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How to Survive, and Thrive, During Tough Economic Times

Updated on September 18, 2014

Who Is This For?

Well, it’s not for Bill Gates, and that’s for damned sure. I doubt Warren Buffet will be reading this, and the Waltons would probably find it quite funny, but for all the rest of you, this article, hopefully, will help enlighten you and spur you to some sane action.

Do you really need me to tell you that times are tough? If you are a member of the middle class in the United States, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your class is disappearing. Now, here’s a little economic lesson for you: if your economic system consists of three levels of income, the poor, the middle class, and the rich, and if the middle class is disappearing, where do you think that disappearing class will go on the scale? Do you see the middle class sinking like an ugly kid’s hopes on prom night, or do you see it rising to new heights?

I am a realist by nature. I do not believe I will win the Lottery. I do not believe my government represents me during these troubling times. In fact, I don’t think the major corporations give a damn whether I flounder or soar. That only leaves me with one choice: I need to take control of my economic future and not rely on anyone else.

And the same is true for you.

So, if you don’t mind me being a bit nosy, what is your plan for the economic future? Are you one of millions who is cowering in a corner, hoping that times will improve? Hoping that somehow, someway, a miracle will happen? Or are you someone who is taking steps to protect yourself so that you not only survive, but thrive, in the future?

This article is not some “get rich” plan. No, what you will find in the following paragraphs are suggestions that will move you to a safe place where you no longer have to concern yourself with the vagaries of the market or the compassion of your leaders, and wouldn’t that be a lovely place to reside?

So, if you are still reading this, and you are interested in following my lead and finding some financial peace of mind, then by all means, read on.

is this what your economic outlook looks like?
is this what your economic outlook looks like? | Source

Where are you on the economic scale?

See results

My Personal Experience

I won’t bore you with a long autobiography. I will tell you that I have degrees in Education, Marketing and Economics. I have made a six-figure income, and I’ve been unemployed and homeless. I’ve owned twelve homes over the years, and I’ve slept in my pickup truck. I’ve worked for myself and I’ve worked for corporations.

So I have some experience, and from that experience comes perspective.

And that’s what you’ll get today….a boatload of perspective.

Are you following a rocky path right now?
Are you following a rocky path right now? | Source

Stop the Madness

If you ever want to get ahead…hell, if you ever want to just stay afloat….you have to start buying according to needs rather than wants, and you need to make those purchases with cash rather than credit.

You don’t need me to quote statistics about credit in this country. It is alarming to say the least. This has been going on since post-World War 2 and it continues today. Credit was all well and good (not really) when Americans were working and making a decent living, but today? In the year 2014? Are you kidding me? Families without a figurative pot to piss in are buying big screen televisions, on credit, and then wondering how they will make their house payment. Who is to blame when that happens? It is fiscally irresponsible, it is insanity, and it needs to end.

Buy according to needs rather than wants, and be religious about it, with the fervor of Billy Graham on crack.

Work for Yourself

I would love to see about fifty million Americans start their own businesses tomorrow. It’s possible but highly unlikely, and I’m not quite sure why that is. From a tax standpoint alone it makes sense to do so. There is so much you can write off as business expenses, and you can do it while running your little one-person business from your living room…..and you don’t need to make a profit to take those tax write-offs.

So, why aren’t you doing it?

Why don’t you have a little ebay business? Why don’t you start your own freelance writing business? Why don’t you follow a passion of yours and have that passion make you money?

Instead of calling the Shopping Network and purchasing a new set of steak knives, which you’ll never be able to use because you can’t afford steak, why don’t you use that money to buy yourself a business license and actually start making money?

Grow your own and cut down on food costs
Grow your own and cut down on food costs | Source

Become Self-sufficient

Grow, grow, grow your boat, gently down the pasture……merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a big pile of cow poop.

Okay, enough silliness. For those of you with 400 square feet of yard, why not grow your own vegetables, enough for four people to eat for one calendar year? If you can dream it you can do it, because that is how many vegetables you can grow on 400 square feet….a lot 10’x40’ in size.

Toss in a few rabbits and chickens, and pretty soon you won’t need to go to the grocery store, and imagine how much money that will save you in a year.

No, you cannot grow Rocky Road Ice Cream, but for those of you with visions of artery-clogging, refer back to my earlier rule of “needs vs wants.”

Become Frugal

Repeat after me: new is bad, used is good!

I have no idea why the average citizen, with barely enough money to eat, chooses to buy new products when used, recycled products are just as good. In other words, why pay full price when half-price will do?

