I love things that are versatile. I have a hard time making purchases of things that are going to be only useful in one specific situation. I would say that this is due to my fear of ever being ‘stuck’ again, but in reality it came along before that. Even when I was spending beyond my means, I was looking for the most versatile motorcycle or even home, with various rental/living arrangement options available. I suppose it was in case my situation changed, which it did. A few times.
Even though this is changing slowly, the Baby Boomers are still running the world. And they came up in a time when resource scarcity was, understandably, less of an issue. Jobs were plentiful, resource scarcity was not part of the public consciousness, and the growing movement towards trading time for money had reached full-steam status for the first time in history, meaning for most people in The West the only limiting factor to one’s ability to ‘get ahead’ was their interest in doing so and the amount of time in a day they could be productive if they were willing. If you were willing to work, you were a part of the middle class. The American Dream. And so it went.
The show “Dirty Money” is quite popular right now on Netflix. It is a 6-part documentary series profiling some of today’s largest economic scandals, and culminates in an episode titled “The Confidence Man”, all about the US President and ultimate ‘Con-Man’, Donald Trump. It’s disturbing, but hardly shocking to me.
I also listen to the “Fake News” New York Times’ Podcast “The Daily”, where in 2017 they featured a story about lady working at a Carrier plant in Arizona. She had worked there a long time, and had no formal education or training or many other prospects in the region. She was earning $1000 per week. She was the epitome of “The American Worker” and then she was told the plant would be shutting down soon.
Well, here we are. One month into the new year. You all know about The Resolution that I made this year. My goal was to spend $1000 per month all year. On everything. I knew it would be tough and that my early forecasts already had me overshooting by a little bit, but since then I have decided that I have to accept one of two contradictory mindsets that I have previously proposed. That is, it is important to set yourself up for success. We have to be real about our budgeting, so that we don’t get discouraged and lose ‘motivation’ when we don’t reach our goals. But it is also important to do the things you say you’re going to do. Well, based on how January goes, I’m going to have to swallow my pride and re-adjust my goal slightly, in order to increase my chances of achieving it. That is, I have decided to increase my monthly budget to $1,250, or $15,000 for the year.
As a young biologist and environmental scientist, I heard a lot about sustainability. In ecology, a system is said to be sustainable when it is both diverse and productive, indefinitely. A development project (also a system) is said to be sustainable if it is both diverse and productive, indefinitely, in terms of the environment, economy and human sociopolitical metrics. In fact, you can apply the concept of sustainability to any system, including financial systems. And your life, a system in and of its self. Personally, I am finding that the more I look the more I find that the various ‘types’ of sustainability generally are interrelated and by affecting one, one can affect another.