Categorised | Health & Lifestyle, Money

What Does It Take To Be “Self-Sufficient” These Days?

It seems that we live in a world where we’ve got to cover our own backs. Every single thing about life appears to be increasingly more difficult with every passing year. Even the act of making money is only feasible if you’ve got a main job, a side hustle, and some form of freelance career to go alongside them. As such, it seems we’re being actively encouraged to look after our own needs, rather than anybody else’s. And without making it sound like we’re completely selfish, being self-sufficient is a term that continually crops up. Whether this is in terms of our lifestyle or our career choices, the idea of looking after our own needs encapsulate so many different components. What are these, and how can we best embrace the self-sufficient lifestyle without being self-sufficiently selfish?  

Living Within Your Means

As we have to work more than one job these days to make any sort of decent living, we need to address the fact that we may not be living within our means at all. Because we have an abundance of credit card bills, not to mention the various outgoings that, in conjunction with the rising cost of living, threatens to overwhelm us in every aspect, we’ve got to figure out how best to live within our means. But living within our means sounds like a miserable existence. Frugal living, or tightening your belt, are things that don’t scream excitement at all. So what is the answer?

Because if we have to live within a strict budget, this doesn’t make life fun in the slightest. But living within our means is a completely different approach. It’s all about one simple thing: your budget. You know how much you have to spend, but you also know how much your outgoings are overall. And it’s not just about cutting everything back so you feel miserable, it’s about making sure that you trim some of the financial fat, as it were. There are parts of life where we can very easily go overboard; maybe we buy too much in the way of food and end up having to throw half of it out. When you think about this one simple thing, and then calculate how much money you would save by not buying these things, that money can be put towards something that you will get more out of.

Making More Of Your Home

Real estate is one of the biggest investments anybody can make in the modern world. If you’re lucky enough to get onto the property ladder, you need to make more of the home. It’s not just about turning it into your dream property, but it’s about making it an investment that could serve you better when you are older. A lot of people struggle to retire at an optimum age, but this is where real estate could come in handy. You could make the most of your home right now, but once you hit the later stages of your life, you’re not going to be as mobile, and you’re not going to need as much space. As such, your home becomes a vital part of your investment portfolio. This can be the thing that makes you more financially independent as you age.

And it’s not just about doing up the home so it has all of the goods, you need to think about how the home can make you self-sufficient in the meantime, and this can also prove to be a good selling point later on. Houses that have solar panels are very popular because of the energy that’s able to power the home, but is free! Similarly, slimline water tanks installed in the back garden can be a way to collect rainwater so it can be stored for various uses. When treated properly, water can be used for many things in the home. And again, this is a fantastic way to make yourself self-sufficient. Your home can prove to be beneficial in a financial sense, but with the various ways that you can cut down on your utility bills and help your home make the most of natural power, like sunlight and water, it becomes a fantastic investment.

Staying Away From The Grocery Store

When people think of self-sufficiency, most think of growing their own fruits and vegetables. We’ve grown accustomed to a world where we can get fruit and vegetables from the grocery store regardless of the time of year. If you really want to be self-sufficient, learning to grow your own fruits and vegetables at home is a big step, but a vital one. The way it used to be, people would have to eat according to what is in season. But now we have so much choice it can be a shock to the system to go back to these simpler values. If you want to be self-sufficient, you’ve got to get into the mindset of making the most of what is actually around you. So many of us don’t do this. After all, we have money to throw at the situation so we can get those things that have become home comforts. Instead, by growing your food, or eating in season, you can save money, but also save the planet.

And, naturally, doing this means you’ll decrease your carbon footprint. While this is a very hot topic now, by eating things in season you’re going to minimise your carbon footprint across the board. Whatever your dietary requirements, even if you can eat local, you will benefit regardless. Eating locally means that you benefit the local economy. Most of us feel that buying locally is more expensive, but is it really? You can certainly do the maths to find out for yourself, but you’ve also got to think about what eating whole, organic produce is in comparison to the stuff you normally buy. Organic produce makes you feel fuller, is more nutrient dense, and doesn’t have pesticides. And it’s all these little things that, if we were to calculate how much we’re spending on getting organic produce in comparison to making the trips to the grocery store or the supermarket, our outgoings won’t be that different. But on top of this, if you start to grow your own produce, you learn how to be self-sufficient in a different way. You get into the mindset of eating things according to season.

Financial Self-Sufficiency

It’s a dilemma so many of us face. We feel bound by debt because of numerous credit cards, but we’ve also got various outgoings. That idea of being financially self-sufficient appears to be a long way off, especially if we have to work so much. But it’s about looking at what you’ve got and seeing what is really essential. And lots of people have done that life decluttering process, where they got rid of everything that’s not necessary. And when we start to look at fine-tuning our needs, whether this is through the food we eat, the products we buy, and the clothes we wear, if we can start to streamline this towards a few of the bare essentials, we won’t just see the benefit in our wallets, but we’ll be happier as a result. It’s said so much now, that the minimalist way of living will make you happier, but there is a lot of truth in this. Because you don’t have so many items, you automatically are decluttering your existence. Financial self-sufficiency becomes easier to achieve as a result.

As we have more money at our disposal because we buy fewer things, we can pay off that debt quicker, and start to do what we want to do. Instead of buying gifts for ourselves, we can get experiences. Let’s be realistic, things cost money! But if we’ve got into a cycle of debt where we feel that to live a good existence, we need to spend more on our credit cards, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that we are forever destined to be bound by financial difficulty. But once you have more money without the goods and debt, you can start to diversify your financial portfolio. You can begin to invest or start your own business. And these are additional keys to financial self-sufficiency that a lot of people don’t do, either because they feel they don’t have the knowledge or they are too scared.

What Is “Self-Sufficiency?”

How would you define it? We all have our own opinions of what it takes to be self-sufficient in this competitive world. Perhaps it’s the finances, perhaps it’s growing our own produce, perhaps it’s about something simpler, being our own person, rather than being bound by social media, or feeling those constant pressures to keep up with what’s going on in life. Whatever your definition of self-sufficiency is, there is no time like the present to push towards it. Self-sufficiency means we are making the most of our own resources, whether it’s our external ones all the resources we hold deep within ourselves. Whatever avenue you choose, you will be happier for it.

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