Why pay huge utility bills when there are cost-cutting measures you can take to save money?

Why pay repairmen to fix things for you when you are fully capable of doing the repairs yourself?

Why? Why? And more why?

This is what trickle down economics looks like to the middle class
This is what trickle down economics looks like to the middle class | Source

Trickle down This

I laugh every single time I think of Trickle Down Economics. Hey, folks…it isn’t working! Nothing is trickling down to our level except the need for more Tylenol and Tums.

Let me describe some friends I have. I think you’ll recognize their lifestyles and situations. This will be a composite description, lumping five families into one.

Life is a struggle. The bills are getting paid, but just barely. They are one paycheck away from serious trouble, meaning if for any reason they should miss a paycheck, their shaky little financial world will come crumbling down. They have over ten thousand in credit card debt, the kids need dental work but of course, there is no dental plan, and the last time they took a vacation was, well, they can’t remember.

They are scrambling and they know it. Pay-billing time is stressful and inevitably leads to arguments over money. Dad is thinking of getting a second job. Mom is thinking of starting her own craft business online and then….they get a nice tax refund, and they are able to pay off a few bills, and hubby gets some unexpected overtime, and for the time being, the stress is alleviated.

And then six months later they are right back to licking the bottom of the salt block, and the stress returns.

Sound like anyone you know?

Tens of millions of Americans live this way daily. A glimpse of hope followed by the disappearance of hope, and on and on they go, like rats in a maze, bouncing into walls and unable to find the exit.

I’ve got a newsflash for you: it will never end unless you take steps to make it end.

Try my suggestions. What do you have to lose?

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melanie, it really depends on where you live. Here, one can be self-employed as a writer without a business license...our social security number is the license number we use on our taxes....I'm sure you can do the same thing. I always advise, those who think they are going to stick with writing, though, to get a business license eventually just to play it safe.

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

      What an inspiration you are! I was wondering, if I make money (but not much) writing and doing surveys, then do I need to get a business license? When I did my taxes and put the amount I made in, it asked for my business license, but I don't have one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and another smile, Ann :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann...:)

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Not a lot!

      Ann :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Not a lot!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I've got a lot more faith in you and I than those running the government. I mean please...is there any common sense to be found in the Halls of Justice?

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Yep, we can't sit and wait for someone else to do something. We have to get on with it ourselves and, what's more, we'll do a much better job of it!

      Great tips for a great life, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bwhite, thanks for stopping by and yes, we do what we need to survive....I believe that.

    • bwhite062007 profile image

      Brianna 2 years ago from East Coast

      Truth spoken. There are some great suggestions and advice here. I'm one up on my own vegetable garden. We do what we need to survive.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe we are, Charlino, and the sooner people realize that the better. Thanks for the visit.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 2 years ago from USA

      Great information here, and it seems that we are all in this together.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, it is not easy. Not at all. It's amazing what we can do with little, isn't it? And we may be called on to do more before this economy gets better....but you and I are made of strong stock, and I know we can do it.

      blessings and a big old hug coming your way

      bill

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Being retired has caused me to feel some of the stress of ecomonic challenges...if that puts it correctly.

      I had to retire sooner than planned due to family illness and I would do it again. I love the freedom that being retired offers but it is a bit financially challenge. I definitely have learned to be more 'frugal' ...you use that 'f' word liberally, don't you?

      I think that it is 'on us' as individuals to make our money work. I know...it is HARD and I have lived through the HARD TIMES and pray those really scary times never return. But we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to survive.

      As you say...it is about choosing for need and not want...I may have to write a hub that you have jogged my memory to write...

      Thanks for sharing with us...I always find thought provoking remarks from you

      More hugs and all to you and yours....many more Angels are headed your way ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I have no doubt you will attack that job with great enthusiasm....good luck, have fun, and thanks.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Well, thanks for bumming me out, Bill. ;-) No, you are seriously right. I am not sure why more people don't start doing their own thing either. I still work at a regular job, but I prefer working online for sure. One day, I hope to have enough money to quit. At least for now, I can get by with sub and temp jobs. Tomorrow I start my journey as a Halloween prop shop employee... oh, ah. If I can scare the hell out of at least one person a day, it will be all worth it. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I hope that egg's nest expands my friend. Happy Sunday to you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Again you open eyes with your hubs.. I make it just the way I want it.. but there is always room in the egg's nest for more LOL great hub as usual Billybuc..:) cheers

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Flourish. Of course there are some people in such bad shape that these suggestions won't help, but for most people, a little common sense and willingness would go a long way.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      There are so many ideas for money making and saving if people only look. We need to be thrifty and focused on a goal.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do the same thing, Rajan. Wholesale stores are a no-no for us. We only buy what we need when we need it. Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travel, it is always good to see you my friend. I hope you are well. Thanks for the visit.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Excellent suggestions Bill. I haven't renewed my credit cards since years, purchase stuff in cash and do not go the larger wholesale stores for purchases as they have a minimum purchase amount and one tends to buy unnecessary things to reach the minimum amount. I go to the smaller ones and only buy things that are needed.

