Monday, January 30, 2012

Finding Your Seed Corn

Whether the nation's budget woes have trickled down to your family or you prefer being as frugal as possible, take heart. You can live well without clipping a single coupon, whether you have a garden or not, on far less money than you previously thought possible. Frugal living means doing more with what you have, not making do with nothing. It means identifying your seed corn and deciding how best to use it to give yourself and your family a creative, abundant life. 
 
Everything you own and everything you can make or do is your seed corn. Cast it around and it brings you the means to live as you wish without being enslaved by the things you own. Hoard your seed corn in closets and bins, garages and money-sucking storage units and you create a never-ending cycle of spending to acquire stuff, followed by even more spending to store things that do nothing to enhance your daily life.

If you have a garage or shed filled with garden tools, lawn mowers and weed trimmers, you have the makings of a landscaping or furniture repair business. If you own a computer and a scanner, you can sell photos, greeting cards, posters and post cards, or create educational game materials such as word bingo flash cards. Sports equipment means you can coach or rent used sports equipment. A well-stocked kitchen and a van are the start of a home catering service or baked goods shop, selling homemade bread, ham salad, lavash sandwiches and other delectable dishes. That video, book and CD collection makes a good start on an entertainment rental business. 

Inventory one dresser drawer, closet or storage space at a time. Make a list of what you have, what condition each item is in and how many of each of them you have. Cut up old blouses and skirts to make camisole tops, winter hats, courier bags or drawstring backpacks. If you can't wash, paint or repair something, give it a toss. If you have more than two to four of something, sell them or donate them to an individual or organization that you know will put those items to daily use. Calculate the annual cost to store your things versus the cost to buy those items again the next time you need them. If the storage costs more than twice what the items cost to replace, take them out of storage and use, sell or give the items away. ~Jack V. Sage




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