Breathing Room - Schedule time for the unexpected

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by fortunateson, May 7, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    If there’s one survival value I’d like to instill in my kids, it’s simply this: Live with Breathing Room.

    Leave space in your living habits to accommodate emergencies.

    In our “just in time” society most people live with absolutely no breathing room.
    I never lived like that, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it came from my dad who grew up very poor. I don’t know, but I always live with a bit of margin in my life and never above my means.

    I remember a long time ago I left a job to take another and took a couple of weeks off between jobs. A coworker looked at me incredulously. “What are you going to do for money?” “For two weeks?” I felt like asking, “you don’t have enough money to carry you for two weeks?” I don’t mean to criticize those in tough financial situations who simply don’t have that amount of breathing room. But regardless of your situation, you should know that not having a few weeks of savings in the bank makes your situation dire. Strive to put away a bit.
    I do mean to criticize those who live right at or above their means while having the ability to save. This is true of most Americans regardless of income level. There are plenty of doctors married to lawyers who simply cannot afford to miss a week or two of work because they’ve moved into McMansions and must make payments on the McYacht.

    When you get into the habit of putting a little aside, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your wealth AND preparations will build up.

    How do you do it? Move into a smaller house. Sell a car or vacation property. That motorcycle that scares the hell out of you should go too. Ride a bike or carpool instead of driving everywhere. Consolidate your trips. Take a cheap vacation in the mountains instead of the islands. Quit those hobbies that you don’t have time for anyway.

    Eat at home. Food is a huge waste of money for most folks. Think about what you spend each week on food. Now think about what you would eat if you were flat broke. Ramen noodles? Rice and beans? Calculate the cost of that and try to set a goal somewhere between your current budget and the flat broke one.

    Once you have some breathing room, there will be some temptation to spend money on toys. A new gun? Some firearm accessories? A DVD player? Don’t do it! Spend your money on a few extra bags of rice each week and some canned soup. Put it away.
    Fill up a gas can when you top off your tank. Buy a couple of flashlights.
    Make these things your toys.
    Take pictures of these things and gloat over them.
    Life can be a whole lot more fulfilling when you forget about “keeping up with the Joneses” and focus on “outlasting the Joneses.”
    Live with breathing room.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2015
    john316, Zimmy, pearlselby and 2 others like this.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I try to schedule 20% of my time for unexpected events per the extremely valuable lessons in John Heatherly's book The Survival Template:
    My review is here Book Review - Review of The Survival Template by John A Heatherly

    The best part about scheduling extra time is that when you don't need it, you have it to work on other things.
    Zimmy likes this.
  3. tedrow42

    tedrow42 Monkey+

    the toys are my problem
  4. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I prep canned food , and beans and rice and a whole lot of other things as well.
    I am currently on a fixed income (retirement) so i don't run around and play , actual never have . Family went on vacations an I stayed home to continue working.
    Just keeping our heads above water ,
    Food and other "reserves" are not an option ,they are a necessity almost as valued as insurance but insurance your actually using.
    Been between jobs and with out jobs and homeless, major calamities have occurred , we made it through .
    Not always completely on our own , we had friends and family and chances to rest our heals during the race. never once pursued / accepted unemployment . This we did for others a well .
    Grandpa Patch likes this.
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