      Have a great weekend my friend.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Be self-sufficient. That's what I will do, Sir Bill. Thank you for the tips.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bradmaster, it's a new math I simply do not understand. I like the old math myself. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you are, Dianna, and I'm rooting for you from the sidelines. Thank you and enjoy a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keep it up, breakfastpop....lead by example and we'll get this movement rolling along. Thanks for being here.

    • profile image

      bradmaster 2 years ago

      billy

      What amazes me is that people are spending billions on the iphone6.

      That is a lot of iphones.

      I can see it for business, but for personal use?

      The number of US Billionaires are increasing, while the middle class is decreasing. It must be that new math, I have always heard about?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      You are stating my philosophy, Bill. I've been at the top and bottom. Finally, in my twilight years, it all connects to living simple and frugal. I wish everyone would start their own business too... I'm working on mine.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      You are incredibly wise. Thanks to my accountant husband, recently retired, we are enjoying the fruits of retirement. I am taking a lot of pleasure out of using the things I have and appreciating every moment. Voted up ands useful and totally awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've had a lot of practice, vkwok,and I've made a lot of mistakes, but I think I'm where I want to be now. Thank you.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      You certainly know how to save money, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      goatfury, i agree with you. From my standpoint, i'm no expert at all, and that should be encouraging for others. If I can thrive with this lifestyle, then other can as well. Thanks for the thought.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      These are good tips. I've written about frugality and generating multiple income streams as well, and like you, I speak from experience. We're not necessarily experts, but we are both learning as we go, and sharing it with people is awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, that is surprising. I'd be taking advantage of that for sure. Good luck with that weather....we had perfect conditions this year and things are still growing.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Perfect timing, Bill! We are always looking for more ways to cut back. These are great suggestions. W really did try feuding our own but that didn't work with our weather. Luckily there is a market dish the street that sports local growers and is, surprisingly, inexpensive.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan...I hope this helps you in some way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Alicia. and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Have a great weekend and best wishes to you.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very important and useful suggestions!

      Even if the earning is high, spending needs wise planning.

      Thanks for this useful hub!

    • AliciaAH profile image

      Alicia Alarco-Hernandez 2 years ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      Love the article, it speaks the truth and in order to make changes you need to know the truth. I would like to make my own income at home doing what I love, I hope to make it into a reality. Thank you for your suggestions, every bit of information helps.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, if you have to have a credit card, your suggestions are right on. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always DDE.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, I love your sense of humor. Let's hope that free WiFi at the nursing home has strong reception. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I think they are important too....now we just need people to read them and act on them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, because of similar experiences, I have no fear of the economic future. I know I can provide, no matter what happens.

      Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Self control indeed, Faith. The old rules are useless. It's time to establish a new way of living, and it starts with willingness to change.

      blessings on this cloudy Friday

      bill

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      Credit cards seem to be a big pitfall for so many people. One of the best tips I can think of is to pay your credit card bill in full every month; that way, you only charge what you can afford each month and you don't get charged for interest. And choose a credit card that has a rewards program so you get something back for what you spend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great thoughts from you and always helpful.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful article. I try not to be a whiner, but I'm still trying to make following my dreams work for me.

      What's humbling to me, I can't make enough following my dream to be a writer to pay my internet bill, lol.

      Positive spin: small goals. My first goal is to make enough money to pay my internet bill. I dream of the day I can tell my wife I got this one. Of course they might have free wi-fi at the nursing home:)

      I jest, but I found your article very inspirational. You have a wonderful knack for helping all of us keep our chins up.

      Thank you

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There is a lot of good advice in this hub, Bill. We are living in scary economic times, so articles like this are important.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great advice Bill. I have run my own business for many years so that I could do if need be. It is worth giving thought to for sure.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Another insightful hub here, dear Bill! Times are surely to get even harder and we all need to assess what is it that we need as opposed to our wants in this life. God will provide what we need no doubt, but we need to practice self control for we are a selfish lot at times : )

      Blessings and peace always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I understand completely. Seems to me I've thought about that paradox as well.

