Life Hack for Budget Cuts

A great way to make budget cuts is to consider the end result gain from every purchase we make; the real gain. Often times we discover that once we discard the mental charade of the means and instead focus on the ends, we can find much simpler (more affordable) ways to reach such ends.
Example:
Is it worth it to spend money on a concert? Is spending money to see then live any better than streaming them (live or not)? Is hearing them live any better than hearing them on our sound system?
I say YES, because the live experience and sound is wildly different.
HOWEVER
Is it worth it to spend money to see a stand up comic live? Are they any more funny live than in streaming?
I say NO. The jokes are exactly the same on TV as live.
There is the energy of the crowd live to consider that adds something. But is that little extra something worth the price of admission? Perhaps not when we need to make budget cuts.
Often times what we are looking for is a service. The question is: What is the most cost efficient way to acquire that service.

The Bane of a Simple Life

Our Socio-Economical structure (here in the US) is designed to force a complex life upon us. Everything is set up for us to have things we don’t use, obligations we don’t want, ridiculous customs and traditions. And all of these things add no value to our lives; they just waste valuable time.

As an experienced Minimalist it becomes easy to keep our hoard manageable. Keeping our material possessions low is near thoughtless.

What DOES become an ongoing challenge is owning our own time while still maintaining an social life. This is why it is advisable to keep our social circle small, and heavily scrutinize who is in that circle. This is difficult to do as societal pressure would have us “befriend” every acquaintance we meet and adopt a myriad of social obligations that come with those new relationships. To not do so places a label on us as “mean”, “unfriendly”, or “recluse”.

Example: Social convention would have us befriending the parents of all our child’s friends. Lets say (conservatively) that our child has seven friends and that each of them has only one sibling. …….. That is fourteen child birthday parties we will be invited to every year. THAT’S A LOT, I don’t care who you are. Attending fourteen children birthday parties every year is wasted time, it adds no value. And you can’t just drop your child off at the party and go about your business (that’s rude). Truth be told, I am sure even our child is not getting much out of fourteen parties a year. And THAT is just friends …… don’t forget about extended family.

The above is just one example, but there are many social time-consuming conventions that come with having an active social life that we do purely out of obligation. To NOT do them is to be branded with a negative label. THAT is the bane of choosing a simple tailored life.

Truth is, I have no solution to this problem. People will brand us with labels, we just have to learn not to care. Maybe if there was a way to convey that it’s nothing personal; that we are comfortable with our social circle as it is. But nobody understands, because it’s all an ego game in American social culture.

Censorship (Liberty and Security)

As  Minimalist I believe that it is our responsibility to monitor what we allow ourselves to be exposed to. What media, what info, even what sights we allow our minds to absorb. Because whether we like it or not, whatever we expose ourselves to is definitely getting in (into our minds).

But that responsibility is an individual responsibility. Aside from adhering to a few basic morale codes the majority agree upon, it is not societies job to dictate what it’s people are exposed to. Or ….. to look at it from the other side, it is not societies responsibility to control how the people of that society express themselves.

In todays society (here in the USA), many forms of entertainment and expression are under attack of censorship. The art of comedy in particular is under attack, and this saddens me. Comedy is one of our oldest, dearest, and in my opinion highest forms of entertainment.

Comedy comes in many forms: Slapstick, Contextual, Clean, Juvenile, Dirty, Discriminating, etc. And all are free to explore. Not everyone likes all kinds, and that’s ok. They can pick and choose which ones they allow themselves (and their children) to be exposed to.

It seems that we have a rather big movement for a culture change that favors eliminating options and filtering down our society to only what “they” deem acceptable. The trouble with this is that not everyone has the same idea of what is and what is not acceptable, even within the movement.  So in the end, such a movement will fold on itself well before it comes to fruition.

In the end this is all about laziness, and lack of taking responsibility.

What we have here is a movement of people who refuse to take on their individual responsibility as individuals and parents , and instead take on a group responsibility together to force society at large to conform to their idea of “utopia”. This way they don’t have to monitor/filter what they and their loved ones are exposed to (“Hey, lets make the village raise our child, so we don’t have to”).

This would have validity if the movement, the group, was large enough to be the vast majority. Then whatever changes they wanted implemented would simply become part of the “basic morale code” I mention above.  But no, as it is now they are just a whiny lazy group that wants the powers to change what can be viewed on their TV screen rather than put in the effort to change the channel or turn off the TV.

Everyone draws the line in the liberty-security balance in a different place. Some prefer “FREEEDOOOM” at the risk of being exposed to things they don’t like. Some are comforted by the feeling of safety, even if it costs them options for them and their children. But what I think the latter people are forgetting is that a persons PRIMARY line of safety/security is themselves:

It is THEIR  responsibility to defend themselves and loved ones when a predator engages them (by the time law enforcement gets there, that damage has already been done).

It is THIER responsibility to monitor what they and their loved ones are exposed to via all media channels.

It is THIER responsibility to monitor the social circles they travel.

 

With that being said, their is no reason why any of the liberties we have today need be taken away as long as we have that first line of security, including freedom of expression.

Where is no reason to limit expression when such expressions can be easily ignored if undesired.