able to be entirely self-sufficient but getting away from being TOTALLY dependent is a good goal to have I think.
Something that we are getting into is growing our own fruits and vegetables as much as possible. And from that making our own jellies and preserves. This past year we made enough jelly to not have to buy any for a year. We did have to buy some of the fruit from local growers though because our own production hasnt matured enough yet. I say if it tastes better, is better for you, and is cheaper, why not do it? If you have kids it can also be a great thing to teach them agricultural principles.
Another way I’ve been pushing a little more towards self-sufficiency is doing minor car repairs. I’ve done some minor stuff in the last year or so that didn’t take very long to do and cost a lot less than taking my car to a mechanic.The flip side to this issue is how much of your time is all this taking up? And could that time be better put to use elsewhere? These are questions that the individual needs to answer for themselves. Timothy Ferriss, the author of The 4 Hour Work Week, advocates outsourcing everything to better free up your time. And this idea does have some merit but if you can do more for yourself at less cost than having people do things for you then you don’t need as much income to support yourself.
Take for example someone who is making $40,000 a year working 50 hours a week for some big corporation. Now what if that person took a job making $30,000 a year at 40 hours a week but spent ten hours a week doing things for himself that he previously paid someone else to do? It could be growing some food yourself, walking your own dog instead of paying someone, your own home and car repairs, or any number of things that you pay someone else to do because you simply don’t have the time. I submit to you that taking care of your own life instead of expecting someone else to take care of it for you is much more fulfilling than working yourself to death in order to make millions for someone else.