Thursday, March 02, 2006

Insurance, Hobopoet Style

by Skald

Good citizens in the US spend outrageous amounts of money on insurance. This is particularly true as one moves up the income ladder. Once folks acquire a bunch of shit... they become increasingly terrified of losing it. We've got renters insurance, fire insurance, house insurance, car insurance, life insurance, health insurance, unemployment insurance...... Thus, our possessions continue to drain away financial resources, even after they are "bought and paid for" (to say nothing of the mental energy they drain).

But money cannot buy security. True security comes from trusting yourself.. from knowing you will act appropriately should disaster strike. Security does not come from fearing change.. but from confidently responding to it.

Van living gave me a great deal of security.. which I still enjoy today. By living as a voluntary "homeless person", I learned that I could survive on very very little. I learned I could survive, COMFORTABLY, without an apartment... and without stacks of possessions. Having learned that, I now have less fear of unemployment. I dont fear being fired either.. its not a coincidence that I was never fired prior to my hobopoet experiments.. but since that first car living stint.. have been fired twice.

This is my idea of insurance: A quality backpack stuffed with survival essentials (see previous post).... and a "cache" of six months survival living expenses (maybe 2000 dollars at minimum). A van, outfitted for living, would drastically increase the level of "coverage". As would a larger cache.

Thats it. Thats all the insurance I need... should financial disaster strike... Im suddenly fired, for example... I take comfort knowing I could always shoulder the pack and head to a camp on the beach. Or maybe a financial emergency hits.. Im forced out of my apartment. I could continue to work my PT job while living "homeless"... until I saved enough money to get back to a more comfortable shelter.

For this reason, if no other.. I highly recommend that every would-be hobopoet give voluntary homelessness a try... even if just for a summer. Prove to yourself that you can survive it in relative comfort. Prove to yourself that you need, in fact, very little. Whether you are a millionaire or broke artist.. give it a try for a short time.. just enough to establish certainty in your mind.

Once thats in place, youll experience a huge boost in confidence. Others (especially "bosses") wont be able to control you.

Ultimately, fear is what keeps us enslaved. Fear of loss. Fear of deprivation and poverty. Confront that fear head-on...

Vanquish it. Claim your personal power!

1 comment:

Chris Rasch said...

I agree. I would also add, paying off your debt is also great insurance. You can live on very little if you have to, but if you have to service a debt, then you have to work, have to have an income.

I lived for six months out of two-door Nissan Sentra. I was surprised at how comfortable it was. My biggest problem was picking parking spots where the police wouldn't hassle me. (Once, I made the mistake of parking near a bank. Another time, I parked in an empty parking lot.)

A cell phone and a rented mail box are also very handy, especially if you're looking for work.