Because of world conflicts, inflation, the pandemic, and so many other factors, the old ways of making it through adulthood just aren’t working. Minimum wage is still very low (even though some places have made an effort to double the minimum) compared to how much the cost of everything else is going up. It’s funny because the argument I have always heard against raising the minimum wage has been that it will cause prices to go up, as if keeping working wages low somehow guarantees prices won’t go up. Obviously, that isn’t true.
No matter who you think is to blame or how you think these issues should be solved, the fact is we are all in the same boat. Those of us who have been living comfortably as middle class suddenly can’t afford utility prices or a full tank of gas to get to our jobs, where we are making the same amount of money. And if WE can’t do it, then how is the average young adult who is just starting out supposed to handle it all.
Even if you followed all of my previous advice about moving out on your own and taking all the right steps to be on your way to independence, the current situation will still make you unable to succeed. I don’t care how many side hustles you have going right now, unless you have been really good from the beginning at saving, investing, and keeping your debts low, you are probably struggling.
I think about how our grandparents or great grandparents lived through world wars and the Great Depression, and how they managed to get by. The difference for us, though, is we are so used to convenience. Back then, they were probably raised by folks who grew their own food, made their own clothes, and had the basic life skills needed to survive. We don’t have that. Sure, we have TikTok to show us how to do certain things, and we can google survival skills, but what happens if we no longer have access to that information? We all have seen how selfish humanity can be over the last few years, with people hoarding and thinking only of themselves, so we can’t depend on our community to get us through in times of turmoil. What can we do?
I hate to sound so cynical, but I have started worrying about these things more. We have to be prepared with knowledge and foresight in case of large-scale disasters, but we also just have to make it through the day, paying our bills and affording to take care of our children. I am in no way a doomsday prepper (although there is a lot of useful knowledge from that community), but I am hyperaware of that current feeling that everything we have found comfortable up until now is about to blow up in our faces soon. History is cyclical and we have lived comfortably for quite a long time.
All of this is to say, that I am changing the tone of my blog. I am going to start looking more into self-sustaining yet affordable ways to live. I am going to be starting a garden this spring and sharing my journey and I hope you follow along with me, growing your own and hopefully saving a little money on your grocery bills. I am going to start a series for single parents who are trying to make it during these rough financial times and a series on emergency preparedness. I am going to try to come up with tips to help save with gas, utility expenses, and anything else that is in our control, and I hope that you can also offer me advice along the way.
I am absolutely no expert on this, and it will all be research, trial, and error, but I think that together, we can survive through these uncertain times. I completely believe, though, that the most basic skills we all need to practice before we can succeed are kindness, acceptance, and love. Please help those who are being marginalized any chance you get. We are all humans, no matter our race, gender identity, or pronoun usage, and we all deserve respect, love, and kindness. Life is hard enough, let’s make changes by instilling these qualities in our children and practicing them ourselves daily. Contribute to causes, vote for positive changes, and be what you want the world to be.