No, not influenza… affluenza.
Af-flu-en-za n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. 4. A television program that could change your life. Source
A recent PBS program, Escape from Affluenza gave some interesting solutions to relieve stress, waste, over consumption, and environmental decay.
Here are a few of my favorite tips from the website…
Getting Rid of Affluenza
- For cheaper entertainment, make a list of 25 things you like to do that do not cost any money. And keep the list where you can see it and refer to it often.
- Pay $25 extra a month on your mortgage and you will pay off your house 3-1/2 years early, saving $23,337 in interest on a $100,000 loan. Pay an extra $100 a month on your home and you will pay it off 14 years early saving over $60,000.
- Figure out your real hourly wage by deducting the costs associated with working. This way, you can make better decisions on taking jobs, especially second incomes.
- Convince your boss to let you telecommute, as it will save you money on clothes and transportation. Plus it has been proven to increase productivity.
- Eat cheaper, healthier foods that are in season, and you will lose weight too!
For the record, the suggestion that I liked the least was:
- Consider not having children, as they are expenses and greatly impact the Earth’s resources.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.