Practical skills for frugal living new

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Your Most Valuable and Portable Asset is Your Skill Set. Or, Have You Been Deskilled?
“Who has a trade may go anywhere” ~Spanish Proverb
Are you as skilled as your Grandparents?
How do you define skills? What skills are practical skills and thus important—wealth-creating skills? Is there a shortage of people with practical skills? Meaning, are most people just not that useful? Are you skilled and useful? If you had to pick up and move, would your skills create value and earn you a living anywhere?
Skill is defined as proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience. To me, this is painting all skills with the same brush and lumping the useful and the useless altogether. Pushing a button at McDonalds, to make the fries, isn’t a practical skill. It’s useless, worldwide, except at McDonalds.

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Practical skills for frugal living new

  1. 1. Practical skills for Frugal LivingYour Most Valuable and Portable Asset is Your Skill Set. Or, Have You Been Deskilled?“Who has a trade may go anywhere” ~Spanish ProverbAre you as skilled as your Grandparents?How do you define skills? What skills are practical skills and thus important—wealth-creating skills? Is there a shortage of people with practical skills? Meaning, are mostpeople just not that useful? Are you skilled and useful? If you had to pick up and move,would your skills create value and earn you a living anywhere?Skill is defined as proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed throughtraining or experience. To me, this is painting all skills with the same brush and lumpingthe useful and the useless altogether. Pushing a button at McDonalds, to make the fries,isn’t a practical skill. It’s useless, worldwide, except at McDonalds.Just because you were trained to do something, doesn’t make it practical or useful. Takethe people who work on assembly lines, doing one action over and over. They may be‘trained’ and ‘practiced,’ but is what they do really useful? A person who makes one cuton a slaughterhouse floor is not a butcher. This sort of one dimensional work is rampantin our culture, in offices and factories – the super specialists are actually useless. Are youone of them?What a specialist does may only be useful in one company or factory – not practical andnot that useful. If the plant, factory, or office shuts down, what do they have? From ourmeat cutting example, they have the ‘ability’ to make one cut. The ‘skill’ is prettyuseless. They’ve allowed themselves to be deskilled, like millions of others in America,by the division of labor. Not very practical.Adam Smith said division of labor would be economically destructive (emphasis added).So, what is a practical skill? What is useful in this day and age? You have to look at whatpeople actually need to survive and thrive and then discover the associated skills. Whatdo we need to survive and thrive? Water, food and shelter are required for survival, right?To thrive, we need more varied practical skills.So, an understanding of how to find and use water is important: plumbing, watermanagement, water purification, desalinization. What skills, besides plumbing, arenecessary? Irrigation puts water to good use raising crops, so skills in proper irrigationare practical.
  2. 2. For food, farmers are the obvious personified answer, but what are the skills associatedwith farming? We don’t have enough space here, there are so many skills afarmer must know if they raise crops and animals. They have to know everything abouteach crop and each animal in order to produce and get their goods to the market – farmershave a lot of practical skills.Food production, preparation and storage are all necessary skills in order to take raw foodstuffs and convert them into more useful forms. Butchers, produce managers, grocers,bakers, chefs, all have their hands on raw food, and all use their practical skills to addvalue to the food. They do what they do, and it betters you life.How about shelter? This one is vast also. Just think about all the skills that are necessaryin order to build a home: excavation, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electric, finishing,etc. Really, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of some of the skills necessary formaintaining ‘normal’ life in North America and we haven’t even touched on whatpractical skills are necessary for our culture to thrive.What about cars? Wow, there is a lot to know in order to build and maintain these, butour culture relies upon cars and other motor vehicles in order to thrive: get aroundquicker, transport more and do it all very easily. Engineers, mechanics, welders andtrades people of all sorts all add value to this equation. They build and maintain ourvehicles so that our economies can thrive.How about the roads? Clearing the trees to build or maintain those roads, preparing theground to build or maintain roads, designing roads. I don’t even know where this couldlead. What about commercial builders? Imagine if we look at computers. So many skillsrequired.Are you useful in a variety of ways that relate to surviving and thriving? Do you possesspractical skills that are useful to many and useful anywhere? These are very importantquestions.Imagine, you have just graduated with a philosophy degree, an undergraduate degreefrom a college or university. In the summers between years at school, you worked in aconvenience store or on a factory floor. You may have made yourself relatively useless,lacking practical skills. The fact that so many university and collage grads are out ofwork is very telling. People over-specialized themselves into uselessness. Sorry.Becoming de-skilled is a very real possibility if you follow a certain path.So, what are you going to do about it? I guess it depends on who you are. If you arepractically skilled in a variety of useful ways, keep learning more – make yourself asuseful as possible anywhere in the world, to as many people as possible, and you willthrive.
  3. 3. If you’ve just finished up a degree from college or university and you have zero debt, butzero prospects because you studied gender studies and the history of feminism, considerlearning a trade through on-the-job training, if you can. Read books on practical skills:farming, carpentry, cooking, auto repair, natural medicine and so many more do ityourself ideas.If you have finished up a useless degree and have immense debt, you have to be aware ofthe fact that you have just wasted time and money. It happens, get over it, and get on withmaking better choices. Read books from the library or online and learn practical skillsfrom here on.If you are a parent, be very aware of how you are influencing the choices of yourchildren. One of the best answers in life, though used far too little, is “I don’t know.” Ifyou’re honest, you will use it often. Many parents who suggested degrees as the answerto “how to earn a living?,” did not know.Many parents have unfortunately become obsessed with this foolish, narrow idea thatcollege and university are the way to wealth. It’s totally false.If you aim to become a doctor, lawyer, dentist, engineer, or study any science deeply,then sure, college and university are logical choices. Otherwise, no. They are in thebusiness of earning tuition and, therefore, selling degree programs – as many as possible,regardless of merit.Parents, encourage your children to work for owner-operated businesses, where they canlearn practical skills. Forget about jobs at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy. They areuseless to the individual over the long term. If a child works hard and is taken under thewing of an owner-operator, they can learn many practical skills and be paid for it!Practical skills travel with you wherever you go and help you to add value, enrichingyourself and others. Practical skills are your most valuable and portable asset.For an amazingly close look at the downside of public education and division of labor,have a look at the film, Human Resources. Exercise your critical thinking and createvalue for your fellow man!Practical Skills for Frugal Living is required for every person who lives their life in frugalmanner. In Frugal Living you’ll learn about money saving tips, How to lives a better lifein a budget.

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