Living off the grid seems to be a bit of a trend lately, and it’s one that will likely stick around. As things get more expensive and consumer oriented, it’s not a bad idea to shirk the system and find alternative ways of doing things.
We see people doing this with housing, careers, and even their food sources. We are now seeing more and more people doing this with the financial system.
It makes sense. The financial system that has been built up over the past few decades is flawed. Credit cards charge insane interest rates and annual fees. Banks charge you an account fee just for the pleasure of borrowing your money. You are paying a substantial amount each month just to.. well, have money (or not).
Here are some huge benefits to living outside of the traditional financial system:
The vast majority of the developed world has a credit card, a debit card, and banks with a traditional bank. Recently, there has been an onset of free banking options being introduced, as banks have realized that free accounts give them a competitive edge. Even more interestingly, there have been a few services that have opened up that aren’t banks, but allow you to do all of the “banking” you need.
One such service is Bluebird by American Express. It’s not a bank, but allows you to direct deposit your pay, put money away in savings, transfer money, pay for things – it’s pretty much a full service non-bank. You save a lot of money while doing so, and you don’t have to be tied down to a brick-and-mortar bank.
There is a reason why there are jokes around bankers hours. Banks are known for their inconvenient hours. Nowadays, they larger ones are making an effort to stay open later for.. well, the entire world who works and does things during the day that doesn’t allow them to show up at a bank at 11:00 AM. However, even with extended hours, it’s pretty inconvenient.
I believe that most things should be able to be done online. I should be able to deal with my finances solely online; I should be able to grocery shop online (one day!) and take courses online. It’s far more convenient.
These non-banking solutions help you save time (and inevitably money) by allowing you to do everything you need to do through apps and the internet, and, if absolutely necessary, the phone.
This freaks a lot of the older generation out, but when you get used to it, it’s freeing!
Doing Things Differently
Just because most people do something one way, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things.
The financial system was developed and was a good way of doing things for it’s time, but it’s time has long passed. The world changes and evolves minutely; things that were relevant a decade ago become irrelevant and inconvenient and expensive.
The principles behind Mr. Money Mustache kind of push readers to do things differently, to not get sucked into what everyone else does because it just doesn’t work for everybody. I love this principle. I live by it all the time; it’s the norm to take money from your parents to put you through school, or take out student loans to get your education, but it’s a norm that I don’t subscribe to.
Do things that work for you, not because everyone else does it that way.
Have you ever considered living outside of the financial system?