      Thanks, as always, for the visit.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      You state the case, very well, because of your passion and commitment to what you believe. Keep up the great work, for an example. Many more should follow this example, and, more and more, they will. I've been affluent and I've been poor. I was surprised to realize I was always happier when there was less money to deal with... my little paradox to think about. Keep them coming, Bill ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yep, no doubt, Rachael. One size does not fit all here, but the concept of changing one's way of thinking definitely does fit. There are tens of millions of people who need to adjust their thinking caps, because the old way of thinking just isn't cutting it any longer.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I ain't got no worry, Eric, and I know you don't. Life is good my friend. Thank you!

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Even if we (my family) can't do things on a grand scale - big yard to plant, eat only what we grow, row powered instead of gas powered, bike instead of car, etc. - we feel we are still doing our part in the little we are doing.

      While you have presented some good ideas for self-subsistence and self-employment, for many they might not be possible given where they live (apt vs house, big city vs small town), population to sell products/services or the know-how to be able to implement the ideas.

      However, if everyone would think small first - even with planting, if it is just window planters for herbs - then get bigger as providence and your environment allow, every aspect of what you have suggested is possible on some scale for everyone.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Simpler sure is easier for me. Worry? what worry?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, what a sweet thing for you to say. Thank you my friend. I am honored.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, where there is a will there is a way, and it applies to personal finance as well. I admire you and your common sense approach to life, and business. Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you offer us hope to lift the stress of daily living. Reading your article, I remember a business man explaining how during the recession, owners of service businesses are the least affected. I think of you and your wisdom often when I pick my own produce to eat. Thanks!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Post-college I had a boatload of debt. Got out of it in maybe 3+ years and vowed never to go to that place again. And haven't. And won't.

      I still use my credit cards, but pay them off every single month and use them as a payment convenience for both myself and my bookkeeper.

      Though I scrutinize my expenses, I budget for some "me" things that are important. But the good thing I learned from having to crawl out of a mountain of debt is that I can always find a way to manage my needs and wants.

      Great advice as always!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Iris! Just one more reason why I like you. :)

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Amen, Bill! We're with you (minus the chickens for now).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, m abdullah javed!

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      I appreciate sir, expecting the same. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah...I am against extavagance....madness for sure...and if we don't all learn to cooperate we are going to be like those species that eat their young.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I invite you to take up space here any old time you want. I'm passionate about this as well, and i can't figure out why others don't see what I see....the system is stacked against the little guy, and 99% of us are little guys. Keep preaching and hopefully someone will listen.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Nice hub Sir, thank you. It reflects pragmatic suggestions coupled with your practical life style. You have suggested the ways that help prevent extra expenditures and generate resources, what's your take on things like refraining from extravagancy (beyond stop madness bug), being self-conteded over the available resources? And mutual cooperation?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      All true, Bill. After working for the "man" for a very short period of time, I decided I would do better to work for myself. I treated myself well, I paid myself well, and I never laid myself off for economic reasons. But, working for myself was stressful because I was responsible for everything. Then, someone invited me to come work with them and... the man again. I bit the bait. I went to work in the corporate world. About a year into that job, massive layoffs found me struggling like the people in your compilation. Fortunately, I believe in saving and retired early to a life of meagerness, but that's OK. I live a simple country life, growing or making the things I need. I have no bills and if there is something I want to buy or do, if I don't have the cash to pay for it, I just don't buy it. I laugh when I say I live dirt cheap. But, it's the truth. I live off the land as much as possible, digging in the dirt for food - food that I grew in my very own garden. Bill, you, I and a few other people see clearly what this world is coming to. I shudder to think of the people who couldn't grow a carrot to save their life. Sustainable living isn't just a cute little fad anymore, it's how those who want to survive in this world will be living. So sorry, Bill I didn't mean to take up so much space with my ranting. I'm just so passionate about life and living frugally.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All is well with us, Jo, and thank you for being here. I do think things are changing and people are getting the message, but it takes a long time for a major shift to happen.

      blessings my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frishchy, I really do hear you. And I'm willing to bet it will only get worse for those in your economic class. I don't see any reason to think differently.

