Saturday, April 28, 2012

Practical Ideas for Young-And Not So Young People-Trying to Survive in Hard Times

Here are a few ideas about how to survive, and maybe even thrive, in hard times. Some of them I've done myself, some of them I haven't. If you have additional ideas, please share them 1. Form communes or living cooperatives with friends and classmates. Housing costs are too high for most people to rent their own apartments on the salaries entry level jobs offer. As an alternative to living with your parents, get a group of friends together and rent a house, or a loft, in town or a neighborhood where housing prices have fallen and there are significant numbers of unoccupied houses ( I can tell you where these neighborhoods are in NYC). Share living expenses, food expenses, transportation expenses (share a car if you can't get around by bike) and if relevant, child care expenses. You can cut your living costs in half, or more, by doing this, plus have fun in the process. I lived this way for many years in the late 60's through the early 80's. It was a pretty cool way to bring up my children! 2. Start growing your own food, either indoors or outdoors, or make an arrangement with a farmer to share labor for food. Almost any backyard or roof can be turned into a garden, and there is technology that allows for growing vegetables indoors. There are also more and more progressive farmers who develop food and labor shares for urban customers. These kind of arrangements can radically reduce your food costs, and also promote healthy eating 3. Create small cooperative enterprises that provide services that people are willing to pay for even in a depressed economy. Among such services are repairs of computers and electronic devices; commercial and residential cleaning, child care, dog walking, catering, fitness training. In some cases, you will be serving the wealthy, on other cases, people struggling to get by. In the latter instance, you can engage in barter, or labor exchanges These suggestions are all practical and relatively simple to implement if you have a group of people around you whom you trust.

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