Living well on minimum wage. How does that statement strike you?

Not where you live, not anywhere you believe?  Is the notion a stretch to imagine? And if you make a lot of money hand over fist now but still wonder where it all goes, are you really living well? What you make is not as important as how you spend and what your priorities are in life. Your shopping / spending habits can be masking the illness of unhappiness. The retail therapy is self medication that works for a spell when you swipe the magnetic strip on the plastic card. But is it the kind that lasts and is healthy? Not like the volunteering time and contribution to non profits that enrich a small Maine community.

maine winter countryside photo
Sugar Coated Maine, Don’t Miss A Season, Make Winter Sparkle Part Of Your Vacation Plans.

Maybe you were just not taught as a young grasshopper how to economize or live a notch or two below your means.

To save, to respect what you do purchase. To take very good care of it. Because it has value beyond what you sacrificed to toil and earn the money used to make the acquisition. There is a satisfaction from being ship shape financial and not way out on the bending limb.

Wasteful starts with not realizing the value of the dollar used to purchase whatever is purchased by you or others. Read more on the difference between frugal and cheap. Grateful for little things like a warm house, happy kids, two cats in the yard. The bounty of a garden, a good home cooked meal. A view out your porch window that makes your jaw  drop and conversation to stop. As you reflect on how really lucky you are in Maine.

In business if you spend out more than you take in, you get to shut it down and no more enterprise happens. Hi ho hi ho, no more work to off you go. As mechanical or controlling as it can sound, life is like businesses. The business of economic survival but also joy, comfort, security of knowing you are not penniless or just not sure where your next meal is coming from or where you will sleep tonight. Self reliance and being in control of your own destiny not a burden on someone else is the goal. Not oppressed and wondering how did this happen to poor little ole me. Living well on minimum wage takes patience, practice, study of how others get more for less. And it is easier to pull off in a small rural state like Maine where less is more. And you hone your skills to have more than one discipline to pull your through.

amish in maine photo
The Amish Freeway, Heading To Church Several Times In One Day.

Lazy is not a disability and is a choice to avoid taking the steps to help pull yourself up out of the muck.

Don’t rock the boat and everyone lean going into the next curve. Easy does it, a day at a time and goals of not staying in the up against it because you learn how to best manage your resources of time, money, talents. You know how to weather storms outside your home and inside your life. Read more on trade outs, bartering in Maine. You need no money, you share a talent or an already owned asset that is worth what you want swapped in the exchange.

You have little money but are grateful and rich in spirit.

Happy with what you do have that is more than enough. Or is your attitude you will never have enough money and there will always be something you want that you can not afford. What motivates you? What is your definition of poverty or wealth? We are talking beyond money in a bank account or your stock securities portfolio. We are not referring to spending money to impress or for status. Your impulse control to spend or not to spend is like dieting or quitting smoking. It is a choice. The approach to your spending that defines all the financial transactions as something you really need or are they an item or service you just want with overwhelming desire.

tapping maple trees in maine for sap
The Sweet Stuff, Rock Maple Sap That Boils Down 40 To 1 For The Golden Mixture To Ooze On Your Maine Blueberry Pancakes. All Homemade And Better Than The IHOP Stack.

When you have the money to make the purchase today it removes the wishing and wanting galloping gimmees because you don’t.

Your impulse control to spend improves because you want the item or service but at the best price. That is just good business and whoever you buy from has to run their operation without slack or waste so they can remain competitive.

You can not just keep raising your prices to overcome poor resource management. You don’t have a monopoly. You are not a king or queen or dictator. Read more on duplication of services in small rural Maine towns. Otherwise it becomes a sinking ship, the population numbers bleed out and bye bye small Maine community.

School consolidations, greater group purchasing and regional economic development, police central dispatching, public town work crews sharing equipment between municipalities all has to happen. To avoid wasteful duplication of service spending. Like not now, but right now. By not waiting so it is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic waste of time when there is none left to shape the best decisions on the local level that everyone can live with in time as reality sets in during reflection. And survival mode kicks into full gear to look for any other slack that can be snip-snipped. Liked pruning a tree to protect its life and make it flourish in time.

happy coffee cup
Happy Coffee, Warm Up Your Hands, Heart, Let the Buzz Give You A Kick In The Pants.

Could you live well on minimum wage?

Already at a stage in your life where you have had all the toys and trickets? Not just beginning the journey of life after the parents ease you out of the nest. But do you remember the happiest days of your life were when you were starting out and had little but appreciate every new purchase whether ne or second time around used? Remember, over half of Maine is already in the UT, the unorganized territories where there is not much local identity and home town proud. The control is handed over to the state of Maine and one of the sixteen counties to run their show. Too many surrendering towns, plantations and settlements has Maine lawmakers concerned as deorganization steps are underway in the legislature.

Over 41 independent communities in Maine have shuttered, nailed up the town office windows and doors in the last 100 years. The rising cost of government mixed with the declining population is a deadly cocktail to swallow. Replacing shrinking woods and farm jobs with something to pay the bills is the other side of the coin. That just hammers home the point of how important it is to be thrifty from the grassroots up to the state and federal level. To turn around the loss of population every time the US Census people show up for a head count.

Could you live well on minimum wage?

Comfortable and enjoying life’s small simple pleasures. Removing debt and making it pretty much cash and carry only living for you, your family? Hunger improves the taste and you won’t stay that way when you become resourceful and adapt at stripping away the non-essential that can rob your life of the real things in life to pursue that surround us. You could make more money living outside of Maine but you are going to need it and then some to exist, just survive. Get more for less of what should be the most important when considering family values, being involved and needed in your small community and the reward of outdoor recreation in Maine. Ever dream about that?

Maine has affordable housing, low or no cost four season recreation, low crime, no traffic and simple approach to living. It is clean, not crowded and folks pitch in are define the community they call home no matter how big or small. Maine, is it what is missing. Is it time? Is it today to reduce it all down and build it back up with a healthier approach to living in Maine, the way life should be?

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

207.532.6573 |  

MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA