Permaculture Design/Financial permaculture

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Financial Permaculture is an approach to economics that emphasizes personal investment and community development. For example, a person may choose to walk away from a full-time job at a multinational corporation in order to purchase or acquire through other means land, and then grow their own food. By quitting the job the person has an abundance of time to focus on gardening or other creative pursuits. Further, due to the change in lifestyle, organic food and lots of exercise, their health improves. Of course there will still be bills to pay, but now this individual is independent enough to take on a part-time job that is more meaningful to them. This change of behavior would promote happiness and a more stress free existence. Or maybe instead the person chooses to start their own business. Success here leads to a greater sense of self-confidence. This persons happiness becomes infective, as s/he goes through their day smiling and having a positive attitude. This person's attitude towards the community may then change. Perhaps now there is more opportunity for volunteering, or helping neighbors. Making life easier for others is repaid with other intangibles such as friends or favors. Through these actions the individual is wealthier than s/he was when working full-time.

There are as many examples of Financial Permaculture as there are people. The following is a list of other examples: -Paying off debt. -Anything promoting health and wellness (besides "snake oil"). -Rather than saving money in a bank, entrusting it to gold/silver stored in a home safe. -Saving money in tangible form other than precious metals (guns, ammo, seeds, livestock, food, medicine, land, buildings, etc). -Practical education. -Things which free up time, and make for less work or expense in the future. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Another good example of Financial Permaculture would be giving up driving a car and instead riding a bike. By driving a car one impoverishes themselves through the costs of fuel, insurance, and maintenance. By buying a new car and taking on a loan, one further impoverishes themselves by selling their future time for paper money today. Even further poverty develops through stress from traffic and possible lack of exercise all leading to health complications. The only people who profit are the oil magnates and private banking interests.

By riding a bike instead this all changes. Rather than spending money on fuel, one can instead spend that money on healthy organic foods. No insurance and practically free maintenance clears up capital for investment elsewhere (maybe on a garden or a steer, goodbye "fuel" cost). The exercise leaves the person in good physical shape and much less stress filled. Riding a bicycle has the further effect of making the community less oil dependent, which means less war.

A further example of Financial Permaculture on the community scale is the Local Food Movement. By purchasing vegetables from local farmers, one receives a higher quality product, promoting health. The community, however, is who truly profits. More people buying local means more people growing local. This means greater community resilience in the event of a national emergency, such as the disruption of oil supplies from the Middle East. I would encourage everyone interested to read the article "The Oil We Eat."

This is by no means an exhaustive discussion of Financial Permaculture, but I believe the examples provided should give the reader a general idea. One interested in Financial Permaculture should choose first to look at how their time and money is spent now, and how it can be freed up and reinvested in ways which make sense, not only financially, but also from the stand point of free time, health, and the enjoyability of one's day-to-day experience. Doing this tends to affect the individual on a level that makes sense financially, but also promotes further personal and community development.


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