Monday, April 13, 2009

Blaine's 30 Step Guide to Pretty Good Livin'

1) Get out of debt. All debt.
- Do whatever you can to pay off your home, or sell it and buy one that you can pay off.
- Pay off your car(s) and drive them until the wheels fall off. All a car does is move you from point “A” to point “B”; anything & everything else about it is worthless.
- Cut up your ATM card. You don’t need it.
- Get rid of all but one credit card. Pay it off every month; revolving debt will kill you.

2) Cancel your TV cable or satellite. It’s a propaganda machine that’s rotting your brain. I am absolutely serious. Watch movies from Netflix or get them free from the library.

3) Cancel your home internet service. You can surf at work during off hours if you need to (and you do anyway); don’t waste your time or money doing it from home.

4) Realize that your integrity is one of the few things that can never be taken from you. Your house, your car, your belongings, your children, your spouse – even your life – can all be taken from you in a variety of ways. No one can take your integrity away from you without your consent. Don’t give it, sell it, or barter it.

5) Stop trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’. You’ll never catch them, and they’re jerks anyway.

6) Find something you love to do and do it. One half of your waking life is spent at work; you better like what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with.

7) Stop shopping at Wal-Mart.

8) Get rid of your cell phone. I’m sorry, but you’re not important and you have nothing important to say. Important people don’t have cell phones anymore; they have people like you make their calls for them. Be important. Chunk it.

9) Live below the poverty line. Not only will you never have to pay any state or federal income taxes at all, but you will probably get a substantial “refund” even though you didn’t withhold any money from your paycheck in the first place. If you are debt free, have no mortgage or car payments, and you aren’t wasting your money on TV, internet, & cell phones, you can live very well on less than $20k a year.

10) Stop eating at Ruth’s Cris, Emeril’s, and other “high-end” restaurants. The emperor has no clothes.

11) Quit working for any large corporation. You are nothing more than a line on a spreadsheet that will be deleted without any qualms at all if it will “help the bottom line”. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”.

12) Stop drinking “diet” soda. Instead, sprinkle some aspartame around ants and watch them die. Then ask yourself why you eat it and feed it to your children. A spoonful of real sugar has only 15 calories and doesn’t kill anything if it’s consumed.

13) Stop drinking soda period.

14) Start researching the theory of evolution for yourself and watch it fall apart in your hands. You have time to do this now because you’re not wasting your life sitting in front of the TV.

15) Throw out every food item in your home that contains HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and see what you have left.

16) Use real butter.

17) Read.

18) Understand that the odds of your home being completely destroyed are very low and then drop the insurance on your home (which you can do if you own it outright). Realize that if it is destroyed you can simply start over.

19) Drop any other insurance that you can. It’s a rip-off.

20) Accept the fact that you are mortal and will die.

21) Get out of stocks, 401(k)’s, money market funds, and all other “virtual” wealth. It’s “virtually” worthless (as many people are now finding out). If you want to invest, invest in things that will always be valuable; guns, land, gold, etc.

22) Do something really nice for someone without any strings attached and without letting them know who did it. See how that makes you feel. Decide whether you want to feel that way more often.

23) Don’t promise more than you can deliver; always deliver more than you promised.

24) If you are a man, love your wife. If you are a woman, respect your husband. Do it unconditionally, even when they don’t deserve it.

25) Understand that the lives you touch are the only legacy you will ever leave. Think about what you are leaving behind and ask yourself if you are satisfied with it. If not, start doing something about it.

26) Pray for the people you love. Pray more for the people you don’t.

27) Seriously ask yourself if you could live – as in “exist” – without a car. Without access to a bank. Without electricity. Understand that if you can't answer "yes" to those questions, you are subservient, not independent. It’s always illuminating to know where you fit into the grand scheme of things.

28) Stop drinking alcohol. If your life is really that good, why do you feel the need to experience it through the veil of an alcoholic haze? If it’s not that good, why do you keep living it the same way? If you can’t enjoy yourself when you’re stone-cold sober, realize that something is wrong. Fix it.

