I’ve been rereading posts here. There are various details I need to fix. The link to the International Business Map re food costs as a percentage of income worldwide? The link doesn’t work. I think I know why and can fix it. [Fixed! 4/29/15]
There’s only sales calendars for Jan – June, not July – Dec
The food cost thing points out a fallacy that I’ve been concerned about for some time. The average US citizen uses < 10% of their income for food. However, when times are tight, it is one of the few things people really control, so it’s almost always the first item they cut. I’m guilty of that myself, it just seems obvious.
Except in the US, cutting almost anything else would probably be more effective, although cutting food costs are probably the easiest.
With this all in mind, I had decided some time ago to start trying to be frugal by cutting the highest cost items, first.
From the same data that the 6% food costs comes from, the highest gain in cost percentage-wise was automobile purchases. That went up a whopping 20%. Admittedly we can’t avoid driving cars in our present culture, but we can ride share, ask the neighbor if they want something when we’re going to the market (and hope they reciprocate), and stop going after the newest, greatest, etc. unless there’s some compelling reason to do so.
Along that line, I need a new cell phone. Mine was lost 3+ weeks ago and hasn’t been found. I had an old flip phone, worked fine for me. I have been confronted with smart phones, cameras, feature, feature, feature. My inclination is to scream, “I only want a PHONE!” and get just that, or as close as I can get.
We have a new law taking effect this summer, requiring hands-free cell phones in cars. And that needs, at minimum a really good speaker phone, which my old dumb phone didn’t have. (Not to mention that the vol. control was on the outer edge of the case and 1/2 the time I’d turned it of without knowing I’d done so.)
So, we’re looking at smart phones. Ug. I do NOT want a smart phone. I do NOT want to be wired in, connected 24/7. No. But I guess I’m getting one anyway. I resisted cell phones too. I didn’t want to carry a phone around with me. Knew someone who didn’t want a pager. I realize it’s archaic of me, but the idea that someone can call me whenever they want to 24/7 just appalls me. Forget the NSA, I don’t care about that, I just want to be able to retreat from society, part of the reason I like living in the country.
For the daughter and wife of people whose business is tech, I have a remarkable tendency towards being a Luddite. The older I get, the more I really want to retreat to a stone cottage in the middle of nowhere, growing veggies, baking bread and that’s it. I know I can’t drop out of the world, but there are days I’d sure like to try!
Another point, an oddity, or not, if you know me. Because I just didn’t have anywhere else to put them and I’m trying to clear out of the 1/2 of the living room that is DH’s craft space, I put a chunk of the books I want to keep away on the room divider bookcase yesterday. Some sort of tension, a spring almost, relaxed when I got that done. This was still my space. Weird? Maybe, but books saved my sanity more than once. It’s also a direct link to my parents, both voracious readers. Apparently, I need to make shelving books or reshelving books, as the case may be, the last step in any major home improvement. Quirky? Yep. Odd? Not if you’re a bibliophile I guess, or especially if you’re like me!