home arrow OPINIONS arrow Going back to basics is best way to cope with the hard economic times

AP Political Videos



Login Form






Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
DIGITAL EDITION
Going back to basics is best way to cope with the hard economic times PDF Print E-mail
Written by KATHLENE HEPBURN-OKEHI   
Friday, 05 October 2012

kathlene_hepburn_web.jpgWith the current economic upheaval projected to last for the next four or five years, we a nation must balance our budget and so it is inevitable that we have to cut back on our national spending.

When that happens, less money starts coming to the state from the federal government.  That, in turn, will mean less money coming to our county from the state and down the line it goes.

Consequently, each of us will be affected, as there will be less money to go around.  But it is not too late to plan ahead to minimize the impact. 

As a senior citizen living on a fixed income, there are questions I have asked myself.  What questions must you and your family ask yourselves? What can you do without and still have a good quality of life?  How can your family reduce your monthly overhead expenses?  Do you really need cable TV? I live without it and perhaps you can too. I use my old TV with a converter box and antenna and receive more than 30 channels, giving me a lot of viewing options at little cost.

Another savings for me is using the public library for books, magazines, music CDs and movie DVDs, the computer and the Internet. You can use the library computers for two hours each day and that includes the Internet. Get a library card.

Use what your tax dollars are paying for.  There is also free entertainment sponsored by our county and state parks and recreation departments, and our county commissioners.   Some museums have a free admission day once a month.  Check the newspaper’s E-vents Calendar for details and dates.  This is another way to reduce your family monthly budget and live within your means.

I also decided to clear the grass from my lawn and plant a vegetable garden. First lady Michelle Obama is leading the way with a vegetable garden at the White House. With the drought this year, food prices will rise, meaning higher prices at the grocery store. You can help yourself and your family if you plant a vegetable garden and grow your own vegetables and fruits. 

Use the federal, state and county agricultural extension offices and the public library as resources to help you get the information you need to start your garden and plant fruit trees. There are books and magazines at the library and at the state and federal departments of agriculture. If you live in an apartment, you can still plant a vegetable garden by using containers on your patio or available yard space.

If you live in an area that permits farm animals, raise your own chickens, turkeys and rabbits to add to your food source. They need little space and feed and they mature quickly.  

This way, you have to go to the grocery store only for items to make bread or buy bread, butter, spices, salt and other condiments. You can learn to preserve vegetables and fruits for later use if you have too many by canning them.  You can learn to make tomato sauce, paste and ketchup, pickles, jellies, jams, mayonnaise and mustard from items from your own garden.

Beans and eggs are good, inexpensive, sources of protein.

Think organic.  Think green.  Involve your children in the entire process. Let this be a learning opportunity for all and one that is satisfying and reaps great rewards.

When it comes to getting around, walk, ride a bicycle, take the bus or the train and save on transportation costs. Can you really afford that expensive car which uses a lot of gas? Should you perhaps change to a less expensive, more fuel efficient pre-owned car? 

Shop for clothing and household furnishings at thrift shops.

Can you refinance your home for a lower mortgage rate and lower the monthly payments? Should you rent and reduce your housing cost? 

The idea is to become as self-sufficient as you can. That means living within your income and not borrowing money or using credit cards unless there is an emergency. Think about your family situation and plan to save for that rainy day that is coming soon. Think about what mama, grandma and grandpa told you about how things were when they were growing up. We need to learn and use those skills.

Call your family together and make a plan to start a vegetable garden and reduce your food expenses and debt.  Start now before prices increase or you lose your job or your situation changes.  Pay off as much debt as possible. Let living debt-free be your goal and self-sufficiency your password.

Kathlene Hepburn-Okehi is president and founder of a nonprofit organization serving families, youth and seniors in the Liberty City, Brownsville and Little Haiti communities.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.

busy
Last Updated ( Friday, 05 October 2012 )
 
< Prev   Next >
 
Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone featureMicrosoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature
NEW YORK — Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices last Wednesday as it seeks to gain tra...
Read more...
Google Glass, good for cooking, needs InternetGoogle Glass, good for cooking, needs Internet
NEW YORK — Google Glass is like a fickle friend. Surprises await, such as the time it took a photo of my ceiling while...
Read more...
FTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumersFTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission says the operators of a website called Jerk.com are the ones behaving badl...
Read more...
‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded ‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded
A vivid and delightful animated spectacle, Rio 2 is chock-full of colorful 3-D wonder and jubilant musical numbers set ...
Read more...

News Article Comments

NRA-backed ‘warning-shot’ law on Scott’s desk
The proposed law changes deal with threatening to use deadly force, warning shots are the use of deadly force. The changes will actually water down the SYG law a bit like suggested by Taryvon Martin ...
Miami Gardens chief from North Miami
Congratulations and welcome to the City of Miami Gardens!
Doctors say prepare kids for summer camp
As a camp Director of Swift Nature Camp , I understand and see all the benefits of camp each and every summer. However, it is important to pick the right camp, especially in Fla. At this time they a...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
The kettle once called the pan black, the ignorance and arrogance of this group is mind blowing
National Civil Rights Museum reopens at site of King shooting
So happy to see this important museum reopen. Let's hope the politics stay out of the way of success.
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Can these groups not see the foolishness of their stance? Ignorance is not always bliss when you're so concerned with what other humans lives. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get gay married. DuH!
Workers to mark MLK assassination anniversary with rally
We cannot forget this important anniversary. Dr. King was murdered partly because of this strike.
Washington Park in need of improvement: OIC offering assistance
thanks for sharing this buon gi bay gio | may tinh de ban | tri ho |
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
What a Great story! I stopped reading the article to say, "This is news that is Current, Local, about Living Legends and their descendants contributing to the African Diaspora. Keep Telling The Stor...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Oh the shear hypocrisy of Blacks and Hispanics not supporting equal rights for all. We should be ashamed for using the same techniques used on us to deny rights to others which are guaranteed by the c...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations are in Order! You BOTH Work Hard and Smart, and know how to have Fun while doing it. Your Intelligence and Hearts of Gold Will Pay off....GOD'S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Your enthusiasm, drive and insight is truly inspiring. I wish you bot! many years of great achievements! Keep up the great work!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
What an awesome job ladies! This is the type is professionalism and success that motivates me and my business venture. I'm truly proud of you both. Keep up the fantastic work!
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
Good story, anyone should be applauded for turning around their situation. But sometimes people don't act like they know where they came from and have not done anything for their community except to a...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congrats Ladies! Job well done!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations Ann Marie!!! I'm so proud of you!!! Way to go! Keep your passion, and God will do the rest! Love you!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
I am so proud of both of you ladies! What a great example and a great job! I am most proud of Ann for defying the stereotypes and proving awesome things do come from the muck! Much continued success!
Miami Gardens: Don’t cut us out
If I were Ross I would move the team and dump the stadium. It is obvious Miami Gardens no longer appreciates what the Dolphins bring to the area but rather collect that guaranteed check. Great example...
Clinton says she's still considering future plans
Mushtaq Dean In this interview session, a woman showed her desire that Hillary should try to win the highest position and represent female population. She was single in her physical appearance but was...
The young are trapped by obsession with wealth
This is a well-conceived and well-written article and does, indeed, express my observations as well as my sentiments. In July, I will be on a panel at The Futurist Conference in Orlando discussing the...

The most influential African American weekly newspaper in South Florida

Beatty Media LLC