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Some People Live a Way DIFFERENT Life Than I Do (And it Worries Me!)

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Recently, I’ve been trying to start a new website about home organizing, similar in design to PrepperWebsite.com, and so I began to do what I do best and that meant researching the inter-web to see what’s out there. Strangely, there seems to be a lot more about prepping on the web than organizing. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad yet, but in my travels I did find an interesting mesh between organizing and home decorating.

While I understand that the two are related, I’ve always felt that being organized is a character trait completely separate from interior decorating. Anyway, the point in this post was what I noticed about many of the sites I came across, in that, I’m still amazed at how many people put so much emphasis and effort on superficial beauty… beauty in their homes, themselves, their cars… even their kids and pets.

Now, I fully realize that this is what we’re supposed to do as Americans: make lots of money, buy bigger and bigger homes, and fill them with even more expensive stuff. Then we’re supposed to show it off to our friends and families so they try to out-do you. We gave up on that rollercoaster long ago!

I should point out that I’m certainly not against things looking nice or buying descent stuff, a bigger home, or better cars if you can afford it and the purchase makes sense. The problem is that there’s what I like to call a “Martha Stewart obsession” with regards to a person (or family’s) lifestyle. You should see some of the posts these people put up. I would be afraid to step foot in some of the places these blogs feature, let alone live there! And I’m not even talking about very wealth CEO-types, celebrities, or rock stars homes that magazines like to feature. As near as I can tell these are “normal” people.

Ultimately, what bothers me is that it seems like we have our priorities so royally screwed up. These people are so amazingly superficial and they’re likely going to be among the very people who crash the hardest (more emotionally than physically) if times get tough. Sure, their affluence may help them adapt to serious inflation better than most of us. For example, I’m sure they would be able to afford a $10 loaf of bread or $15 per gallon gasoline better than I could. But that same affluence means they will likely have a horribly difficult time adjusting to a “new” life more emotionally so than most people. I’m not saying I’ll feel sorry for them whatsoever… I’m just saying, good luck to them with that.

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How does this pertain to the rest of us?

Well, the simple fact is that the rest of us tend to chase the same desire for a more affluent lifestyle too, at least with regards to what we’re able to afford anyway, means we’re doing the same thing but on a smaller scale. I still kick myself for all of the dumb purchases we “just had to make” for our previous homes, all of the “upgrades” we made, landscaping, and so on. This was just money down the drain that could have been spent on things we truly could have used to further our ability to survive. I’m talking tens of thousands of dollars! Argh!!!

Granted, we can’t afford that amount of expenditures anymore (maybe tens of dollars :grin:) but I’m willing to bet that most of you are still making this very mistake: spending money on unnecessary upgrades to your homes, buying newer/bigger vehicles, purchasing an assortment of stuff for the house to make it “look” better, or whatever. None of this furthers the most important directive in your life: to stay alive.

My question for you is: what are you spending money on (or will spend money on in the near future) that doesn’t REALLY need to be spent?

Obviously, your home and vehicles are major concerns, but the same could be said for expensive jewelry, vacations, appliances, shoes (ladies!), and fancy clothes. You could even include more expensive television cable subscriptions (so you get every channel know to man), iPhones (and the data bills that accompany them), organic foods (maybe that’s not so bad)… the list could go on.

It’s all about priorities… what’s yours?

8 comments to Some People Live a Way DIFFERENT Life Than I Do (And it Worries Me!)

  • Bev

    Well, I loved the article and immediately went to your organizing website, loved that too! I was a decorator for 10 years at a national paint store. Trust me, color makes a difference! Paint is your least expensive way to redecorate! Good travel patterns around the house and comfortable furniture make a big difference! My place is not a showcase, but comfortable and set for my lifestyle including the pets. I use painter’s drop clothes to cover the couch–collie and cat.
    But I really liked what T.R. had to say–enough is enough! I’ve been doing this since the 60s and the shft hasn’t happened yet! I swear half my income goes to insurance companies, so having a year’s supply of rice and beans is fine. A year of normal food back just saves me money at the grocery store so I can buy on sale. Guns are a good investment. Gardening is recreational as well as providing quality food. I have most of the skills I need, if not all.
    ENJOY LIFE! Make time for those you love; this time will never come again. BALANCE is the key to most of life’s endeavors. If you aren’t living and loving today to it’s fullest, and you are constantly fearful of tomorrow, you have to ask yourself if you ARE living!
    Just my two cents; what do I know? :)

    • T.R.

