Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Liberty Project


It's what the boss calls it when he lays you off or cuts your hours; it's what economists and other jackasses with MBA after their names call it when an entire sector of the economy disappears. It's a neat and sterile euphemism for one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.

It's also one way (maybe THE way) to protect yourself and your family from uncertainty and hardship during rough times. You can wait to get downsized, or you can downsize yourself; take your pick.

Personal downsizing has become hip and fashionable, and there are all manner of slick and high-quality publications and websites pitching the idea of "voluntary simplicity" or some such nonsense. Their target demographic appears to be prosperous neurotics, into which category, alas, I do not fall, and about whom I know next to nothing.

Because I'm not talking to these folk, you won't see much in the way of "Spiritual Wholeness" or "Zen Finances" or any of the other crap put out there to persuade people to spend more money in order to learn how to think about spending less money.

Nor will we talk about the penny-pinching "Don't buy that cup of coffee and, in 10 years, you'll have saved enough money to buy a house in Aruba and a plane to fly you there" kinda stuff. It's not true, any of it, although we could all do to spend a bit less from time to time.

No, the primary focus here will be on how to go about setting up your life, financially, personally, and otherwise, to equip you to ride out any shock or other disturbance in the Force that may come down the pike. The goal will to be provide practical, if radical, suggestions to restore order and sanity to your finances and your lifestyle.

This blog will also highlight my own efforts along these lines; I've just about wrapped up Phase 1 of a radical restructuring of my life, and will report on it in due course. When the dust settles, I'll have cut my housing expenses by more than 50%, without having to take in a roommate, live in a van, or any of the other whacky ways others have found to get there. I'll tell you how we did it, why we did it, and share some of the traps and pitfalls we encountered along the way.

None of us has all the answers, because none of us knows all the right questions to ask; I'd be honored if you'd join me as we work together to build a sane, rational way of life for ourselves and others.

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