Traveling north on Interstate 95 with youngest son and tuned in to Maine Public Radio’s NPR as we zip along in the jeep on I-95 Sunday.
And Prairie Home Companion had just wrapped up another radio show when programming shifted to a piece about how the country developed a spend it if you got it attitude.
There were a number of experts on people, society that gave their two cents about how folks work, what makes them tick these days. The sentiment that it used to be your happiness and contentment was inside, internal. That joy came from running a tight ship with your household finances and not over spending. Being frugal and everything in moderation under each and every home roof. But the shift to you have equity in your home and why not tap in to it to improve your life by loosening up a little happened.
In other areas of the country the new found source of wealth in refinancing your home, tapping in to cash locked in your assets became in style. Maybe to compensate for the go go helter skelter living pace that emptied, tired and bewildered in urban areas is part of how it happened too. Something missing in your life and the attempt to replace the basics with items off the shelve that were shiny, new, shrink wrapped, high cost because it was the latest and greatest Daddio.
The show illustrated the happiness module becoming external and tied to spending money, resources to strive for more material things.
Sometimes to impress your neighbor or because you neighbor had this and that and darn it, you should too thinking. But the final analysis is the shift back to down sizing. Trying to get out from under that second and third mortgag, the expenses. To finally have no debt living at all.
A Maine home that is within your means and living, striving to not be over extended. Humble living, not ego stroking and stoking tied to more and more out of sight spending. Maine is living simple, not calling attention to what you have. But knowing you have savings to sleep better nights for that twist in life, that next rainy day set back. And you could buy it if you wanted to but deciding that you just don’t need it. So more often than not you don’t dip in to the pocket or wallet. It is the exception not the norm when you do spend money and having way way better buying impulse control.
In Maine we watch this exercise and remember our local roots. That we take money out of the equation easily because we live in a vast, unspoiled state. Up here in the right hand cornrer of the world bordering Canada on three sides. The ocean blesses us on a 4th. Because we are not over populated, there goes the traffic, paying for parking, high auto insurance. Because our small towns are run with volunteers and a home grown approach not store bought, the communities are tighter, more connected. Happier living because it rests on each and every local resident in Maine’s shoulders and we all have a role in the day to day.
Natural resources and four seasons outdoor recreation, beauty for free when you live here in Maine. Low and no cost fun that does not involve whipping out the plastic, signing on the dotted line for that third mortgage. Maine, it is not about the money. It’s family, communities and local pride in where we live. Self sufficient living, not expecting a hand out and fierce local fire in our belly joy. Because we are lucky enough to live in Maine and know it, feel it every day. Maine, the way life should be.
I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers