Strategies for Survival After a Drastic Drop in Income

Strategies for Survival After a Drastic Drop in Income November 13, 2016

The normal human living group throughout all history, from hunting and gathering societies to the eighteenth century, was the extended family, about two dozen people. The Industrial Revolution created the “nuclear family” of husband, wife, and kids, so that workers could be moved to where factories had to be built. Such movement is no longer needed.

  1. Rather than be homeless, combine your household with that of relatives or friends who share your values, who you know you can live with.
  2. You need a three-bedroom house with an attached garage; insulate the garage to make it a fourth bedroom. Adults get their own bedrooms; girls get a bedroom; boys get the converted garage; build bunk beds.
  3. If possible, get a house with a fireplace. Build the equivalent of a Franklin stove out of a steel drum. (I’ve done that.) Scrounge for free wood. That cuts the heating bill. A cord of wood may be less than what you would pay for natural gas.
  4. If you have more stuff than will fit, get rid of everything that is unnecessary.
  5. If you own that second house, rent it out cheaply or for just enough to cover the mortgage payments. It will house two more families.
  6. You can feed the household for less than $100 apiece per month.
    1. a. Buy staples, not convenience. For example, buy potatoes, not precut French fries, etc. I can buy 50 pounds of baking potatoes for $7.00 at Cash and Carry; that’s 14 cents a pound. Buying direct from farmers might be even cheaper.
    2. b. A potato, if the skin is eaten, is a complete food: protein, vitamin C, etc. That’s why the Irish ate potatoes, why Van Gogh painted the Potato Eaters.
    3. c.Beans and corn or rice create whole proteins; meat is a convenience, not a necessity. Make meat a treat, not a staple.
    4. d. If possible, leave the food banks for people who have no money for food at all.
    5. e. Six corporations control the entire food supply of America—except locally. Support local business, not corporations. Support the stores, like Costco, that buy locally and pay their staff well. Buy from the farmers, dairies, etc., yourself.
  7. Trade both cars for one large van. That cuts car payments, gas, and insurance in half. Don’t take long trips.
    1. If you don’t know how to repair cars, learn. Or barter with a mechanic.
    2. Use public transportation IF that is possible and cheaper.
  8. Shop for clothes at thrift stores—if you don’t already. My wife’s a genius at finding unworn clothes at Goodwill. Better yet, make your own clothes.
  9. Keep the Internet; have enough computers to take care of business. Ditch the cable or dish if possible. Watch streaming TV over the Internet.
  10. Don’t buy books; use the public library.
    1. Most libraries now let you borrow e-books.
    2. For research, many universities will give you borrowing privileges, and use of the Virtual Library system, for a small annual fee.
  11. If you have the technical knowhow and location, use a windmill or waterwheel and batteries to power a 12-volt system. That will run lights—and computers, if you know how to bypass the transformer in the power supply.
  12. If you have any skills for doing or making anything, start your own small business; barter with others.
  13. Save money for birthdays and Christmas. The kids need not feel unloved. But if they are 16 or older, they can work, if they can find jobs.
  14. You have an absolute right to homeschool your kids. The homeschoolers in New Orleans (and elsewhere) have their own football teams, cheerleaders, proms, and graduation ceremonies.
  15. Help form a neighborhood association or a coop among friends and colleagues to provide for social needs if your local government is inadequate. You know that we must defend the innocent.
  16. Get involved in local politics. Speak truth to power.
    1. For example, your town or city CAN use its power of eminent domain to put all the homeless into the empty, foreclosed houses owned by banks. The Green mayor of Richmond, CA, did it.
    2. Support candidates who side with the people.

(More suggestions will be welcome.)

 

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