Act 360

Take precautions if you’re away for a few days

We will be heading off for a few days to spend time with family in the next town over. Before we leave, I’ll be sure to take a few precautions. Turn down the heat. Check that the water isn’t dripping. That the stove is off, that the Christmas lights are turned off, that the dishwasher has drained. I’ll make sure our neighbours knew we’ll be away too.

It’s such a busy time of year, you might feel rushed to get away in time. But it’s worth the extra 10 to 15 minutes to do a proper tour around the house. The last thing you need is an insurance claim to deal with when you get home.

Safe and happy travels!

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Act 242

Invite your neighbours over.

So much of our hard earned money is spent protecting ourselves from what can go wrong. Car alarms, home alarms, home insurance, health insurance, life insurance and my least favourite of all, mortgage insurance.

Imagine if only a fraction of that outlay was spent on making things better – on turning strangers into friends – for example.

Yesterday we celebrated our 14th annual corn roast with family, friends and neighbours – for way less than an annual insurance premium and for much more meaning. We got corn from a local farm, made up a few hamburger patties and buns, put out a few chips and some goodies and the fun was afoot. We caught up on news and views, had some laughs and marveled and how quickly the kids are growing on this eve of another school year. Being connected to your community is key to a sense of real safety – as opposed to the false sense of security of an alarm system or an insurance policy. Because we’re connected, we watch out for each other. You can’t pay for that kind of safety – and it’s way more fun than writing a cheque.

And, there’s leftover corn to boot – so today’s act will involve corn bread of some kind 🙂 – stay tuned. and if you’re nearby, stop in for a piece.

Happy Labour Day!

Act 12

Share well with others.

Our neighbours plough our driveway in winter.  We help with the leaves in fall. They mow our lawn sometimes too. We pet sit when they’re away. We share tools, and services and ideas and even ketchup, coffee and dish tabs when required.

As human beings we have this thing called “reciprocity” built into our DNA – no really, it’s true. And it’s in the nature of a community to look out for one another.

I think part of the reason so many of us find ourselves in difficult debt is because as an economy, we’ve tried to commodify and commercialize everything. Every tree, every stream, ever piece of land and many a human kindness.

To benefit from a sharing community, we must adopt the idea of a sharing economy (and it’s coming – just google it). So if you can foster a kind relationship with a neighbour, you can help each other out and save money too. But the money’s the least of the benefit here. Feeling connected and helping each other out is the greater gain on all accounts.