Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garage Sales, Thrift Stores and the Farmer's Market: the ultimate defense for a dynamic depression

The economic depression is here, and I know how to combat it. I can not offer much insight into finding jobs (although I tried making a lost your job tips and tricks), although I do have some idea of how to protect yourself from a complete financial meltdown. While I have not been very effected by the economy (at least not as much as other people I know), I will quickly admit that I did not have much to lose in the first place. I basically have always lived my life as if we lived in a depression, and only now does my lifestyle seem to be tragically hip. Therefore, I figured I'd write about it.

While big businesses and small businesses may be closing their doors or finding tricky ways to cut costs, and maximize profits the consumer (us) are stuck trying to figure out what to spend the little money we have on. Guilt is easily associated with spending nowadays, and there seems to a constant struggle in our heads whether or not to spend our money or not. Luckily, we can take the guilt away from such purchases by simply driving in our neighborhood and supporting our neighbors by buying their used things. Garage sales seems to be all over the place, as people are spending more time getting rid of the things they do not need in order to make a little money and free up even more room. At the same time, I think opting to take your unneeded things and putting them on your lawn is a great way to spend extra time and re clarify your needs, while effectively lodging yourself in your community.

I started a few years ago, living by a code of: never buy new. The idea stems from spending money on only recycled products, keeping costs low and reducing demand for new products when perfectly good things are easily acquired. I think adopting the 'never buy new' philosophy will make you feel GREEN and also save you money. You should click the link if you would like to learn more.

The last big shield from the depression, is food. Find ways to grow your own food, and if you can not; find a local co op or farmers market to support. Invest in the quality of your food, support organic and locally grown products because it keeps money in the community and will also make you feel better. It is proven that eating healthy and exercise improves mood, and when people opt to cut spending on food and buy less healthy foods in the end it does the opposite of improvement. Cheap junk food is a slippery slope into obesity and death, and while it make cost less at first the amount we eat rises, and health problems skyrocket, thus adding more expenses to our budget.

I think a depression is a great time of cleansing, this is the time when it makes the most sense to quit smoking, becoming vegetarian, tossing your cell phone away, or quitting soda (see sidebar for posts on all these topics). Take the opportunity to make a change that will effect your life in a good way, and give yourself something to commit to during times of high stress.

I may be one of the few people who are really excited about the troubles taking place right now. I feel it is a much needed slap in the face to a national lifestyle which needs a wake up call. Hopefully we can all take a few steps in the right direction, and start planning ahead for a more peaceful, self sustainable future.

1 comment:

jx said...

i agree with you. much needed wake up call.

i really enjoy life more now, as i'm more conscious of the activities i participate in and how or how often i shop for things. i loooove thrift shopping and always have. it seems like people are taking the depression as a cue to simplify and the results are wonderful. personally, we're getting back into focusing on gardening, reading, cooking, biking, going to the beach, etc. the year prior, our life was so rat-racey! it's nice to take a step back and enjoy what we have in our relationships, in our homes, and in our communities.