I’ll be updating you in the coming weeks with more saving money tips. But in the mean time I thought I’d give you just a little taste of what this book reads like.
Til next time,
From Chapter 1, “Survive with little or No Money”
Money has been around since the beginning of recorded history, and probably before. In the beginning it usually took the form of a precious commodity of some sort that could be carried easily, such as gold or precious stones. But it always represented something of real value. The cultures that formed again after the dark ages that followed the fall of Rome considered agricultural land as the only form of real wealth. Money existed in the form of coins, but most people rarely possessed any of it. Most exchanges of goods and services were simply trades, or barter. When people began to move away from the farm to pre-industrial labor, cash, in the form of coins, became more prevalent. Gold and silver replaced fields of grain or stores of food as the basic definition of wealth. This made way for concentrations of economic power far more extreme than anything in the middle ages.
By the 17th century, banks began to issue paper receipts for gold and silver in their vaults. These receipts could be exchanged like the coins that backed them. There are many sources of information regarding the history of money, and we will leave this for you to research on your own. Needless to say, if you are paying attention to the news (even if you threw out your TV as I suggested earlier) you know of the levels of abstraction and abuse of monetary policy and lending has reached astronomical proportions around the world.
The fact is that our modern day paper and electronic money in and of itself has no value. Money is a tool to achieve what we need or want, but having grand sums in your bank account is not the same as having what you need or want. It seems so obvious a fact, and yet we tend to forget what it means.
Think about how our society is arranged, except completely disregard the money part of it. What you will see is that there are certain people in the world who are allowed to have anything they want, while a great majority are somehow induced to do most of the work, some of whom may actually like doing this work, and some of whom may not like doing this work. You will see little difference between some of the well advanced societies of earliest recorded history, such as the early Egyptians (who had huge monuments built by the toiling of their slaves) and our modern society of the “haves and have-nots” of today. It turns out that archeological research has determined that these “slaves” actually had a form of health insurance. There are certainly advances in technology that have improved our modern life, but many citizens are denied access to these technologies, including health care, to this day. This comparison certainly leads one to question whether our modern life has really advanced much since the time of the early Egyptians.
I left a few things out of my above analogy. The first is that in our present day society, many of those who possess a lot of material sustenance have worked incredibly hard at it and made great sacrifice. Part of our process in adjusting to our new economic situation is going to involve learning to accept that those people who are rich are not necessarily to be despised or hated (although of course, there are some rich people that have turned into pretty unsavory characters). Learning to accept Bill Gates Jr. or Donald Trump as real people who have problems just like you or me may be one of the hardest things to do on your journey toward happiness in life. Second, at least some of the great leaders in historic times had great responsibility, even if they were born into nobility and wealth.
I made the above comparisons to bring us to one of the most the important questions we are faced with when we experience abruptly changing economic situations. That question is: What really matters? What is important for you in the time you have here on planet Earth? And really, once we get all of the unnecessary stuff out of the way (both in our mind and in our physical world) that is distracting us, we can really begin to formulate a vision of what it is we really do want, and how to go about achieving it.