Other than the value we give it, it really is just coloured bits of paper and tiny metal disks.
That being said, most of us are tied to the ‘game’ of money (me included) and the financial economy, so we are bound by the rules of the game, but we don’t need to be a slave to it.
Here are some steps we can take now, that will allow us to loosen these ties and gain more freedom, balance and control in our lives.
Create a Freedom fund – or a semi-retirement fund, or a moving off-grid fund – Put the money saved into a bank account or somewhere safe and leave it alone. Forget it’s there.
Reduce Your Expenses –
– Cut out the bills that are not really needed or essential.
– See where utility bills can be reduced, by being more aware of their usage.
– Make a point of only spending what you have the cash for. If you don’t have the cash for it, you probably don’t need it. If you do feel you need it, be creative and think outside the box.
– Let go of satellite or cable TV. There are many other things you can do with the time that will be even more rewarding.
– Drive less by combining errands into one trip or car sharing.
Save Money on Food – You can save money by not eating out often, and that includes those small items which add up over the course of a month ie coffee at your local coffee shop, candy bars, snacks, fast or convenience food, and drinks. Not only are they bad for your health and well-being, they cost you more money than you first think. Learn to think ahead, prepare and cook your own nutritious food.
Sell what isn’t necessary to your life now – You know, that shed out back, spare room or closet that’s full of stuff you no longer use. If you haven’t used it in six months to a year, chances are you aren’t going to use it and so it is just clutter. Even if you can only sell the item for a dollar or five, that money can add to savings or go towards something you need now. That is better than collecting dust and using up space.
Grow Your Own Food – Read up and learn how to grow your own food in pots or in your own backyard. Start small, increasing as your skills and successes increase.
DIY and BYO – From herbal remedies, safe homemade cleaning products, changing your own tap washers to cutting your family’s hair or changing the oil in the car, learning to DIY can save you more money than you expect. There are plenty of free resources (ie YouTube and the internet) to show you how to do many different things yourself. Bringing your own (BYO) wine to a restaurant or thermos of coffee and sandwiches on an outing can mean you get more for your dollar.
Trade time and Skills – Acknowledge or brush up on your existing skills or learn new skills that you’ve always wanted to learn. You can then share or trade skills with others. If your main skill is time then you can share or trade that. These are all valuable commodities.
Slow down in the Laundry – It seems so normal these days to throw clothes in the wash after one wear, whether they need it or not. And then to just put them in the dryer, rather than hanging them out. There are great freshening and sanitizing qualities in hanging clothes outside to dry in the sun and wind. Plus it saves lots of money.
The less money you need to live your life, the less you are tied to the money ‘game’.