29) I wasn’t kidding about the cell phone. It’s nothing more than a leash. YOU DON’T NEED IT.

30) Treat everyone in your life as if it’s the last time you will ever see them, because one of these days, it will be.


MamaHen said...

* waves of applause *


Our society certainly has way too many "needs" that we don't need at all!

Kim R. said...

Fabulous post and a great day for me to read it. We are packing up and leaving South FL next week headed for KY (Somerset area) to start a more simple life. Your words today were truly God's words sent for me to read.

I used to follow Catherine's blog and would read about KY and how wonderful it sounded. We'd been to KY about 17 years ago and always wanted to move there eventually. We decided to take the plunge - sold the house in FL (closing next week), purchased property in KY, moving into the RV until we have a PAID FOR home on the property and .... we'll go from there. Our jouney is about to start! We are looking at it as a great adventure.
Thanks again for the extra inspiration today!

Blaine Staat said...

I'm so happy for you! It is truly an adventure; I wish you all the best. May God bless you & your family.

Catherine said...

Blaine, these are fascinating and so apt. We Ponds are completely with you on 1) and do live that way; we're not quite there with 2); 3) would be impossible given that I "work" at home (but I do limit myself on line now and Temple, well, he's the biggest luddite ever).

4)-6) Right on!
7) Ah, well, easier said than done now that we're in KY!
8) Only for travel...never on. Tempted to cancel and get a track phone for infrequent travel.
9) Ever heard of "land poor"?
10) Agreed -- oh but once in a while it is so worth it (at a real restaurant)
11) Never have--always for nonprofits, farms or ourselves.
12)-13) Soda is rare in our house.
14) Well, I think there is a place for God and science to co-mingle, let's put it that way!
15) HFCS is EVIL
16) Yup, we do that...
17) That, too.
18-19) Well, I would agree but yet we are in tornado country and a home is a major asset. If paid off, particularly, it would be a huge loss if not insured. Health is another one--we feel it is important with dependents, especially, to have this. Only $372 a month for 53 year old hubby and boys! (I can't get insurance here...another story.)
20) This has been the biggest and hardest PANG of my middle ages so far!
21) Yup, gold, ground and God!

The rest is great, too. Although we live in a dry county and just imported several cases of wine and rum for vanilla-making and summer cocktails...and we hardly drink at all, go figure!

Blessings! Catherine (Pond)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on almost everything here. We are working on how to live more independent even though we rent right now. Planning, planning and more planning and never looking back again. Sometimes you have to leave everything (and everyone) behind that is going to hold you back!

The only thing I take exception with is that I know a Jones family in Alabama. They are some of the finest people you will ever know this side of heaven. And I live in Texas where most of us are top notch ;-)

Ouida Garcia

Blaine Staat said...

My sincere apologies to the Alabama Jones'. No insult intended! :-)

Anonymous said...

That's ok. I'm sure the Alabama Jones' would chuckle too.

On a side note- I'm still miss Mrs. Cat's blog. I used to get your magazine too. I shared it with neighbors and even sent it over to my good friend Vicki in Scotland. Such a great magazine!

Mrs T said...

I agree with most of it.
Except #21 GOLD- the Bible says it WILL be worthless too someday on this side of heaven

Jules said...

Bravo bravo! I followed a link from Amy's Humble Musings and found myself browsing all your posts.

This one is terrific - especially the ones on diet soda, real butter and high fructose corn syrup. These are things I have been preaching to my family for ages.

Love your blog - glad I found it today!

Ellen Van Baren said...

Absolutely right! I found your blog from you advice on dog food and I agree on that too. Your list is right on. We live that way now here in Mexico. One final thing I might add is, Learn to be still...really still...all by yourself. You will be surprised at what you discover.
Thank you Blaine.
Be well!
Ellen Van Baren