Sunday, September 21, 2008

Well, one COULD do worse. . .

Here I am, roughing it in the jungle.

So, the win-win scenario seems to present itself. It is time, and timely to get serious.

Extreme simplicity is sensible at the moment.

For myself, I'm well positioned to take on a lifestyle of extreme frugality. I've done it before, with the boat lifestyle in the past, and possess the skills. I'm sufficiently imaginative to be immune from the need for costly diversions, trips to town and the rest. Actually, at this point this will be easier to achieve than in my late 20's, as it seemed that running after girls was necessary, and costly, and today running from them seems more prudent. Getting caught now and then isn't such a bad thing either. . .LOL

In terms of a metric, both from the level of sustainability and just simple survivalist prudence it seems like the target range of acceptable expenditures should be between 500 and 800 dollars a month. My fixed expenses, property tax, communications(internet, phone) and car insurance run barely 200 dollars a month in the amalgam. The rest is diversionary. It's amazing that on three acres I can achieve a lower cost of living than I could living on the boats, at this point, but for the boat people out there--hang in there!--we're in a moment of transition and in all cases valuations are unrealistic and unfair. No question my property taxes will come up. Anchoring out is still an option in many areas. It's just a question of if it pays.

I have invested heavily in the infrastructure of the property itself, and as yet it is not bearing fruit(literally, though the papayas are in bloom.) I have about a year before the trees, garden and the rest starts to come into its own. At that point, all will really be gravy.

I've spoken before, a few days ago, of the "hump." For those who haven't taken on a lifestyle of extreme simplicity before, it's not such a accessible concept. One must realize that once one one has both feet strongly in a simple life, it suddenly becomes very affordable, simply because one now has time. A good example might be food. If you live simply, your time becomes your own. Suddenly the possibility of cooking a .50 cent pot of beans all day is a worthwhile and profitable endeavor, and you've saved the alternative--a more expensive meal of about 10 bucks, or more, or worse, a night on the town. Spending a day or half a day washing your socks is no big deal, nor cutting firewood, nor any of the rest. IF however, your expenditures are such that you must work a 40 hour week and then come home and cook beans for 5 hours you've the worst of all options. Either grub it out in the garden, or grub it out in the career world. If you try both, you're sure to fail.

It is very rare among counter culture people to have a sense for finance. Actually, the counter culture people who DO have a sense for finance are generally very very successful. That would be the case for me--my lifetime to date returns(percentage) in the investment realm rival Soros, and he should be proud as he's my primary mentor. Budget! Think! Speculate! Realize that efficiency is the key, and like it or not money is involved, and like it or not one must pay as much attention to the bank account as one does to the garden.

It may be interesting, not to be a snot, but I've said the sum total of losses I've needed to write off in the personal portfolio, lifetime, to date, was 55 bucks. Half of that was AIG, 4 years ago, as I read the balance sheet and said--this company is doomed, I'd better get out.

You can know, actually. If you don't know, well, you know you don't know!--don't get involved! Today, especially, with the meddlesome muddling in the financial realm, you should just take your toys and go home, as no one in the playground is playing nice.

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