Monday, June 6, 2011

My thoughts on living with less, being frugal, and freeganism...

For the first time in my life, I will be moving out of my parents' house and living on my own. Well, technically on my own, because my living situation and most, if not all of my food will be provided by student loans, which I will be paying back later down the road. Gas, my pets' needs, and misc expenses will all be coming out of my pocket. However, I haven't decided how I plan to earn an income once I get to school.

I have many options, some of the most popular include; trying to work weekends at my current job when I can (and if they let me), finding a vet tech job down there, finding a career related job in the art field down there, or seriously and finally pursuing my etsy shop. The etsy shop is something I've wanted to do for 3 years now (see my forever empty pocket shop widget on the right?), but have never ever even listed an item for. I get close, constantly, but chicken out. For some reason, or many reasons, I'm terrified to take the step to make it real. But I want it. I want to sell my art, and etsy is a brilliant catalyst for what I want.

So, I need to figure out my income. Secondly, I need to learn to live with less. I obsess over perception rather than functionality on a constant basis, then again, in a world of advertising bombardment, I think we all begin to obsess with the feelings we get with perception of things; how we dress, where we go, what we own. I want to free myself of this trap somewhat; I know that there will always be things that I want, and must have, and won't stop myself from acting on it. However, as a lifestyle, I want to live a life with some simplicity and common sense, with less waste and consumption; that way I can enjoy the things I really like.

The concept of freeganism has recently perked my interest. Freegans, give or take, participate in various activities that allow them to fulfill their needs without paying into a corrupt economy. To quote freegan.info directly, "Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." Sounds kinda awesome, doesn't it? Freegan activities can include, but are not limited to; dumper-diving, squatting, recycling, veganism, going green, bartering, starting guerilla gardens and more. While not all activities may appeal to everyone, freeganism sounds like something we can all benefit from incorporating into our lives. Work less, buy less, be free more.

As of last week, I've been attempting to (but not necessarily succeeding at) spending my money less frivolously. The $5.00 left in my checking account for this week is a clear sign that I have some work to do, but since living with less is going to be important come September, I want to start practicing it now. This way, when it counts, I'll be able to spend my money on what I really want; such as a tank of gas to get me home, or a night out with friends, or investing in a new project.

I'm not sure how much of this ramble makes sense, but this is where I am at at this time in my head. Hoping to make some smarter decisions in my life that will be good for myself, in addition to others.

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