With all of the panic driven market changes of late and the government takeover of much of the financial sector many people are worrying about their financial futures. Analysts are having to change their predictions about the future of the economy on an almost daily basis and usually not in a positive way. There are two ways for certain to come away from this economic meltdown unscathed. There are plenty of other possibilities as well but these two are certain. One is that you could be the CEO of one of these corporations that you ran into the ground and made off with millions from. In that case you are probably in pretty good shape yet. The other certain way to ride out the economic storm unscathed is to be self-sufficient
My regular readers have seen me write about self-sufficiency in the past and it dawned on me the other day that if someone was self-sufficient then all of this stuff that is going on would barely even register in their lives. Take for example the Amish, they are certainly not 100% self-sufficient but they are probably about as close as anyone in America. You know, except for some crazy cults living in the mountains somewhere I suppose. I searched the internet for articles discussing the economic downturn and it’s affect on Amish communities. You know what I couldn’t find a single article. The reason that they are unaffected is because they don’t have mortgages, they don’t have money in the stock market, and they don’t have much use for oil. They grow their own food and make their own clothes. So there are lessons we can learn from the Amish.
As I’ve discussed in the past, I am very inconsistent in my approach to self-sufficiency. The other day I had to come to terms with the reality that my house is not located somewhere where micro-hydroelectric was an option. Wind probably wouldn’t be very effective for me. And a solar system is well outside of my price range. But I also realized that I spend much more on food in a year than I do on electricity, we won’t even discuss how much I spend on heating oil in a year. Though we do grow a very small percentage of our food, if we were to increase that amount a good deal then we would gain a certain level of immunity to world economic issues.
Food prices skyrocketing? Not a problem. Another tainted vegetable scare? That’s okay. Can’t afford the gas to drive to the grocery store? Hey no big deal, there’s food right outside the door. I have no delusions of ever being 100% self-sufficient but I can build myself a layer of protection from the world’s economic woes by taking steps in that direction. And you can too, maybe you don’t have the room to grow much food (although converting your yard into a garden would be a much better use of space) but perhaps you could generate your own electricity and know that even if you lose your job in all this mess, at least the lights will stay on.