I sit here today in a frump, (Is that even a word?), thinking about what next I have to do to get going on the things that need to get done. I’m swamped yet again, this time with bills. The biggest disadvantage of living in the city is it’s limitations on what you can do within your own property. And I can see that the biggest disadvantage to living in the country is the travel time required to gather junk at stores in the city.

I’ve started doing a few budgeting tricks, I don’t have a clue where I got them from since it’s been years since I’ve done these things. One of which is using Zip Lock Freezer bags as a wallet in a manner of speaking. I always take out cash from the bank instead of using the ATM card at stores when ever I can, it’s a privacy thing for me. I usually keep my cash and wallet in separate pockets, that way if I loose one, I don’t loose the other. But recently I have wanted to keep better track of where the money is going, so I have been not only keeping cash within a zip lock freeze bag, but also every receipt I get at every till I end up at.

I’ve noticed a few things as a result. I spend a huge amount of cash on food. It annoys the hell out of me, because most of that food could be grown on the farm for free. The other major expense we have is rent. Rent, hydro bills and other monthly bills that soak up the majority of our income could also be avoided by living off the grid debt free on the farm without a mortgage.

There is also one other thing. By living in the city, I am forced to make a certain amount of money every month in order to make ends meet. The daily living costs are higher here for everything compared to living in the country except for maybe fuel costs. Yes, I know that on average the cost of gasoline and diesel are usually cheaper in the country, but since you use more of it I figure it will actually be more, but also since everything else is on average cheaper, the over all costs of living there are reduced.

That has me thinking about my sources of income. Recently I’ve been painting, a lot, and still plugging away at the other sources of my income. I’m basically working myself to the bone, and getting exhausted as a result. With the end in sight somewhere between the end of March and next fall, I am still sticking with it, but I wonder about my future plans for making ceramic textiles such as kitchen tiles on the farm as an extra source of income once we are there.

There is a need to maintain three types of skill sets for WSHTF, the first set, and IMHO the primary important one, is to be a producer of goods. This can include and good which is created out of raw materials, there will always be a need for someone to make a product out of raw materials whether it will be glass, ceramics, metal, or even vegetables.

The second is based in the service industry, doctors, vets, and mechanics fall into this category, anyone who gets paid for doing a service, rather then producing a product. These are always in demand, as are also producers, but in both cases the amount they are in demand changes in the economic season, and recently those changes are getting harder to predict.

The third skill set falls under artisan. They are the skills and talents that are wanted and demanded when things are either going well in the economy, or when people spend money on them because they want to forget how bad things are. They include works of art, entertainment, recreation, and even education.

It is this line of thinking that caused me to take ceramics to the level I did in collage. It encompasses all three. I can produce ceramic jars, plates, cups, and bowls during certain times, pottery, vases, and tiles at others, and even sculptures when things are good. With the farm producing a primary and a cash crop we should be in good order come what may. If we ever get there.