- Politics and Social Issues
Surviving Recession Reality
Are you a NEW Survivor?
Many people are struggling to survive the hard times that have become our 21st century reality. I call them the 'NEW Survivors'. They are the people who are living during recessionary times while coping with inflationary costs of living today. Most of them no longer care about the political finger-pointing and gobbledygook explaining how and why we're in this mess.. Instead they are focused on holding their jobs ..if they've got jobs; finding jobs ..if they don't. They're now fixated on shelter & provisions for their families, dealing with, and learning to adapt to the realities of survival that have already become a way of life for so many people today..
Having grown up with, and known many Great Depression Survivors, (I call them the OLD Survivors) I heard countless stories of endurance, perseverence, and courage. And I also learned and remember alot of their advice about self-sustanence and survival.. so,as promised in my previous hub.. 'Recession Reality', I now offer you as many of their suggestions, as much of their advice as I can remember, and even some of what I've learned throughout my own life experiences...
United we Stand...
According to their stories & advice, we must first teach ourselves to overcome our 'fear' of each other.. because, and not necessarily due to any fault of our own, we have stopped trusting, accepting, and truly caring about one another. Thus, to a great extent we have become our own worst enemies, and if we want to begin improving our own lives, we must aspire to capture their commitment to the phrase.. 'united we stand, divided we fall' ~ This may be a most difficult task for many NEW Survivors, since, (again not necessarily due to any fault of our own), the last fifty years has left us a very ambiguous & skeptical society. So, we need to work on this, since there's never been a more important time to know & be considerate of our neighbors. We're a 'melting pot' these days, and could share many different ideas & perceptions, which would likely prove advantageous to all of us. For the sake of our kids & the future, we must shed our fear of a world that seems to cater to the criminal minority, while leaving the majority afraid to even know one another. We must retrieve our right to safe & secure neighborhood environments , and try to develop a real sense of consideration for each other..
"desperate times call for desperate measures"
The NEW Survivors must learn to ration & squeeze the ultimate most from absolutely everything they have access to! Today we have Internet, and those of us still fortunate enough to afford it, should use it, not just to improve our own lives, but also the lives of other, less fortunates in our families & neighborhoods. Internet provides nearly limitless free information. The OLD Survivors didn't have Internet, but if they had, they would have used it to benefit themselves, and all those around them. Right here on hub pages there are many helpful articles that could help us improve our standards of living.. Look for them. Read them. Acknowledge them.. and think of others while you are reading them. If an article doesn't suit your needs, maybe it would apply to your neighbor, and you could share it with them.. This is an opportunity to practice our assignment of teaching ourselves to 'consider and care about others'.
Look for, and learn about the many 'not so obvious' uses for baking soda, vinegar, honey, salt, aspirin, witch hazel, toothpaste, cooking oil, mayonnaise, yogurt, used coffee grinds, potato peels, and other items often found in our cupboards, refrigerators, and even the garbage! Many of these items, and more, can be very frugal substitutes for household cleaners, face, body, and hair cleansers, treatments, and moisturizers, and even health care 'remedies'. Some of these 'concoctions' may seem odd, messy, or even distasteful.. but, as the Old Survivors so eloquently explained.. "desperate times call for desperate measures".
So, what's on the menu?
Menus have changed for NEW Survivors, and probably not for the better. Someone suggested giving up daily vitamins, etc., and eating healthy foods instead. This would be good advice during good times, but for many NEW Survivors, healthy food, as well as vitamins, have already become unaffordable commodities. When grocery money is available, watch for sales, and do your best to take advantage of them. If you haven't done it already, start shopping store and generic brands. Reality dictates that name brands are now just another of yesterdays luxuries, so unless you've got a 1/2 price or less sale or coupon, no more name brands. Stock up when/if you can.. and try to plan no-waste meals. Again, use the Internet to find countless suggestions and recipes for inexpensive meals, many of which offer alternative ingredients so one can prepare recipes with what they've got in their pantry already. If fortunate enough to have access to a dollar store, check it out weekly for food bargains, but be careful! Those stores can be very tempting, especially when you're missing and craving a real shopping spree. Remind yourself that most non-essentials found in those stores are junk.. Don't waste those precious dollars on something that will end up in the trash within days. Check out various food banks, and other food assistance programs like angelfood ministries, for example.. It's not free, nor charity. You actually pay for the food, and get it once a month. Their site, and others like it can be found easily via most search engines if you want to learn more about them.
Conserving, Shopping, and Selling
We've known about polution and environmental issues for years, and many of us are already accustomed to practicing energy conservation, etc. If you are not already conserving, then better start now, for your own sake; as those utitlity bills will continue to skyrocket, even though your wages won't. Keep everything except refrigerators, freezers & life sustaining equipment UNplugged when not in use. Did you know that your toaster, phone chargers, coffee pot, TV, video games, computer, etc., are sucking juice, and costing you money even when turned off and not in use!!! You can learn more about cutting utility bills online as well..
Shopping & selling via swap meets, flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and even todays online bargain stores, auction sites, and classifieds can still be useful bargain & selling options, as long as common sense, will-power, & caution are excersised, i.e., I've seen used garments at thrift stores that were marked higher than the identical item selling new on the retailers sale rack. Often, previously considered 'deals' are now too expensive due to rapidly increasing fuel and product prices, fees, and shipping costs.
Been to a 'Trade-Date' lately?
Finally, one last suggestion.. If and when neighborhood camaraderie is finally achieved, plan 'private' neighborhood monthly or bi-monthly trade dates, wherein each neighbor gives, and each neighbor gets.. no money involved. Swap clothing, household items, toys, fashion jewelry, tools, etc..anything you might previously have put in a yard sale. It can be as simple and quick as 1 hour trading event, or as elaborate as a party.. like swapping and, or sharing foods like casseroles & desserts, etc.
I hope that this information, or at least some of it, has been helpful.. and if so, pass it along to your neighbor.. If I can think of anything more to ad, I will update accordingly.