So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, December 3, 2017
Living out in the country, it's normal to stock up on hardware and materials. Sometimes years go by before having to stock up again. My supply of a certain type of wood screw and some heavy duty glue had run out, so a trip to the hardware store was in order. The price had gone up about twenty percent since the last time. Dang. That's a hit.
It wasn't a huge bill, but those little increases add up. My firefighter pension takes an act of the state legislature to go up, and that hasn't happened in well over a decade. In fact, the last time they acted on my pension I lost a thousand dollars a year. It's true that no one is safe when the legislature is in session.
Things you purchase on a regular basis go up too, but tiny incremental increases aren't as noticeable. Inflation is also masked by changes in the size of packages. Sometimes prices have been kept low by a drop in quality. Personally, I will never buy another Stanley tool or another Maytag washer.
So what's a person to do about it? Good question. The first thing is to accept that it's real. If you don't recognize the problem, you can't find a solution. Over the years my first response has been to find some other way to do it. If that doesn't work, my next go to move is to find some other place to save money. Then there's the third option, and I hate to go there: earn more money.
So why is that my third option and not the first? I place a huge value on my time and freedom. Think about it. All we have in life is time. We trade our precious life, in the form of working time, for money. It's one thing to do that because it's what you need to survive. It's something else to trade your life, energy, and freedom for cheap plastic trinkets. Talk about a bad deal with the devil.
In my case even small additions to the budget make a difference. If I can generate some occasional income, on my own terms, it's acceptable. Don't get me wrong, if there's an emergency I'll do any sort of honest work. However, if I can avoid such emergencies in the first place so much the better.
Sometimes I have to put a lot more mental and physical effort into a project. Take for example the time the well needed a new cover. It would have been simple enough to go to the lumber yard and pick up the materials. Instead, I went down to the swamp with a chainsaw and harvested some cedar poles. Those were used to frame the cover. The rest was made from plywood salvaged from a custom truck bed cover and a cargo rack for a car I no longer have.
Inflation is like an undeclared tax on your income. It will destroy your wealth as surely as anything else.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.