      Bev ,
      If you are not already married , you are a good catch, and any man should feel very lucky . ;)

  • T.R.

    Yes and no , You are working for a way to live , day after day , year after year , we dont age in reverse …..we are all getting older . Nothing wrong in wanting something to show for it . And because we are getting older , your need for comfort is going to increase , not decrease as you notice you cant do everything you could when you were 20 . Another thing is ……..at some point you may need to sell your house ………anything you can do to make it more appealing to a buyer vs your neighbors house is not a waste of money , in the mean time …..you have to live there to . Gear is gear , again , it depends on your degree of buying . You should reward yourself with a treat from money you worked for and spent time out of your life ( a considerable amount of time ) to earn , that is yours and yours alone , nothing wrong with that . I think the hardest thing for us to keep in mind and accept is the fact that we may be totally wrong , and all the money we spend on preps was the REAL waste of money …….like the 1950′s backyard bomb shelter . We do need to actually take a serious look at the very real possibility that we are full of crap and are being over reactionary to changes in the world that have been going on sense man started walking upright .Just sayin . If you look at it another way ……most preppers are hoarders or have those tendencies . Remember my remark about a lot of the community being mentally ill ? think about that for a moment …hoarding and paranoia …….every day , year after year …….not all of us ..but enough …….you tell me if thats a healthy state of mind ?

    • …you just burst my bubble! You’re right that we (preppers) could be completely wrong and nothing will ever happen. It’s strange to think that on the one hand we’re spending so much time, effort, and money on something most of us hope never happens. Anyway, I wasn’t at all saying people shouldn’t be able to spend their money on nicer stuff, especially as we age, but that’s not what I feel like I see when I look at a lot of the pictures and comments people post about organizing… it’s more of a means to show status and success than of function or to ease your life.

      • T.R.

        I agree with you , and I’m not trying to discourage anybody from doing this , quite the opposite . I was just pointing out that like anything else , prepping shouldn’t rule your life at the expense of other things………life is for the living ……dont forget to live a little . I feel as preppers we need to step back and look at what we are doing once in a while .we read in comments and articles the word WHEN tshtf ……it should be IF ……petty I know …. but mentally it makes a big difference . if you look and think of it as an IF instead of a WHEN ( because we really dont know anything or we would hit the lottery every time we wanted to if we could forecast the future) we will not forget to live and actually have a life . We both know this , and one thing that comes with age is this : time lost is never regained .

  • If you’re ever in doubt about what your real priorities are…consider where you’re spending your money (as stated) and your time. Then remember that your kids (assuming you have them) are watching. It can be a life changing experience.

  • Suni

    Another great question. I will say as of about 8 years ago my husband and I decided that since we are no longer young that we should start paying off as many bills as we could. We did and that was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. Our home (small) our two pickups, no credit card bills, just monthly utilities is all that we owe. Then about 4 years ago I became aware that our country was going in a direction that was not stainable I started researching and became politically involved. A prepper was born. Our home has just a little over 1,000 sq. ft. but it suits us. We have had to build 2 storage sheds due to lack of space but our lot is big so that is fine too. I am trying to store enough food, water and medical supplies for our two sons their wives and 7 grandchildren that makes 13 in total. What once was our dinning room is now our storage room. We live in a part of the country that gets very hot and from everything I have read stored food will last much longer in a cool environment so everything must stay inside our home. My kids laugh at me and sometimes my husband will ask me “don’t you think we have enough” and all I say is well if we don’t ever need it then when we retire we wont have to go to the grocery store. I have learned how to hot water bath can and pressure can freeing up space in the freezer and food last longer also. Plus with all the talk of rising electric prices if the grid goes down or we just can’t afford to pay the electric then at least our meats wont ruin. I guess it just doesn’t matter to us what the Joneses’ have as long as our place is clean and tidy and we can take care of our own.

    • Just think what you could accomplish if your kids choose to prep too!? It’s a shame that some of them make fun of you about it. I have a similar problem with various family and friends. The thing is that I’m actually (in part) prepping to care for some of them on my own but often go back and forth as to whether I’m going to include them if/when times get tough or not. Like it or not, I’m sure my wife will “help” me make that decision… she is a very caring and giving person… even if it hurts.