budgeting our green

Spend less, bike more, do more with less, plan what you purchase, preserve, buy what you need NOT what you want, balance taste and nutrition, avoid compulsive buying, challenge yourself by reducing your requirements, eat less, walk more, use public transportation, ride with friends, plan your weekends, air dry your clothes, store less food, live in a house that fits your needs not your desires, adopt practicality, share.

It would be wrong to suggest that its a global problem but definitely a severe issue we face in North America, wanting more then we need, not to mention can afford. Who’s to blame? We are! Culture, upbringing, The White house, Media, green washing. By blaming others you give up the power to change. If we believe we have lost the power to change, who are we?

We hear many say that we need to get our pride back, unfortunately we have robbed ourselves of it. Some of the simple things that give us the greatest sense of accomplishment in life are things that we have done and completed ourselves, without the help of others. It makes us who we are, it’s what drives an entrepreneur forward, it’s what sets a great leader apart.

We live in a shaky economy, markets rise and fall like a bad storm, reality has been lost. I want to bring it back to where it started, when we thought we deserved more than what we performed for and lost responsibility for the same. We all abide by the bill of rights, but avoid our responsibility. Not only to our banks, our employers, our governments but the things most dear to us, our families. If and when things got tight(er): “Don’t worry, we’ll leverage the house and borrow more” or “Who cares, its just the boss’s money, let’s take a 2 hour break”.

Related:   Achim Steiner: Ontario and The Green Economy

However things change when the boss’s company isn’t doing so well, then the blame quickly shifts. “Bank’s gave me too much money on my house, now I can’t afford and have to foreclose, damn banks!” or “Management in my company is corrupt, they ran our company into the ground, making me lose my job”. Reality set in.
We have lived beyond our means for too long and attempt to get away with it. Let’s stop the blame, and rather fix the problem. This starts with no one else but yourself.

Once we come to terms with our reality, including our wages at our jobs, and have a realistic view of what it is we really need versus what we really want, it’s quite simple.

Want

Need

A brand new, latest model car. Get to and from work.
The latest cellphone. Probably not.
The bigger the house the better. A place to live and love.
1, preferably two vacations a year. Be relaxed versus stressed over finances
PS3 for the kids Happy, entertained children
10 pairs of jeans, 18 shirts, etc To be clothed
Eat out 5 times a month Feed ourselves and stay healthy

Some of the examples provide are of course extreme but I encourage everyone to take an evening to go through the simple exercise of Want versus Need. Both columns will surprise you, of that I am certain. For to long we have all gotten to comfortable with the unrealistic ability of purchasing things that are beyond our means. Wake up, ONLY you can change this. Fortunately you will also be the recipient of the great rewards and sense of accomplishment once you have re-aligned your budget to what you need versus what you want.

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