How to Survive Without a Salary

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I found this book last fall while walking around a table at the local flea market. The table was piled several books deep, end to end with none displaying a price.

As I started wading through the pile of books the guy on the other side of the table looked up, spat a chew of skoal into an empty can, nice day ain’t it, he said wiping his mouth with his sleeve.

Not bad – now if we could get it to stay this way all the time we’d be in good shape, I said; continuing to riffle through the mountain of books. What’s the price on your books?

We’ll let’s see, novels are .50 each, hardcover’s $2 and the rest $1.50 he said, dipping another pinch of tobacco from the can. You like to read?

Yeah, when I find the time. How about you, I asked?

Western type fiction mostly and the Bible.

Tell you what I’ll do, buy five and I’ll let you have the novels for .25 and non fiction for $1 each, he said putting the lid back on the can.

After about twenty minutes of fighting my way through the pile of books, I left with nine titles, including a copy of How to Survive WITHOUT A Salary by Charles Long. When I got back to the trailer, I put the books into my read pile.

I managed to read several during the winter, finishing How to Survive WITHOUT A Salary a few weeks ago. While not an end of the world type book, How to Survive WITHOUT A Salary does offer some good advice and mental mindset needed to live on less.

He states in the preface:

There’s something about this so-called global economy that reminds me of the sanitary worker who falls in a cess pool. To his great relief he discovers a bump on the bottom where, if he stands on his tip-toes and stretches his neck, he can just keep his mouth above the surface of the muck. To his great dismay he also discovers that taking a step in any direction only makes his predicament worse. He refuses all offers of help, muttering through clenched lip: “Don’t make a wave… Don’t make a wave…

As survivalists we plan and prepare for a multitude of disasters, often forgetting about the need to survive everyday life and live on less.

I’m afraid the current economy, or lack of , will force many to live the conserver lifestyle — if they want to or not. The U.S. is built on consumer debt, if you’re in debt the employers and the bankers own you and you have no choice but to participate.

So the first step to the conserver lifestyle is to get out of debt and stay out. I worked for years for a hardwood flooring company. Ten hours a day six days a week, during peak production. I was running on a treadmill, never actually getting anywhere.

The Joy of Not Working... Zelinski, Ernie J. Best Price: $1.26 Buy New $4.20 (as of 03:30 UTC - Details)

Sure, I had stuff — or more accurately, the bank did. They were kind enough to let me borrow it, as long as I paid the monthly payments. I was in misery, with two options — work 20 hours per day or live on less.

This was the main disagreement, the ex-wife and I had, ultimately leading to divorce.

She wanted glistening things to show her friends and I wanted a life. No compromise, it was her way or the highway. I chose the pavement, or more accurately the travel trailer on junk land and couldn’t be happier.

How to Survive WITHOUT A Salary offers techniques, tips and advice that will not only help you live cheaper but acquire the proper attitude needed to make changes to better your life and become more self-reliant.

Some of the subjects covered include, the secondhand market, buying at auctions, accessing needs, making a casual income, budget, food, clothing, entertainment, taxes, being poor, barter, downsizing and a lot more in its 200 pages.

It’s a good book, that will help you not only save, but make money, but I don’t recommend you buy it new. If you can find it used like I did, by all means buy it or better yet, check the library.

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August 23, 2010

M.D. Creekmore [send him mail] is a full-time blogger and preparedness consultant. He currently lives completely off-grid somewhere in the Appalachian mountains and is currently working on his upcoming book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat for Paladin Press. To connect with M.D. Creekmore please visit his Survival Blog.