Sustaining The Good Life

Lifestyle Philosophy For Financial Independence and Environmental Sustainability

What is downshifting? And 10 reasons you should do it!

A lot of people talk about “retiring early” when what they really are referring to is “downshifting.”  Downshifting is the act of simplifying one’s life and moving away from materialism so one can spend less time on paid work and more time on activities, relationships, or projects that have a more intrinsic motivation.  In fact,…

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Cultural Creativity in the Age of Nihilism

A recent op-ed in the New York Times titled “We’re Doomed. Now What?” by Roy Scranton lays out the case for our humanistic need to create new meanings in an age where climate change, violence, and fear grip all of global society in a nihilistic meaninglessness.  This nihilism takes the form of militaristic jingoism, market…

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Credit Cards and the Tragedy of The Commons

I’ve noticed here in the personal finance corner of the blogosphere that many of my fellow financial bloggers are promoting various credit cards.  While many bloggers promote the fact that many cards have very generous cash back or enrollment bonuses (up to $500), the blogs are also making money on this promotion.  Many financial blogs…

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The Religion of Consumption

Earlier this week, Lisa sent me this post from the blog Becoming Minimalist: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own.  A few of my favorite statistics include:  The average American home has tripled in size in the last 30 years. 2.  1 in 10 Americans rents off-site storage. 3.  The average…

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My Plans For Life Shattered On The Floor…And I Laughed

About two years ago I read this blog post on boingboing.net explaining how an eccentric game designer created a sort of “hour glass” to represent his life.  He has two glass “vessels,” with each filled partially with colored beads.  Each bead represents one day of his life, with one vessel representing days that he had…

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Do Not Let Your Employer Pressure You to Work Extra Hours

Worker solidarity is camaraderie between co-workers.  It is the idea that workers must work together, look out for each other, and care for one another.  This concept is, arguably, a core humanistic quality, and there is a long history of valuing worker solidarity in the labor movement.  The fact that workers will not cross a…

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Living with no money for 12 years

In follow-up to my recent post reviewing Eric Fromm’s “To Have or to Be,” I’ve re-watched a few short documentaries on Daniel “Suelo.”  Daniel Suelo is a middle-aged man who is homeless, refuses to use any money, and is, by all outward appearances, very happy and centered.  In the film below, “Moneyless in Moab,” Suelo…

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Eric Fromm’s “To Have or To Be?”

Last week I read a fascinating book by Eric Fromm, To Have or To Be? (Bloomsbury Revelations). In this book, written in 1976, famous psychologist and social critic Eric Fromm provides a deeply critical assessment of modern Western, and particularly US, society.  He blends biblical, Buddhist, Enlightment, Marxist, and contemporary psychoanalytical philosophies to suggest that…

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Stop Paying High Investment Fees in your 401(k) or Brokerage Account!

If you are out of debt and on the path to financial independence, you are likely involved in investing in some type of mutual fund, perhaps through your work 401(k) program.  Mutual funds can be a great way to invest in a diversified way, which can minimize your risk of loss to some extent.  However,…

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Read this before you buy a bike: affordable road and commuter biking

Biking is a big part of my life.  I bike for fitness, recreation, and transportation all over my city.  I bike at least 1,000 commuting miles a year, and I commute throughout the year except in the coldest polar vortex weather.  When your bike is your “car” and your recreation, it is important to have…

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