This year is about non-consumption and trying to live at 90% reduction from most American levels. Using a combination of family gifts, family assistance, savings, barter and consulting I calculated I would live on $8K this year. For teh math wizards that works out to $666 a month, or the number of the beast for the Dominionists.
According to the recent city council meeting reports I have been combing I have found that this community’s AMI (Area Median Income) is about $20,000 higher than the HUD’s AMI of $56,000. In the graphs provided $16,600 is extremely low income with four more tiers to even approach moderate income. So, my $666 per month would fall within that 90% reduction of the median income goal. I know this wasn’t the intent of the Riot 4 Austerity. The reduction is also about energy use, natural resources, gasoline, etc. I intend to look at my numbers for these as well. But, I have political reasons to live on an average of $666/month.
Like last year, it means I don’t have to pay federal taxes if I don’t earn enough. Talk about the beast . . . I have no trouble going without rather than pay a nickel into the imperialist government agencies that Chimpy McStagger and his band of greedy neocons (helped by a complicit congress, political party insiders and a corporate media) have turned the American government into since 2000. There is something so sick and twisted about socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Thanks, but I don’t want to play.
Update: Just heard on Rachel Maddow, of last year's taxes, 42 cents of every dollar paid in taxes went to the military. Also, 10 cents of every dollar went towards the interest on the military debt and only 3 cents of every dollar from tax payers went towards the environment, science, research and similar things we all give a shit about over war.
Not sure why, but this morning felt like it was time to crunch numbers. Maybe it is because one quarter of this year had passed last week and I was feeling way off track with my budget estimate. I am way over budget for each of the first three months of this year. Part of my angst is my lack of experience with buying foodstuffs at the first of the year to store for the rest of the year. Added to my bulk buying is my $250 for the solar oven and manual wash machine I just bought.
I switched last year to twice yearly payments rather than monthly payments for my vehicle insurance. That hit in January. And, lastly I have just finished paying the highest utility allocations within a calendar year. I bought stamps I hope to last the year and toiletries too. I filled up my gas tank and I hope it too will last the year. (I figure 1-2 errands a week for an average 3-4 miles) will make this possible).
On the positive side, I will be planting vegetable seeds in my own garden and the community garden in the upcoming weeks. (I want to stagger this to stagger harvesting). I will be using my solar oven – I have unplugged my microwave and toaster ovens. No more heater use will be a great savings. I will be saving laundry money because of the manual wash machine in addition to air drying clothes. I have already saved a lot of money (and natural resources) with not buying any paper products, using cloth napkins and cloth wipes. I stopped using shampoo 6 weeks ago, stopped coloring my hair . . . I don’t even remember.
The community I call home just opened a brand new library and the beaches beckon. I was given free Netflix for several months by my BFF, so I am checking out movies. I also borrowed a stack from my son’s collection. He also comps me meals fairly regularly at the restaurant he manages. It is a real treat. Since I don’t buy meat, I usually order meat when I am eating out. There are times like now when I wish I could go twice a week. I try to control myself and wait for him to invite me, but sometimes I just barge into his world. I am okay with discipline and moderation, until I am not.
The only reason any of this works at all is that I have my health. I am grateful beyond words.
Gratitude is heaven itself. - William Blake