      Thank you for sharing your story...best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I was hoping someone would find that line funny and not offensive. LOL Thank you my friend.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, you'll get no arguments from me. I've said it before and I'll say it again, self reliance is the way forward. I think people are beginning to get the message. There is no stigma in renting instead of buying or borrowing rather than spending money on things you'll only use once or twice. Growing your own is healthier in so many ways. This hub is useful and informative. I hope all is well with you, have a lovely day and my best to you.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 2 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I fell from the upper middle to the lower economic class due to divorce. I had two children and a limited income. I had to get creative quickly! I have spent the past decade and then some trying to get on some kind of solid footing. I get a little more money and everyone else raises their rates. The utility company decides to charge more. The health insurance decides to charge a higher copay. The grocery charges more for milk. The bank charges an extra fee. I wish I could tell someone I am also charging more, because I am trying to make ends meet too!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I had to click funny too. " Billy Graham on crack. " lol.. I love to shop at Goodwill and thrift stores. I have a credit card but never use it. I wish my son could read this! Thank's again...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! I have too much to do to worry about appearances. LOL I have a life to live. I appreciate you stopping by my friend. Blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wiccan, no wonder that I like you....I hang with smart people. :) Thank you as always.

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      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Bill This hub has such good ideas that I have a relative who needs this right now. Young people want everything and wonder why they can't manage. Some people must keep up appearances. This is the best plan I ever read about managing finances. Three cheers and a share. Blessings. Audrey

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Frugal is my way of life-- waste not, want not. Great hub, great tips.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I love that you are teaching your children to think independently. I believe that to be one of the most important skills we can give a child. Well done my friend. Great reflections.

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      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I love your style of writing. My biggest driver is to keep my own family afloat and by doing so, help the economy by not burdening it with one more family. Also to teach my children to be independent thinkers and adaptable in changing situations.

      I haven't been homeless but I have been in many circumstances. I like to think that sometimes something I do will help even just one person. If so, I have accomplished something.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      esmonaco, some of the most important lessons seem to come with a steep cost, but at least you and I learned them. I don't have credit cards either, and amazingly I manage quite well. :) Thank you!

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      Eugene Samuel Monaco 2 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Billy, I've been up and I've been down. Down more than I care to admitt. It's funny how we have to learn things from experience! But I have learned on how to live on less and be happy about it. I don't even have credit cards anymore, if I don't have the money to buy it, I'll either save for it, or I just don't need it. Thanks, and as always you hit the nail on the head!!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey...trickle this! LOL Have fun weeding. Raining here so inside activities for all. Thank you for always being here.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I have never heard that saying, and I love it. That is a classic, and it says so much. Thanks for sharing that with me. I am having a lovely day my friend. I hope the same for you.

      bill

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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      No trickle down here either. So we are trying to make do and make for ourselves--now out to weed a bit!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Without a doubt, Michelle. I know I have, and is sounds like you have as well. Thank you for sharing.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, the soil needs a winter anyway, so you are right on schedule. You'll do fine next spring. I'm sure of it. Thanks my friend.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Oh Billy, I'm still remembering my Mum's words about how one could live off the smell of an oil rag and I learned the lessons she told me well. I imagine I could write a hub about how to survive off the smell of that oil rag - now there's a thought! I so agree with you - you just have to go out there and do it.

      Hope you are having a lovely day Billy

      Sally

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doc. I hope others listen.

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      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      I like what you said about working for yourself!! So true. I think you find more satisfaction and ultimately, success, that way.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I do everything I can to cut back on costs. I can't remember the last time I bought something new. Well, I bought my PT Cruiser new in 2005 because I hadn't had a new car in 20 years. But it's paid off and I have no intention of trading it in. Working on growing veggies. We've missed this season. Hopefully we can get our pallet beds built and filled with soil in time for the Spring season.

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      lovedoctor926 2 years ago

      Bill, you speak with the wisdom that only comes with experience. much food for thought here.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great, Carol! I thought there was a big storm hitting Arizona...I guess not your area. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Violette. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      The weather is beautiful today...sunny and cool. Of course we live in the mountains not hot Phoenix.

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      VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

      This is very useful Bill. It is a fact that the economy is tough and we are all facing it one way or another. And I believe in becoming self sufficient while holding on to our passion. Thanks for sharing great tips.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ally, any former wearer of hand-me-downs is a friend of mine. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I love it, and thanks for sharing those examples. You are right, we get into that mode of "we've always done it this way," and end up spending money we didn't need to spend. I am so busy right now doing building projects in the back yard. The end results are not perfect, but I'm not paying anyone to do it for me, so there you go.

      Some people don't learn these lessons until it's too late. :)

      Thanks, buddy!