Facebook, besides being a nice place to connect with friends, has been a source of new ideas and a ‘finger in the wind’ indicator of social/cultural trends for me (and maybe you too if you’re ‘fans’ or ‘like’ groups/businesses). Through Facebook I came across the Move Your Money project started by Arianna Huffington last year – and I subsequently did just that – moved my mortgage (had been Wells Fargo) and bank accounts (Chase) to a credit union near me (www.bcu.org ).
Yesterday the Move Your Money Facebook page had a great article called “Is Mainstreet Ready for the Second Wave of the Recession?” which I highly recommend. Don McNay makes three suggestions, which I’d like to discuss with you:
- Move your money
- Be 100% debt-free
- Create your own job – don’t rely on Big Business
So I can hear you now:
- I don’t want to – it sounds hard
- Not realistic! Come on, debt is an American way of life and besides, i”m not rich – I can barely make it as it is
- No way! What could lowly little me POSSIBLY do on my own…
To which I say the following (grab a cup of coffee and please join me in this conversation).
Move Your Money
I heard about this idea through my friend Liz on her Facebook page. So I checked it out. Thought “this sounds hard” and “It will take too much time” and “are the littler banks really safe”. But as I continued being Mad as Hell at being robbed by the banks & the rich my resistance quickly wore away. It did take a bit of time for me – I believe if you are respectful to Money and pay attention to it, it rewards you, so I meticulously went through the steps very clearly outlined on the website: http://moveyourmoney.info/resources – the 7 easy steps. It really WAS easy. And very clearly laid out on the site. Not sure about which local bank/Credit Union? No problem there’s info on that site or at www.bankrate.com or various other places as well. I LOVE my Credit Union – wonder why I didn’t change decades ago. It’s a not for profit – no rich bankers profiting off of me there and the rates are better, service is friendlier – everything about it is easier and better for ME as well as for our community (keep the money local!).
Be Debt Free
I’m reading that this is becoming more of a trend now in America – to which I say — it’s about time! I’m lucky – part Scottish, part Dutch with an incredible Dad who started teaching me about money and frugality when I was still a kid. My grandfather (dad’s dad) and great-grandfather owned a hardware store that went bankrupt in the previous Great Depression – and that experience so freaked out my grandpa that he never borrowed money again. At all. That is – he never even had a mortgage or car loan. I have had one car loan in my life (paid cash for the rest of them) and DO have a mortgage, but I have a plan to ditch that in a few years by aggressively paying down the principle. That may not be realistic for you but I believe everyone can be debt-free other than a mortgage. I actually believe we can all be totally debt-free but I won’t promulgate that til I can do it myself! I’ll do more writing on money in some follow-on posts (it’s a topic in which I’ve always had a great interest) but for now let me say that just as you don’t own stuff, it owns you, having debt makes you a slave. Do you want that? No, I didn’t think so. Conversely, NOT having debt gives you a whole lot of freedom. Please tell me all your objections to this idea (or agreements!) so I can cover them when I write in more detail on this point soon.
Be Your Own Boss
Are you sick of layoffs? Of not knowing when the other shoe will drop? Of everything that CAN be being outsourced to China and India? Had enough? Just say no! Be the Boss of You. You’ll have a kinder, more humane employer, working conditions you like. Well, you say – what about JOB SECURITY, Diane??? Yeah, I say – what about it? Feeling safe and cozy and secure right now? I have been self-employed for the past 14 years. My income has fluctuated with a $100k difference between low and high over that time (hmm, if I count the first year even MORE than that) – so being debt free and able to live simply helps a lot in this regard. If you are depending on US business to keep you employed I say better be prepared to move to Mumbai. Or work for minimum wage.
I wrote recently about Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (https://dianescholten.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/shop-class-as-soulcraft/) – and Matthew Crawford suggests working with your hands (he has a PhD from U of C….). As I told my hairdresser, I guess they can’t outsource YOUR job to India…
So – please weigh in! What are your thoughts on these three ideas? And which would you like me to write more about?