by Phil Burns – americanpreppersnetwork.com
Principle 1 Practice thrift and frugality
The depression era saying of “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without” sums up the practice of Thrift. Living thriftily is not a popular concept in our “Staying up with the Jones’s” mentality, but the folly of that mentality is that if one thing goes wrong and your family slips into crisis, you will have to learn all about “Staying above water”. Living thriftily is a very simple, effective and immediate method to increase your spending power. Imagine being, instead of a consumer; a creator, a repairer, or simply abstaining. It is
phenomenally financially wasteful to eat at restaurants on a regular basis, in addition to being typically un-healthy; it also takes away from time spent together as a family creating a personal dining experience at home, together. Thrift is a practice of not wasting anything including time and money.
Frugality dictates that we live within our means and “Waste not, want not”. It requires us to be prudent with how we spend our money and to cautiously and guardedly decide how to distribute it. Why do Americans work themselves so hard and as soon as the paycheck comes in, they throw it to the wind as quickly as they can – leaving them with no reserves, no safety and no peace? It is because we have come to accept abundance as our standard. We foolishly assure ourselves that there will be a check next pay period – which there normally is, until there is not. It is the high possibility that at some point something critical will happen in our lives that brings us to the conclusion that it is very likely that at some point, that check will not be there.
One massive waste that Americans have become very comfortable with is living on credit. We have become extremely complacent with our finances in this regard. Instead of doing without for a short time while we save, we finance everything and as a consequence, pay financing fees and interest that we somehow justify as necessary. It is not necessary that we ever pay financing fees or interest for
anything, even a house, if we are willing to be prudent. Instant gratification is the bane of thrift and frugality. We Americans have deceived ourselves into believing that we ‘deserve’ to live a better lifestyle than our parents (which took them a lifetime to achieve) – when in reality – we DESERVE to be secure and at peace in our lifestyle. It is ironic that as a society, we will dicker over $3,000 on a new vehicle and then finance it for 5 years – wherein we condemn ourselves to paying several times that in financing fees and
What good have we done ourselves by shaving $3,000 of off $30,000 when we just finance it? If you’re willing to pay astronomical fees for the pleasure of immediate gratification, amortizing $3,000 does NOTHING to our monthly bill. A frugal person would take 3 years and save monthly as much as they would have paid out on their car payment with a little bonus savings here and there over time. In that short period of time they would accumulate enough cash that they could go into the car dealership and lay down a
pile of $23,000 in cash and say they want to walk out with either their money or that $30,000 car. They’re going to walk out with the car because the dealer wants the instant gratification of the cash versus selling an amortized note at a discount.
Living a thrifty and frugal lifestyle is truly simple. Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without. Waste not. These things lead us to not being left wanting when a crisis strikes our family. These two highly empowering tools not only give us the ability to build up our Standard of Living Insurance, they also bring an assured peace and allow us to live a truly abundant lifestyle where we are in control of our money instead being a slave to lenders.
A Prepper who successfully follows this principle for a few years will find themselves in a position where they are able to spend time not working without it affecting the family in an adverse manner.